eCollege(SM) Teams with Microsoft in Commitment to .NET
eCollege(SM) announced furthering its Microsoft Certified Partnership to a long-term commitment and vision for leveraging .NET technologies. eCollege will communicate its technology vision, “eCollege Today, .NET, and Tomorrow,” in the Microsoft booth theater at the Educause conference in Atlanta, October 2nd and 3rd.
eCollege plans to integrate .NET into existing product applications, as well as leverage the .NET developer tools for future product development activities. .NET is being incorporated by eCollege to enable greater levels of customization and integration with other system-wide applications, while providing a fast pace environment for new product innovation, all with a purpose to continue its leadership position in supporting fully online academic programs.
“One of the most important uses for technology is to transform education. Technology can and should create an environment that connects, creates opportunities and removes limitations — allowing students and educators to realize their potential,” said Sherri Bealkowski, general manager for Microsoft Corp.’s Education Solutions Group. “We are delighted that eCollege is harnessing the power of .NET in its solutions. By building on .NET, colleges and universities will gain interoperability across platforms, applications and programming languages.”
Microsoft’s .NET Framework and .NET Servers, such as Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000, create a new breed of application server that is designed especially to meet the integration challenge and can accommodate the considerable investments made in backend systems and storage. .NET also simplifies XML implementation in developing applications that support XML and building XML-based Web Services. The use of ASP.NET and XML provide the flexibility for eCollege to move with ease to a more open and flexible architecture without the need for proprietary Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that use a more complex, building-block type environment.
“This announcement is the next logical step in the progression of our software architecture,” said Mark Resmer, chief technology officer of eCollege. “Given the fact that our eLearning solutions are already built entirely upon Microsoft technologies, we are in a terrific position to be the first eLearning provider to fully embrace .NET. Our partnership with Microsoft will not only increase interoperability with other institution-wide applications, but will also provide us with the ability to offer a wide range of open standards-based Web Services to the education community.”
This decision to integrate Microsoft .NET technologies continues a multi-year certified partnership between eCollege and Microsoft. eCollege’s data centers are built upon Microsoft Windows 2000 Servers and Microsoft SQL Servers, resulting in 99.99 percent internal system reliability. With usage volumes averaging about 10 million database transactions per day, the eCollege data center is one of the largest SQL Server operations in education today. In addition, eCollege applications are designed for full integration of Microsoft Office applications, offering seamless automatic conversion of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files to HTML within the eCollege course management system, so faculty and students can use tools they are most familiar with to publish and manage content.
“At eCollege, supporting the success of our clients drives everything we do,” said Oakleigh Thorne chairman and CEO of eCollege. “Not only have we built our solutions and entire business model to support the current needs of making our clients’ current full online programs successful, with this announcement, we are making a bold statement about continuing to deliver products that will address our clients’ future needs.”
Thorne continued, “We highly value the commitment made by Ms. Bealkowski, and the Education Solutions Group at Microsoft, in partnership with us to deliver superior solutions for today and tomorrow.”
eCollege [Nasdaq: ECLG] is the leading eLearning technology and services provider to educational markets. eCollege designs, builds and supports high quality online degree, certificate/diploma and professional development programs for colleges, universities, school districts and state departments of education. eCollege’s clients include such institutions as National University; University of Massachusetts Amherst; University of Colorado; Drexel University; DeVry University, Inc.; The New England College of Finance; and the Kentucky Virtual High School. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Denver. For more information, visit www.eCollege.com.