AICC Press Release #39

Sugar City, Idaho USA


AICC, SUGAR CITY, IDAHO - The AICC () today announced their PENS Interoperability Plugfest. The PENS (Package Exchange Notification Services) Plugfest allows customers and vendors of elearning tools and systems for authoring, assessment, and management to demonstrate and assess effective integrations leveraging PENS. The event runs in conjunction with the AICC Meetings being held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

"PENS provides a bridge between systems to make it easier for non-technical authors to contribute to elearning systems, and it also standardizes that bridge among authoring, LMS (learning management systems), LCMS (learning content management) and content management systems," said Tom King, AICC Communication Chairperson and PENS Project Lead. "If organizations choose products supporting PENS, they can readily automate and integrate the flow of their 'learner-ready' content between AICC, ADL SCORM and other standards-based systems from best-of-breed vendors. The value of this approach is demonstrated by the hundreds of downloads of the AICC PENS specification and the validation suite from the AICC web site."

The plugfest includes an open interoperability lab session that allows vendors to verify their PENS implementations with each other, and with the validation systems available from the AICC. Customers can interact with vendors to better understand the value added by individual vendors via their implementation of PENS as client and/or server. Since the PENS specification was approved, numerous vendors have developed prototype and production implementations.

"Eedo Knowledgeware has been actively involved with the PENS specification and Eedo ForceTen fully supports PENS. We're seeing our customers and prospects understanding the value of this standard and are excited about its applicability today and in the future," said John Hudson, CEO of Eedo Knowledgeware.

John Townsend, General Manager Product Group for HarvestRoad comments, "HarvestRoad has long supported open standards and interoperability, facilitating integration between authoring tools, digital repositories and learning management systems. As PENS evolved, HarvestRoad saw this as an ideal opportunity to foster integration of 'best of breed' eLearning components. HarvestRoad Hive® Explorer for RELOAD Editor, our content package assembly tool, uses PENS to submit learner-ready packages to multiple PENS compliant servers. The AICC PENS Plugfest is the perfect forum to see seamless integration in action."

On the second day of the PENS Plugfest, presentations from customers, vendors and the PENS Project team will benefit all attendees interested in seeing and understanding the workflow, integration and automation capabilities enabled through PENS. Authoring tool vendors will show how PENS can turn publishing elearning to enterprise systems into a consistent and easy process, across a variety of LMS and LCMS products. LCMS vendors will show how content systems can use PENS as both a client and a host, allowing both receipt of content from various authoring tools and automated publishing to any number of target LMS products. Presentations from LMS vendors will explain how their implementations leverage PENS alerts to facilitate automated workflow notifications through the phases of deployment. The presentations segment will conclude with summary of the interoperability lab results and a discussion of next steps in the evolution of PENS and how it relates to other standards and specifications in elearning.

"ADL sees the value in PENS as a complimentary spec supporting an added capability to SCORM. ADL also sees PENS providing a potential future capability in adding additional exchange services to ADL's CORDRA technology" said Paul Jesukiewicz Director of the ADL Co-Lab.

Neil Cramer of Northwest Airlines, and current AICC Chairman said, "The entire elearning community benefits from activities like the AICC PENS Plugfest, because they bring together disparate parties with similar needs. The open discussions between vendors, typical users, buyers and technical authorities provide tremendous practical value to everyone participating. We encourage any organization with a deep interest in elearning to participate for their benefit as well as ours. The AICC appreciates the support and collaboration of the ADL on elearning specifications and we are very thankful to Pelesys Learning Systems for hosting the general AICC meeting and this PENS Plugfest."

About the PENS Plugfest:

The PENS Interoperability Plugfest is a two day event held in conjunction with AICC General Meetings.

Interested observers are welcome to attend the PENS Plugfest or AICC general meetings, subject to standard visitor meeting fees. The AICC encourages interested parties to consider joining as an annual member using the form available online for membership application.

About the AICC:

The AICC mission is to provide and promote information, guidelines, and standards that result in the cost effective implementation of CBT and WBT. They have set the standards of interoperable learning technology. The AICC is made up of a wide variety of industry representatives from airframe and engine manufacturers, elearning vendors and content producers, and airlines. The AICC web site can be seen at