• 20 Sep 2023
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Article summary

Integrate Cirrus into your processes

The exam process is never stand-alone. Therefore the best-of-breed Cirrus Platform offers many possibilities to be integrated with other systems.

Cirrus offers 4 ways of integrating:

  1. API/LTI: Enabling (your) third-party systems to drive the full assessment process in Cirrus exactly how your business requires (REST API, LTI documentation)
  2. Advanced question types: specialist fit-for-purpose question types via Office365, Sowiso for Math, VPL for Programming Questions.
  3. Enhanced exam integrity: Proctorio, ProctorU, Safe Exam Browser.
  4. Single Sign-On: SSO, SAML 2.0

Besides the functional overview below, we kindly refer you to our separate Developer portal. Even though the integrations are easy to use once set up, getting these set up and working correctly often requires some technical expertise.

1. Drive Assessment process in Cirrus

We offer 2 options:

  1. Cirrus' REST API enables you to drive the process in Cirrus exactly how your business requires. Our REST API of our Technical Documentation starts with the Key Benefits.
  2. LTI 1.3 Advantage standard-based. Our LTI documentation of our Technical Documentation has a extensive business/functional briefing (a.o. Key Benefits, Supported Scenarios)

Integrating with On-Premise systems

Regarding On-Premise systems, systems that are hosted by the customer in their own corporate network, we see two options:

  1. The On-Premise system is reachable via the internet, or can be made reachable, then it can be integrated like any cloud hosted application
  2. Your network prohibits accessing the On-Prem solution then the On-Prem solution must initiate all calls to your Cirrus Platform; e.g. REST API (pull model).

REST API vs LTI 1.3 (vs Hybrid)

The first Platinum option is our REST API as it allows you to completely tailor the integration to your needs at the expense of the effort required by your organisation or technical partner to develop and maintain the middleware.

The second Gold option would be LTI 1.3 Advantage as does not require any development effort if your system supports LTI 1.3 but is of course constraint by the LTI 1.3 standard and its implementation.

Cirrus has one of the best LTI 1.3 implementations so if you're about to select a new platform/LMS it's always smart to ensure it has LTI 1.3 support.

Though if the possibilities of LTI can somehow not meet your requirements and you are able to get middleware developed the REST API may be your only option. (Which could be combined with LTI as hybrid solution if your LTI 1.3 supporting system uses known external IDs, and/or they can be synced; e.g. main flow via LTI, some specifics via API, or user provisioning via API, login/results via LTI.)

REST API Example Scenario

In Cirrus you have published a set of assessments (Exams), you want to show these in your own system, and after the candidate selected an assessment, call Cirrus after which you send a direct link into their exam to the candidate.
After the results are published in Cirrus, your system receives a notification.

Let's break this down:

StepREST APIRemarks
Get Available Assessments (Exams)GET /assessments/
Allow candidate to select an exam in your system
Create schedule for the candidatePOST /schedule
In your system redirect the candidate using the link returned by /schedule
The candidate enters the exam directly without having to login
The candidate finished the exam
Your system (or partner like Credly) gets notified by Cirrus about the result.Results WebhookImmediately if the exam is auto-scored or if manually marked when your marker publishes the result

This is merely an example scenario; The whole process in Cirrus can be driven via our REST API; including provisioning users and their roles, org structure; content structure; and the list goes on and on... See REST API.

2. Specialist fit-for-purpose question types

As a best-of-breed platform for some fit-for-purpose question types Cirrus offers an integration:

IntegrationQuestion TypeFunctionalTechnicalRemarks
Office 365Office 365Office365 IntegrationOffice 365
SowisoMathematical Question
VPL ProgrammingProgrammingVPL Execution Server for Programming Questions

3. Enhanced exam integrity

IntegrationProctoring Type(s)FunctionalTechnicalRemarks
Safe Exam BrowserLocked Down BrowserSafe Exam BrowserSafe Exam BrowserAlso some info on Kiosk Apps.

4. Single Sign-On

Cirrus supports the most-widely supported standard for Enterprise Single Sign-On (SSO): SAML 2.0 (including SURFConext).
Cirrus SAML 2.0 Single Sign-On is fully self-service so the customer's IT can set it up after reading SAML 2.0 Single Sign-On (SSO) in our Tech Portal (including SAML 2.0 Troubleshooting!)

Alternatively LTI can be used as Single Sign-On; LTI as Single Sign-On.

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