Northwestern Releases Open-Source File Bridge

Northwestern University has developed an extension for Blackboard systems that allows the CMS to communicate with Xythos applications. The tool, File Bridge, is being made available to colleges and universities as open-source software.

File Bridge was developed by Northwestern University Information Technology and is designed to allow Xythos and Blackboard systems to communicate with one another. Xythos software is used by students and faculty alike to share and manage documents. With the File Bridge application, users of Blackboard systems will be able to access resources from their Xythos accounts directly, without a second login.

"File Bridge has become a valuable tool for our faculty and students’ work with Blackboard,” said Brian Nielsen, project manager for faculty initiatives at Northwestern University Information Technology. “It allows us to give our students easier collaboration options within their course sites, supports an active learning model that we are working to promote, and our faculty like the ease with which they are able to share their own electronic offprint collections."

The software also allows users to distribute content to multiple courses without duplicating the content to multiple Blackboard course sites.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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