Deep Linking with LTI 1.3

With the inclusion of this extension, learning tools can leverage deep linking to provide a seamless launch experience between their LMS and desired tools.

The Deep Linking extension allows a platform to easily integrate content from an external tool. Users can launch an external tool, select specific content, and return the specific content to the platform in one singular workflow without leaving the LMS, secondary logins, or packages to import.

Content Item Message versus 1.3 Deep Linking

Deep linking is the next iteration to the CIM specification, with the most noticeable difference being that the new extension leverages the authentication and security model introduced in 1.3, providing more secure practices.

Because deep linking leverages 1.3 as it's LTI version, Brightspace's implementation of it is slightly different than how the CIM specifications have been implemented. For those most familiar with our remote plug-in framework, we exposed CIM services through a Quicklink, Insert Stuff, or Course Import versions of a plug-in. These special plug-in types allowed our users to extend the tools into native UI areas of Brightspace, such as the Quicklink menu, or under the Insert Stuff button in the Brightspace Editor. But the nature of our remote plugin framework was based around the core LTI 1.1 launches. As such, the new deep linking extension is implemented through new areas. Users can continue to create and run CIM/1.1 services through remote plugins. For deep linking/1.3, users will create selector links in the same process they would create an ad-hoc link:

  • Content Item Message 1.1
    • Users create content selectors with remote plugins
    • Plugins were available as special CIM versions; Quicklink, Insert Stuff, Course Import
    • The CIM plugins had a tool provider automatically created that managed the security/auth data for the plugin launch
    • Plugins were launched from areas of our UI, such as Insert Stuff in the Brightspace Editor
  • Deep Linking 1.3
    • Users create content selectors with ad-hoc links
    • Instead of a basic launch, users can create a link selector for either Quicklink or Insert Stuff (addition extensions planned)
    • All auth and security data is maintained by the tool's deployment
    • Content selectors continue to be accessed the save way plugins have been in the past

While these services are set up in slightly different ways, the usage and experience are identical. Both 1.1 CIM and 1.3 are accessed in the same areas, preserving the same workflows users are familiar with.