Creating an MLE requires the development of an integrated technology system. This means that
early decisions may have a profound impact on later developments. The hardware platform,
operating systems, database technologies and middleware will all impact on later systems.
It is therefore necessary to look not just at the applications that are currently being purchased, but
at the technology requirement of the whole MLE.
In theory, Open Standards (and specification) free one from this problem. However, it is well known
that even when the same standard is being used systems may not interoperate due to differing
ways of interpreting the standard, this is discussed in more detail in the section on standards.
Further, as the number of systems being integrated increases the scale of the problem grows
exponentially, therefore it is essential to design an appropriate architecture. The models produced
by the MLEs in Higher Education Projects are included in the further materials.
Most architectures will start by defining some form of directory, probably using the Lightweight
Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) so that all the systems are sharing core information about the
individuals (staff and students) and some information about them.
Here is the De Montfort MLE architecture