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“The e-Framework for Education and Research is an initiative by the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Australia's Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). The primary goal of the e-Framework is to facilitate technical interoperability within and across education and research through improved strategic planning and implementation processes.” (e-framework.org home page, retrieved 12:29, 24 April 2007 (MEST)).

e-Framework has been developed to “to facilitate technical interoperability within and acress educationa and research through improved stategic planning and implementation processes” (Daniel R. Rehak, retrieved 09:30, 24 April 2007 (MEST)).

This project could be considered one of the initiatives that will lead to future learning management systems. A connected, but somewhat different approach can be found so-called personal learning environments.

Update: This is now a dead project, but according to the website resources will stay available for future R&D. - Daniel K. Schneider 18:28, 15 March 2011 (CET).


e-Framework builds on top of earlier initiatives, mainly e-learning framework (ELF), also a joint initiative by the U.K's Joint Information Services Committee (JISC) and Australia's Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) to build a common approach to Service Oriented Architectures for e-learning.

ELF in turn, integrated earlier initiatives on service oriented architectures, such as Daniel R. Rehak's (LSAL/CMU) vision on learning services stacks.

Architecture of the framework

e-Framework is a web service-oriented approach. Instead of one big application there are lots of services that can be integrated. A service, therefore, is not just built for a single system, but it can be re-used by others.

Here is a picture from a D.R Rehak talk about the core technical components of the e-Framework:

e-Framework Model

The idea expressed in this diagram is to separate documentation of the e-Framework that details strategies and technical documentation of services from built applications that integrate in a certain way a given amount of services for given needs.

The e-Framework knowledge base

http://www.e-framework.org/ contains a knowledge base about the e-Framework and community-contributed components.

The e-Framework is documented in different ways:

  • Non technically - what a service does
  • Technically - how to write an service
  • How to combine services
  • Details models and workflows

These entries are not formal design specifications, but a place where developers can share intelligence and software.

e-FrameWork components

The e-framework is documented by Services, Service Usage Models and Guides

(1) Services

Within the e-Framework, it is used in the sense of a technical service that promotes interoperability between systems ([1]). It relies on a number of web technologies: service-oriented approaches (soa), Service-oriented architectures (SOA) and web services.

Services are categorized by genres, e.g. something like: query, chat, simulate, resolve, authenticate. This genres are defined by 16 elements:

  • Required: name, classification, version, description, functionality
  • Recommended: behaviours & requests, use & interactions
  • Optional: usage scenarios, applicability, structure, applicable standards, design decisions & tradeoffs, implementation guidance & dependencies, known uses, related service usage models, related core SUMs.
(2) Service Usage Models

“SUMs provide a description of the needs, requirements, workflows, management policies and processes within a domain and the mapping of these to a design of a structured collection of Service Genres and Service Expressions, resources, associated standards, specifications, data formats, protocols, bindings, etc., that can be used to implement software applications within the domain. In other words, SUMs model how services meet business needs.” ([2], retrieved 12:29, 24 April 2007 (MEST)]).

(3) Guides

Explain contributors to the framework how to write and submit documents with Service Genre descriptions, Service Expression descriptions and Service Usage Models, etc.


  • e-framework.org. The e-Framework for Education and Research is an initiative by the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Australia's Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)