Technical Whitepaper

Pluralsight to Pathgather Integration

V1.0 Last Revision 02/23/2018
ProServ

Introduction

This document describes and provides examples of Pluralsight's integration capabilities as they relate to Pathgather.

Why integrate with Pathgather?

A full Pathgather-to-Pluralsight integration provides a seamless, secure user experience that increases adoption and utilization. We accomplish this via Single Sign On and our customer-facing APIs. Our integration solution is covered in detail below.

What does an integration look like from start to finish at a high-level?

Every integration is initiated by either the Account Executive and/or Customer Success Manager via a request to the Professional Services team. Working with the Pluralsight Account Executive and/or Customer Success Manager, the Professional Services Implementations Consultant coordinates a call with the appropriate customer and Pathgather contact/s to better understand the customer’s needs, scope the integration, and assign ownership of responsibilities. Following which, the 3 main components of an integration are executed in the following order:

what an integration entails

First, we configure Single Sign On, which allows users to pass seamlessly from Pathgather to Pluralsight without having to create and manage another set of credentials. SSO increases security, reduces barriers to usage, simplifies license provisioning and eliminates admin time and costs. Setup begins with the customer configuring and sending the Implementations Consultant their SSO metadata from their federated server.

Second, when SSO is in production, Pluralsight provides the SSO vanity URL to Pathgather for input into their system. Pathgather has already done the work of scripting against our Course API to extract the course metadata. SSO enabled course links are systematically generated within Pathgather for use by the users. After passing through directly to a course, the users now have access to the full Pluralsight suite of features (Paths, SkillsIQ, Channels, Practice Certification Tests, etc.).

Third, Pathgather closes the loop with a script that makes GET requests to our REST Reports API to pull course usage and completion data into the customer’s reporting tools. This centralizes learning events across all the customer’s learning providers.

Each component of the integration is covered in more depth below.


Pathgather Integration Components

what a degreed integration flow looks like

What happens in the LMS

LMS

1. SSO (Single Sign On)

what a degreed integration flow looks like

Single Sign-On (or SSO) allows for users to pass between two systems without having to manually type in a username and password while maintaining trust between the two systems. It involves passing information about the user to Pluralsight from which Pluralsight creates an account and/or authorizes access. It has numerous benefits, a few of which are outlined below.

  • Seamless Experience - When a user clicks an SSO enabled link, they are instantly taken to the content they wish to view with no additional identification, authentication and authorization needed. This helps increase adoption by placing Pluralsight side by side with existing internal applications.
  • Auto Provisioning - Users are provisioned a license automatically upon clicking one of the SSO enabled learning objects in Pathgather, bypassing the manual license assignment process.
  • Issuance Criteria (Optional) - This allows us to accept or reject an individual requesting Pluralsight access based on attributes (i.e. role, team, department, etc.). It’s a simple way to set rules around auto provisioning. Any issuance criteria needs to be passed over as an attribute in the assertion.
  • Team Assignments - This allows for a user to be automatically placed into a Team within Pluralsight upon license creation. This further automates the setup and organization of your Pluralsight experience.

Pluralsight supports SAML 1.0 and 2.0 as does Pathgather. In order to set up SSO, the Pluralsight Implementations Consultant  and customer (or Pathgather, if Pathgather will act as the IDP) will need to exchange federated server metadata. This is typically a .XML file with the information needed for federated servers to communicate. Pluralsight’s metadata is already preloaded in the app catalogues of Okta, Azure, PingOne, and OneLogin.

After the metadata is configured, exchanged and uploaded to the respective federated servers, the Implementations Consultant generates a URL Org Identifier (e.g. https://app.pluralsight.com/sso/<SSO Identifier>) and sends it to the customer to test the configuration. Once the customer confirms the connection is working (Issuance Criteria or Team Assignment included where applicable), the Implementations Consultant provides the URL Org Identifier to the customer’s Pathgather administrator for input into the Pathgather to Pluralsight administrator integration settings page (see below).

what a degreed integration flow looks like

Note: Pluralsight is not responsible for the accuracy of this image compared to customer’s instance of Pathgather.

NOTE: Often times customers will choose to do all the initial SSO setup and testing in a stage environment prior to moving to production. If so, the production metadata must be configured and provided (after testing is complete in stage) to the Implementations Consultant who uploads the new metadata to Pluralsight’s federated server. The customer then retests the connection in production using the same vanity URL previously provided.

2. Course API

Pathgather has already done the work of scripting against our Course API to extract our course metadata. SSO enabled course links are systematically generated within Pathgather. The Pathgather administrator has the ability to choose which “gatherings” have Pluralsight Catalog Access on the Pathgather to Pluralsight administrator integration settings page (see below). The administrator can choose to “Enable for all users” or “Enable for certain gatherings only.” 

what a degreed integration flow looks like

Note: Pluralsight is not responsible for the accuracy of this image compared to customer’s instance of Pathgather.

After a user clicks on a course from within Pathgather, they pass seamlessly through to the Pluralsight course page. From there, they have full access to the Pluralsight suite of features (Paths, SkillsIQ, Channels, Practice Certification Tests, etc.). NOTE: Users passing through SSO for the first time will encounter a screen that asks them to verify the creation of a Pluralsight account. Users that already have a Pluralsight license assigned and are passing through SSO for the first time will encounter a screen that asks them to merge accounts. They should merge. They should NOT click the button to login with existing credentials.

3. REST Reports API

Pluralsight provides Verified Learning to Pathgather via our REST Reports API. Pathgather closes the loop on the integration with a script that makes GET requests to our Reports API to pull course usage and completion data into the customer’s reporting tools in Pathgather. This centralizes learning events across all the customer’s learning providers.

In order for Pathgather to access the customer’s data via the API, the Pathgather administrator will need both the Plan ID and API Token for input into the Pathgather to Pluralsight administrator integration settings page (see below). For our Business Enterprise customers, this can be easily accessed by the Pluralsight plan Administrator/s via ADMIN TOOLS>Account>Integrations. For our Business Professional customers, this information will need to be requested from your Implementation Consultant or via a request to professionalservices@pluralsight.com.

what a degreed integration flow looks like

Note: Pluralsight is not responsible for the accuracy of this image compared to customer’s instance of Pathgather.

Pathgather to Pluralsight administrator integration settings

what a degreed integration flow looks like

Note: Pluralsight is not responsible for the accuracy of this image compared to customer’s instance of Pathgather.


Now what?

Contact your Account Executive or Customer Success Manager and inform them that you’d like to engage Professional Services (professionalservices@pluralsight.com)
to complete a Pathgather to Pluralsight integration.