It Just Works, Part 1: Native Integrations With TalentLMS

Native Integrations With TalentLMS: It Just Works 

Let us talk about native integrations with TalentLMS. You wouldn’t believe how many internet technologies, companies, and services have worked together in order for you to read this article. Yours and our ISPs, for starters. A CMS, used to load the article. Dozens of DNS servers directing your browser to find the content for elearningindustry.com on our website’s servers. A content-delivery network, ensuring that the page loads fast. And the list goes on.

Collaboration and integration of services is what powers the web -- and in turn what makes it so powerful and extensible. And it’s the same with your eLearning software: It works along all kinds of services in order to deliver your online training. And while some of those services are quite basic and unexciting (such as an internet connection), others involve hooks to third party systems that offer your LMS new and advanced functionality.

We call those latter things "integrations" -- and TalentLMS offers quite a few of them. Thousands, in fact, if we consider that it supports an integration-service called Zapier, which makes it easy to hook TalentLMS to any of the 3000+ services it supports.

In this article, though, we’ll have a look at the native integrations with TalentLMS -- that is, the integrations that have been coded directly by the TalentLMS developers, fine-tuned to work perfectly with the platform, and are available to you as turn-key solutions.

Shopify

Shopify is a huge online marketplace for all kinds of things, including, but not limited to, online courses. What eBay is to auctions, and Instagram is to photos of your food, Shopify is to online selling (of all kinds of things, physical and digital).

The TalentLMS team has developed a fully native Shopify application module (plus the required native support on the LMS side) that leverages the platform’s own developer APIs to give you a seamless integration experience between your LMS and your Shopify-based online store.

With the app installed and TalentLMS’ native integration configured, you’ll be able to sell your courses through Shopify and have TalentLMS transparently handle the translation between Shopify product sales and TalentLMS course sales. In fact, it will even automatically enroll your Shopify customers to the online courses they’ve bought.

There’s a detailed how-to page in case you need any help in hooking TalentLMS and Shopify together. That said, all it takes is four simple steps, from the installation of the TalentLMS Shopify application to the creation of a few products for sale.

WooCommerce

Were you impressed by how easy it was to connect TalentLMS and Shopify? Just four measly steps, and quite intuitive ones at that? Well, we have something even easier for you. How do you like the even simpler two-step TalentLMS to WooCommerce integration?

But I rushed ahead. In case you’re not familiar with the product, WooCommerce is a popular open source plugin that sits upon leading CMS platform WordPress, to give it full online commerce capabilities.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of WooCommerce installations, and TalentLMS’ native support for the platform allows you to use your own WooCommerce-based WordPress installation as a store-front for your online courses.

Again, there’s a comprehensive post on the TalentLMS website with integration instructions, but the short version is: just install the TalentLMS-Wordpress plugin, and click the "Integrate" button for WooCommerce in its configuration panel. We’re, of course assuming that you already have WooCommerce and WordPress installed. If not, those are quite easy to install too, especially if your web hosting provider offers a configuration tool like cPanel.

In any case, after enabling WooCommerce integration in your TalentLMS-WP config. panel, all your commercial TalentLMS courses will be shown in the WooCommerce products list under the appropriate product categories (also automatically adapted from your TalentLMS course categories).

One of the most valuable native integrations with TalentLMS, isn't it?

WordPress

In the previous section, while discussing the WooCommerce integration we mentioned the TalentLMS-WP plugin. That’s a WordPress plugin created and made available for free by the TalentLMS team, that is useful for a whole lot more than just integrating TalentLMS with WooCommerce.

Actually, its main role is to integrate TalentLMS with WordPress itself -- allowing you to leverage the popular open source content-management platform that you might already use for your website, to also promote your TalentLMS content.

Of course, TalentLMS already offers its Homepage Builder tool that makes it very easy to create additional, fully customizable, public and private web pages to go along with your eLearning portal. However, WordPress is a full featured CMS with tons of plugins, thousands of themes and a vibrant user community, and will let you build just about anything you can imagine, web-wise.

That said, nobody forces you to adopt it -- if you have simpler needs, Homepage Builder will suit you just fine. If you don’t, there’s always the TalentLMS-WP integration. The choice is up to you.

As for configuring WordPress to speak with TalentLMS, this mostly involves pasting the appropriate TalentLMS domain name and API key. After installation, the TalentLMS-WP plugin will add a new configuration page in your WordPress admin UI, letting you fine-tune its behavior (courses shown per page, template, layout, post sign-up redirection, etc).

Conclusion

In this first part of this series, we’ve covered some of the native integrations with TalentLMS: the ones with the most popular online commerce (Shopify, WooCommerce) and content management (WordPress) tools. There are many more integration options that we’ll examine in upcoming articles -- from video conference tools like GotoMeeting and BigBlueButton to all kinds of third party services, offered through Zapier.

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