Pearson announced today the migration of all versions of its SIFWorks® Agent Development Kit (ADK®) to the business-friendly Apache 2.0 free and open source software license.
Open ADK can be found in its new location at https://launchpad.net/open-adk. Launchpad.net is a popular software collaboration platform, which allows the SIF community to download the Open ADK, participate in forums, browse and contribute to content, and further improve Open ADK through bug tracking and other features.
Initial reactions have been positive. Alex Jackl, education data management expert and Chief Architect at Choice Solutions, remarked, “Pearson releasing their [SIFWorks] ADK as an open-source offering is a fantastic opportunity for educational stakeholders to leverage the power of truly interoperable data standards. I am excited about what the open-source release of a world-class agent development toolkit brings in terms of access and availability. I applaud Pearson's decision to move in this direction in service of the educational data space.”
As the gold standard for SIF Agent development tools, the Open ADK offers K-12 application vendors and districts a professional-grade developer's tool for creating sophisticated, robust SIF agents. By freeing software developers to concentrate on the integration logic and data management specific to their application, the Open ADK greatly accelerates agent development time. Major developers outside of Pearson have deployed SIFWorks ADK-based agents in hundreds of districts and many state agencies and it is well known for its code efficiency and multi-platform capabilities.
“Since its launch, SIF has been a true model of collaboration among leaders in the ed-tech community and state and district education leaders,” said Steve Curtis, President of the Data Solutions group of Pearson. “After years of investing in the growth and development of SIFWorks ADK, making it available to the community under open source exemplifies Pearson’s continued commitment to this industry-wide initiative to leverage data to improve education. As this effort moves forward, a number of our long-time SIF partners will be contributing code under the same license and together, as a community, we will continue to build the future of our schools’ data infrastructure.”
Customers with existing SIFWorks ADK contracts (“Upgrade Assurance”) will be supported both through existing Pearson channels and the open source site for the next several months. Pearson will also provide optional service plans to both customers and non-customers to further support Open ADK.