Why a LMS framework in .NET?

The Learning management industry

In the U.S. higher education market as of fall 2016, the top three LMSs by number of installations were Blackboard (33%), Moodle (19%) and Canvas (17%). The same three systems lead in terms of number of students enrolled, but in a different order: Blackboard (45%), Canvas (24%), Moodle (17%).

In the corporate market in 2015, the six largest LMS providers constitute approximately 50% of the market, with SuccessFactors Learning, Saba Software, Voniz Inc and SumTotal Systems being the four largest providers. Vendors focused on mid-sized companies (200+ employees) include Absorb Software, Litmos, Halogen Software, LatitudeLearning, ADP,  Docebo, and Workday. Another service related to LMS comes from the standardized test preparation vendors, where companies such as Princeton Review or BenchPrep offer online test prep courses.

In 2017, MarketResearch released a report, “Global Learning Management Market Trends, Applications, Analysis, Growth, and Forecast: 2017 to 2026,” which identified "key players" in the global learning management market, including Blackboard Inc., Cornerstone OnDemand, D2L Corporation, IBM, McGraw-Hill Education, Netdimensions Ltd., Pearson plc, SABA Software, Inc., SAP SE, and Xerox. The following year, Research and Markets released the report "Learning Management System (LMS) Market to 2025 Global Analysis and Forecasts" which listed the major corporations in the industry to be Cornerstone OnDemand, DoceboLMS, IBM, Netdimensions Ltd., SAP SE, Blackboard Inc., SABA Software, Inc., McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson plc, and D2L Corporation.

Many users of LMSs use an authoring tool to create content, which is then hosted on an LMS. In many cases LMSs include a primitive authoring tool for basic content manipulation. There are several standards for creating and integrating complex content into an LMS, including AICC, SCORM, xAPI and Learning Tools Interoperability.

Evaluation of LMSs is a complex task and significant research supports different forms of evaluation, including iterative processes where students' experiences and approaches to learning are evaluated.

The .NET Gap

Some of us that "grew-up" in large corporate companies and never became gurus in the "free" development environments like PHP,  mySQL etc. as we where slaved day and night into Microsoft centric environments. The open source LMS out there like Moodle, are PHP and is a cob-web of development on top of development driven my the community. Functionality excluded, Moodle is a very ugly system and so 80's.

In the Microsoft environment there is the SharePoint components to facilitate / play SCROM content, but SharePoint is too much of a heavy platform to be used just for a LMS. The hardware and software are expensive, and its difficult to use. Today SharePoint feels like the late 90's when people used Microsoft Excel like and dedicated application / database store to manage everything. They just did everything in Excel, even if inappropriate. SharePoint is the same, and even in high tech companies its the de facto of a lot of inappropriate "applications" / "glorified lists"

The only other .NET SCROM project that was out in the open died off long ago, leaving a gap for a affordable / free .NET SCROM solution.

Even though I'm very hard working, I'm lazy and do not want to waste time re-inventing the wheel. I prefer to develop and build around a set of core components or libraries that does the lifting for me. Every time I'm faced with an opportunity or have a fart to develop my own LMS, the lack of components cause me to rather focus on work on hand, and not on the sideline LMS idea.

Maybe it is time I read all the LMS API documentation / standards and develop my own "Run Time Engine" form playing SCROM learning content using my trusted Visual Studio and MS SQL.