Skip to main content
pdf?stylesheet=default
Blackboard Help

Install and Manage Building Blocks

Administrators manage building blocks from the Install Building Blocks page or using the B2Manager command line tool.

Software Updates

The Software Updates module, located in the Administrator Panel, provides building block updates and access to newly released building blocks.

More on Software Updates


Install or update a building block

In some cases, installing a new version of a building block might require that you uninstall the existing version before installing the new version. If overwriting the building block does not work, try this method.

Before you can install a building block, you must download an existing building block or create a new one.

In a load-balanced or distributed environment, Blackboard Learn automatically deploys the information to all other nodes.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Building Blocks.
  2. Select Installed Tools > Upload Building Blocks > Browse and locate the building block .war file. This file may also be a .zip file.

    Blackboard maintains an Extensions Catalog of building blocks. To learn more about creating building blocks, see Building Blocks API and Web Services Specifications and Changes. These files are available in English only on behind.blackboard.com.

  3. Select Submit to upload the file to Blackboard Learn, and then select OK to go back to the Building Blocks page.
  4. To enable the building block, select Available in the Availability list for the building block. Blackboard Learn lists the permissions that the building block requires. This is a security feature to protect Blackboard Learn from dangerous content. If you are concerned about the permissions given to a building block, contact the vendor before approving the permissions.
  5. To make the building block available and allow it the listed permissions, select Approve.

To update a building block, follow instructions from the vendor. Note that most upgrades uninstall the old version of the building block and replace it with the new version.


Remove a building block

When a building block is no longer needed, administrators can choose to delete the building block or make it unavailable. When you make a building block unavailable, it remains in Blackboard Learn but is not available to users. When you delete a building block, it is removed from Blackboard Learn.

If you plan to use the building block again in the future, we recommend that you set it to unavailable.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, go to Building Blocks > Installed Tools.
  2. To disable the building block, select Set Unavailable in the building block's menu.
  3. To uninstall the building block, select Delete, and then OK to approve the action.

Content tools that are added as building blocks allow instructors to create different types of content and display it to users. When a content tool has been removed or made unavailable, users can't access content created using that content tool. Students can't see the links to these content items. Instructors can see the links, but they can't open or view the content. If the building block is made available again, the links become visible and available to everyone.


Manage building blocks

  1. On the Administrator Panel, go to Building Blocks > Installed Tools.
  2. Here, you can perform the following actions:
Installed Tools Tasks
To Select
Make changes to the building block Settings. This button will only appear if the building block is configurable. Make any changes to the configuration of the building block. The settings are specific to each building block and may contain items such as license files, external resources, or global settings.
Remove the building block Uninstall. This action is irreversible.
Make the building block unavailable/available Open the building block's menu and select one of the following:
  • Set Inactive: In this state the building block is registered but can't execute any code, including configuration scripts. This is the default state when all building blocks are first installed.
  • Set Available: The building block is available to users.
  • Set Unavailable: The building block is registered, can execute code, but is not available to users.
Set the default availability within courses for a building block tool The list in the Course/Org Default column. This option determines whether the tool is available by default within courses.
Examine details about the building block View Components. This page lists the components that make up the building block as well as a description, its version number, the vendor information, and its default and available languages. If the building block has its own CSS for any of the default themes, those themes are listed to help you locate the proper files during customization work.
Download a Building Block Find and Download Building Blocks. This links to the Extensions Catalog. Building blocks can be downloaded to a computer and then added to the system. Downloading a building block will not install it.
Install a building block Upload Building Blocks.

Install building blocks using the B2Manager command

  1. Install the building block: Type the following command, where blackboard_home is the Blackboard installation location and B2_Path & Filename is the full path and file name of the building block being installed or updated:

    UNIX Syntax:

    /usr/local/blackboard_home/tools/admin/B2Manager.sh -i B2_Path & Filename.war
    For example: /usr/local/blackboard_home/tools/admin/B2Manager.sh -i /usr/local/MyB2.war

    Windows Syntax:

    C:\blackboard_home\tools\admin\B2Manager.bat -i B2_Path & Filename.war
    For example:C:\blackboard_home\tools\admin\B2Manager.bat -i C:\BuildingBlocks\MyB2.war

  2. Configure the building block: Type the following command, where blackboard_home is the Blackboard installation location:

    UNIX Syntax:

    /usr/local/blackboard_home/tools/admin/B2Manager.sh -v

    Windows Syntax:

    C:\blackboard_home\tools\admin\B2Manager.bat -v

  3. In the verbose list, locate the building block being configured.
  4. From the Setup field, copy the URL listed and paste it into a web browser. If asked to authenticate, use your Blackboard administrator credentials.
  5. Follow the steps provided by the building block provider to complete the configuration process.

Manage building blocks using the B2Manager command

You can manage any building block using the B2Manager command line tool.

  1. From a command line, change to the following directory, where blackboard_home is the Blackboard Learn installation location:

    UNIX Syntax:

    cd %/usr/local/blackboard_home/tools/admin

    Windows Syntax:

    cd C:\blackboard_home\tools\admin

  2. From this directory, type the following to run the B2Manager command using the desired operation, where filename is the name of the building block .war file and B2_Handle is the handle that identifies the building block. To identify the handle of the building block, type one of the List commands (-v or -l):

    UNIX Syntax:

    B2Manager.sh < -c VALUE | -r | -s VALUE | -v | -l > [filename | B2_Handle]

    For example:

    To change the system status of the MyB2 building block to active, type:B2Manager.sh -s AVAILABLE MyB2

    To list all building blocks in verbose form, type:B2Manager.sh -v

    Windows Syntax:

    B2Manager.bat < -c VALUE | -r | -s VALUE | -v | -l > [filename| B2_Handle]

    For example:

    To change the system status of the MyB2 building block to active, type:B2Manager.bat -s AVAILABLE MyB2

    To list all building blocks in verbose form, type:B2Manager.bat -v

    Note: To identify the handle of the building block, enter one of the List commands (-v or -l).

    List commands
    Command Description
    -c Change the default course or organization status of the specified building block. This option determines whether the tool is available by default within courses. Valid values:
    AVAILABLE or UNAVAILABLE
    -r Remove the specified building block from the system. This action is irreversible.
    -s Change the system status of the specified building block. Valid values:
    • INACTIVE: In this state, the building block is registered but cannot execute any code, including configuration scripts. This is the default state when all building blocks are first installed.
    • AVAILABLE: The building block is available to users.
    • UNAVAILABLE: The building block is registered, can execute code, but is not available to users.
    -v List all installed building blocks in verbose form. If the filename or B2_Handle is specified, only the information for that building block will be listed.
    -l List all installed building blocks in short form. If the filenameor B2_Handle is specified, only the information for that Building block will be listed. Format of listing: "B2 Name" B2_Handle by Vendor [System Status] SetupURL
    -o Override safety measures for mandatory B2s
    *BLACKBOARD USE ONLY* Usage can put your system in an unstable state.
    -d Override safety measures for B2 dependency checks
    *BLACKBOARD USE ONLY* Usage can put your system in an unstable state.

Edit the integration password

The Integration user is a special account that is used by the Snapshot command line tool and the Data Integration API to process operations from a client machine using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). This page allows administrators to change the password for the Integration user.

The Integration user does not have access to Blackboard Learn through the user interface nor can the Integration user be assigned to a course or participate in the teaching and learning environment in any way.

On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Data Integration, and then select Integration Password.