Loosely-Tied Distributed Architecture for Highly Scalable E-Learning System
Vast majority of modern e-learning products are based on client-server architecture and utilization of web-based technologies (WBT). Such approach permits easy creation of e-learning systems that do not require a complex, operating system dependant client software. Unfortunately there are also drawbacks of such solution. Because of the majority of mechanisms are located on the server, its usage levels trend to build up quickly leading to limited system scalability. In the following chapter we describe a novel, distributed e-learning system architecture. It still utilizes web-based technologies, but its design differs radically from currently popular e-learning solutions which rely almost exclusively on thin-client architecture. In our design we employed loosely-tied distributed system architecture, full-client approach, strict modularity, and our original communications package called Communication Abstraction Layer (ComAL) - specifically designed to support communication functions of e-learning systems in diverse network conditions (including fully offline environment).
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