Moodle plug-in offers document access via Microsoft SkyDrive

A new repository plug-in allows users of the Moodle open-source learning platform to access documents from Microsoft's cloud storage service.

Microsoft is adding -- and is expected to add more -- direct integration between its SkyDrive cloud storage service and its own applications. But third-party developers can and are doing the same.

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The latest example is Moodle, the open-source course-management/learning-management system. A just-released repository plug-in will allow Moodle 2.3 users to access their documents from SkyDrive. The plug-in was released by Dan Poltawski, who now works as a developer at Moodle.

Solutions consultant Gavin Henrick, who works with open-source learning technologies including Moodle and Mahara, reviewed the new plug-in earlier this week.

"With Moodle 2 you were able to connect to file repositories (such as Dropbox, Box.net, Google Docs and so on) but there were only so many which were already built-in," explained Henrick. "So this plugin enables you to also connect and retrieve files from your own Microsoft Skydrive account."

The plugin was created and funded initially by telco vendor LUNS for a client Universidad Teconológica de Chile (INACAP) and was released as open source. Poltawski continued the work and has released it for Moodle 2.3, the latest version of the Moodle platform.

To use the plug-in, users need to register their Moodles with Microsoft, as explained in the documentation provided.

Microsoft is working on adding new education-focused capabilities to its coming SharePoint 2013 release, which could make the product more of a head-to-head Moodle competitor, according to some of my contacts. A public beta of SharePoint 2013 is expected before the end of July by many of us Microsoft watchers.