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What is Engine?

Engine exists to help your learners track their experiences.

Engine is an integratable learning standards platform that provides a common API for learning applications to import, launch, and track standardized e-learning content properly, without requiring any internal code to support these standards or even keep track of the underlying structure of content.

Engine is found behind the scenes in hundreds of learning management systems (LMSs) and other learning applications throughout the world.

2016.1 Release


cmi5 is now a supported package type for SCORM Engine. This includes import, launch, and reporting through callbacks and the registration API resource. Future releases will move interaction data from statements generated during a cmi5 session into the results callback and the Registration resource where SCORM Engine provides this data for other learning standards.

xAPI REST Resources

SCORM Engine now provides REST resources for managing your LRS credentials. These credentials can be added directly to SCORM Engine or can be provided through a call back to the external LMS so that the LMS can authenticate against some internal list of known accounts.

Responsive Player UI now default

After a year of beta testing, the new mobile-friendly & responsive user interface will now be the default for new customers. Existing customers can choose to update to the new user interface or continue with the legacy user interface. Customers using the new user interface can make use of Bootstrap themes to change the look of the player.

Additional Changes

  • Added support for signed launch links
  • Improved AICC & xAPI support in Rustici Software's Optionally-licensed Dispatch module for customers licensing that Add-On
  • Added support for additional xAPI statement validation
  • Improved configuration caching to address potential performance issue in DB access introduced in 2015.1.x
  • Small updates to include new JSON objects in responses for some REST resources. Changes are in documentation and libraries.

Learning Standards Platform

Engine represents a sophisticated learning standards platform. Our hope is that we have developed sufficient learning standards expertise so that you don't have to. For that reason, it's our ambition that you would never have to read a technical specification for any of the standards supported by Engine.

That said, we do think it's reasonable for us to briefly describe what Engine supports. Engine seeks to offer reference standard support for SCORM 1.1, SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (2nd, 3rd, & 4th editions), AICC (versions 2.2 and 3.5/4.0 of HACP), and the Experience API ("xAPI", formerly "Tin Can" API).

These standards are described broadly below.

In general, though, you’re going to have some sort of package in a ZIP file (though sometimes you have a link), you’re going to import it, you're going to launch it, and then Engine will handle all the heavy lifting necessary to abide by the terms of the specification and manage communication and tracking within your application.


SCORM is an acronym for "Shareable Content Object Reference Model". Developed by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL), SCORM has, for more than a decade, offered interoperability to a variety of organizations involved in providing online learning and training.

SCORM Packages have a manifest describing metadata, sequencing rules (if applicable), and resources used by the content. The packages exist as ZIP archives.

SCORM relies on a content player. SCORM content launched in the player uses an API discovery algorithm to locate the SCORM API in the player and then makes calls against the API intended to be tracked by an LMS.

The discovery algorithm created a longstanding frustration: content must reside on the same domain as the player. This means that there are limitations presented in trying to use content delivery networks (CDNs) to serve content or to host the content remotely from where the SCORM player is located.


AICC is an initialism of the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee, which produced a learning standard of the same name. Though the AICC organization dissolved in 2014, they transferred important technical documents to ADL for ongoing public availability.

AICC uses assignable units (AUs) and the HTTP AICC Communication Protocol (HACP).

AICC packages are also ZIP archives, although instead of containing a single manifest file, they often contain a Course Description (.crs) file, a Descriptor (.des) file, an Assignable Unit (.au) file, and a Course Structure (.cst) file.

Because HACP communication occurs over HTTP rather than requiring API discovery in the client, AICC allows for remotely hosted content to be successfully launched and tracked by an LMS.

xAPI (Tin Can)

The Experience API (xAPI, for short and often called "Tin Can" from Project Tin Can) is part of ADL's Training and Learning Architecture and was developed as a successor to SCORM.

xAPI has a few fundamental concepts:

  • an activity provider, which generates statements of the form <I> <did> <this>
  • a learning record store (LRS), which is the repository for the statements
  • a trust relationship between the activity provider and the LRS


Originally, cmi5 was intended to be the successor to AICC. Prior to dissolution, AICC agreed to merge the development of cmi5 with xAPI, and it will now offer a standardized "profile" for importing, launching, and tracking content in a manner reminiscent of aspects of SCORM and AICC. Support for cmi5 is new in Engine 2016.1

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