Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OBI Public Beta

We are announcing today that we launched the Public Beta of the Open Badge Infrastructure. Huge milestone and huge kudos to the team for making it happen. 

What’s the OBI?

The OBI is the ‘plumbing’ of the badge ecosystem. It is a specification for badges, set of repositories (“Backpacks”) for storing badges and APIs for pushing badges in and pulling badges out. It’s an important piece of this badge experiment because it moves us beyond more silo’d systems, allows the learner to collect badges from lots of different learning experiences and provides the structural components to enable badges to be transferred and leveraged across the ecosystem for real results like jobs or credits.

What’s Public Beta?

With this Public Beta launch, the OBI is now publicly available for use. Badges can be pushed in and pulled out and earners can store badges in the middle in their Backpacks. And more! Specifically, Public Beta includes:

  • New and improved issuer API
  • Backpack feature upgrades:
    • Store badges
    • Manage badges
    • Import badges
    • Group badges
    • Publish groups to a unique URL and add narrations/notes around each badge to share
  • New displayer API
  • New documentation
  • Legal docs! Privacy policy, terms of use and FAQs specifically for the Backpacks.

Wait, weren’t you already in beta?

Yes and no. We were calling it ‘beta1’ which was a made up word to mean that it was a step up from alpha but not quite all the way to beta. It was essentially the initial issuer API and Backpacks, but was available basically by invite only. We should have called it a ‘developer preview’ but hindsight, something something. This Public Beta (capital B!) is a proper Mozilla beta (security review, user data committee review, on Mozilla servers, etc.) and its publicly available! Woo!

What does it look like?

Technically like this…

But really like this…

(Sample Badge Backpack)

And this….

(Published group of badges)

How can I get involved?

What’s Next?

We are moving to a much shorter release cycle - releasing things at least every two weeks, but possibly more quickly as we go. But we are aiming to move from Beta to 1.0 by the end of the year. In addition that work, plus bug fixes along the way, we are also working on some lightweight tools that make creating and issuing badges easier, and eventually will most likely do the same for displaying badges. 

Who should we congratulate?

The team for being some of the smartest, hardest working game changers I’ve known, as well as our community who have been advising us every step of the way. Thanks to you all - congratulations!



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