Meta-question about MS SharePoint

I don’t expect that anyone on the Dope would be able to help with this directly, but my Google-fu has turned up nothing but two SharePoint boards with post rates of <1 per day, the majority of which are new questions. My hope is that someone here can at least point me in the direction of some folks who’d know the answer to this.

I’m currently developing some learning content using an LMS compatible with SCORM 1.2, which I understand SharePoint supports. Right now, I’m in the process of preparing some of this content to be searchable through a SharePoint interface.

Having never used SharePoint and lacking a way to test it for at least a month or so, what I need is a general rundown of SharePoint’s search capabilities with regard to SCORM metadata tags. The LMS we are using allows one to get very specific with metadata for each object; I can have any number of metadata groups with any number of self-defined freeform text fields, dropdown boxes, etc. What I want to ensure is that I don’t assign important search criteria to areas SharePoint will not be able to distinguish between.

As an example, let’s say I create two metadata groups for each object. The first group has a dropdown box allowing me to select “A”, “B” or “C”, and two freeform text fields labeled “Foo” and “Bar”. The second group has radio buttons labeled “One” and “Two”. When I export these learning objects and run a SharePoint query, I want to know if I’ll be able to construct a search such that I only get objects with “One” and “B” selected, and specific values entered into “Foo” and “Bar”. If not, I also need to know what sorts of groups/fields I would be advised to use.

On the offchance there are any fellow SCORM devs in here, feel free to chime in; otherwise, I’d be very appreciative if someone could at least recommend a source. Any advice is very much appreciated.

ETA: This was supposed to have gone in GQ, but I suppose it works just as well here. Mods, please feel free to move it as suits your fancy.

Um. MicroSoft has a help site with real people, you know?

Indeed they do, and not being an idiot, I’ve already checked at various MS forums, which is how I found out that SharePoint supports the type of thing I’m trying to do (along with a bunch of SP features I really don’t care about). Because they don’t our LMS’s tagging system directly, though, no one there has been of any help to me so far in figuring out the specifics of my question above. Hence the fruitless Googling for independent SP or SCORM dev boards, hence this thread.

Not sure what the sarcasm was for. I’m far from the first person to ask an arcane and complicated question on the Dope. If no one knows, the thread’ll sink like a rock, no harm done. So, it’s worth a shot.

I run a software firm that specializes in enterprise SharePoint (“SP”) systems. I’d be glad to help answer this over the weekend, but I have no clue what SCORM is. I’m gathering that LMS means learning something.

Give me some more context to go on & I’ll be glad to get you answers. Here are the questions I’m thinking about to bridge the gap in understanding between my world & yours …

What version & sku of SP will you be using? The current version is 2007 & there are 2 main skus: the basic no-cost WSS and the fairly expensive MOSS. The search facility in MOSS is vastly more capable & configurable.

Also, the prior version of SP is 2003 which also came in 2 skus: WSS & SPS. A lot of shops are still using 2003. If you are going to be integrating into an existing 2003 installation that changes everything.

Are you intending to store the content in SP? If so, do you intend to use SP’s publication & content mgmt (CMS) facilities? What format is the content in now (HTML pges, aspx pages, xml docs, etc)?

If the content would be stored in some other server, what sort? What APIs or web services does it expose?


If you have any links to a primer on LMS/SCORM that’d be useful too.
In general, the 2007 version of SP search is very powerful & can be configured to expose almost any regularly-structured attributes of the target content as queriable fields. This is in addition to the basic find-keywords-in-textual-content search.

Apologies. I was having a rough day. You’re absolutely correct. I once posed a question about Word, that I couldn’t find help on, and got the same kind of snarky response. So I should know better. And next time I will refrain from sounding like a jerk.

At work, don’t have time for a full-length reply right now, but…

Gah…sorry about that, I shouldn’t post these things right after work when I’m still in jargon-mode. I also used the wrong acronym, though it’s revelant to the discussion too. I should have said “LCMS”, or Learning Content Management System, which is a tool for developing and managing computer-based training courses. “LMS” is Learning Management System, which is a tool for viewing content created on an LCMS. If the LCMS is to computer-based training modules as FrontPage is to web pages, then the LMS would be like Internet Explorer. Our particular LCMS is Outstart Evolution.

SCORM, or Shareable Content Object Reference Model, is the language of the LMS; it enables content to be created, formatted, organized into levels, and tagged with metadata, for use in any SCORM-compliant LMS. It’s the HTML of the learning content world. We’re using online SCORM 1.2 (there are differences between online and offline SCORM, but they mostly affect the development end and shouldn’t make a difference toward what I’m asking).

I may not be able to answer all your questions for the same reason I can’t test it out beforehand: we’re using an independent contractor to integrate SP with our content, along with a bunch of other integration, and they’re being very annoying about giving us “proprietary information” that would help us prep it before the export (I fail to see how search parameters of third-party software are proprietary; all they’re doing is making their lives and ours more difficult, but so be it).

We’re using WSS for tests, and I know it can’t do what I want it to do, at least not without more manipulative juju than I can muster. I’ll see if I can pry the version number and year our contractor’s using from them. Our content is available to be hosted locally on the client’s intranet, or from our own servers, the details of which I’ll have to get for you. We expect that MOSS is what will be available to those of our end clients who have an SP-based CMS already in place (and please correct me if I’m wrong in that assumption). In that case, should the client choose to host locally, the content will be stored in SP. In the case of the client using our online content…to be honest, I’m woefully ignorant of the specifics of our server setup; I’ll have to get that information later this weekend.

Thanks very much for the offer to help. If it’s okay with you, we can continue this conversation via email, since we’re quite likely to be the only two participants.

Leaffan: no worries, I kinda figured it was a bad-day thing…Lord knows I could’ve cheerfully chewed someone out today. No offense taken. :slight_smile:

Email enroute. I agree SP+SCORM is a pretty minority interest even for a group as diverse as the Dope.