This post is the latest installment in our anatomy of a new InFlight integration series of posts where we explain how each new ERP application gets integrated into SharePoint with InFlight for the first time. This is part of the initial product development stage and doesn’t occur each time we’re setting up a new InFlight customer.

Each new line-of-business system that we add to the InFlight product line has 6 core development components; Basic Authentication, SSO Authentication, Basic Content Retrieval, Addressing JavaScript Errors, Advanced Content Retrieval, Look and Feel. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing Basic Content Retrieval and we’ll be looking at how to integrate specific parts of our Blackboard back-end within our SharePoint application, without having to bring in “everything”.  To illustrate this, we’ll use the Tasks List within Blackboard as our example.  For contrast, below is what we’re starting with but remember that ultimately, we’ll just be going after the Task List.

Bb-Anatomy-P4-F1

On the other hand, what we want as a final product is the task list embedded in a SharePoint page as shown below. You’ll note that all the top-level Blackboard navigation is gone and what’s contained within the SharePoint page is just the Task List functionality.

Bb-Anatomy-P4-F2In SharePoint, we’ll create a page called TaskList in SitePages.  We will add an InFlight Viewer to the page.  Once the InFlight Viewer has been added, we’ll edit its WebPart properties.  We need the Content URL of the Task List and we can get that by copying the link location from Blackboard’s main portal page.

Bb-Anatomy-P4-F3

We paste the link into the Content URL field, https://testedu.inflightintegration.com/webapps/blackboard/execute/taskEditList?returnUrl=/webapps/portal/execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_1_1&tabId=_1_1.

Also, we’ll enable Single Sign-on under Basic Properties and click ‘OK’ to save our changes.  Finally, we save our SharePoint page.  After saving our page, we can see our results.

Bb-Anatomy-P4-F4

We’re getting closer.  We can see that there are still breadcrumbs which appear on top of the Tasks module and we don’t want those.  Let’s fix this by applying a rule.  We need a rule which will remove the breadcrumbs.  The first thing we need to determine is the element which contains the breadcrumbs.  If we view the source for the Tasks List module within Blackboard, we can see that the breadcrumbs are contained within a DIV called “breadcrumbs”.

Bb-Anatomy-P4-F5

So, we will create a rule which will replace the DIV named “breadcrumbs” with nothing, which accomplishes the equivalent of removing the DIV entirely.  This can be accomplished with the following rule,

<add

          name=”Blackboard-TaskListRemoveBreadcrumbs”

 enabled=”true”

          appliesToResponseContent=”true”

                   filterByResolvedUrlPathAndQueryRegex=

“^https://testedu.inflightintegration.com/webapps/blackboard/execute/taskEditList.*”

          filterByHttpStatusCodesCSV=”200″

                   filterByContentTypeCSV=”html,xml”

findXpath=”//div[@id=’breadcrumbs’]”

         replacement=””

                   precedence=”10″

isRegexCaseSensitive=”false” />

As you can see, we constrain the rule to only apply it when the Task List is retrieved from Blackboard.  As well, we instruct the rule to find the DIV named “breadcrumbs” and replace it with nothing.  The result of the rule is shown below:

Bb-Anatomy-P4-F6

Great!  We have isolated the Task List functionality within our SharePoint page and removed all functionality that we weren’t interested in.  One very important point to note here, is that all Blackboard functionality has been retained.  The user can only view Tasks which are visible to them within Blackboard, and all functionality on the page, such as creating, deleting, filtering tasks remain.  Even the table can still be sorted and paged.  All Blackboard functionality remains and this is a big deal.

If you enjoyed this post, follow us on Twitter so you can be sure to get the heads up that the next post in this series is up! As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

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