As we approach the release date of eFront’s public beta we feel it’s time to discuss what should be expected.
eFront (originally code-named eFront4) is a huge step forward on a number of fronts. It combines the depth of eFront with a new fluid interface, reworked internals and support for blended learning. At the same time, eFront maintains a familiar tone.
This is the first of a series of articles in which we will be analyzing the following features of eFront:
Part 1 – User interface (UI)
The UI of eFront has been redesigned around Bootstrap-3. This brings consistency around common UI elements and superior support for mobile devices through a “responsive design” and a “mobile first” approach. We also took the time to minimize the clutter of the system in a number of ways.
Part 2 – Content creation
With eFront we took a leap in revamping the content creation process. We made it really easy to re-use content you already have from PDFs, Videos, Audios, Images or SCORM and Tincan or re-use web material from Youtube, Vimeo, Prezi and other sources. eFront is taking a step toward the intuitive content management practices of TalentLMS.
Part 3 – Blended learning (ILT)
eFront seeks to redefine the blended learning environment. You will now be able to manage both your online and offline training programs. To achieve that, we introduce a new “classroom” course type which will take place in the physical world but will be organized and moderated online (e.g. participant list and restrictions, start-end dates, waiting-lists etc). In this topic we will also cover the new Course Catalog, the Locations objects and the re-purposed Sessions.
Part 4 – Ecommerce extensions
There is a wealth of ecommerce extensions in eFront, such as Paypal-Pro support, ways to handle complex e-commerce relationships through Group-accounts, Contracts and Price Tracks. If you want to use eFront to resell courses we have some great news for you!
Part 5 – Audiences and Curriculums
Audiences and Curriculums are new entities. The best way to conceive Audiences is as dynamic groups. For example, an Audience may have as members the users of Branch-1 and Branch-2. The users on that Audience will be modified automatically as Branch-1 and Branch-2 get modified.
Curriculums are a way to group courses in a bigger meaningful entity. Rules can be applied between curriculum courses.
Part 6 – Internals
eFront is built around Jquery (instead of Prototype that we currently use), it uses get-text for translations (instead of language files that we currently employ), Bootstrap-3 for the interface (instead of custom UI elements) and a Model-View-Controller architecture. The result is a dramatically reduced code-base that we can build upon in the years to come.
Part 7 – Other important changes & considerations
There is a number of other changes that you should be aware of. As we strive to reduce the complexity of the system we “pruned” some of the older functionality that – literally – made little sense. The bigger architectural change in eFront though is the merging of Lessons and Courses to one entity. In this post we will discuss all the major modifications you can expect and how they may affect your everyday work with eFront.
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