Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Comet 2.01 is Now Free

We're happy to announce that Comet is now "free" (released under GNU General Public License, version 3). When you install Comet on your server you will not be required to activate it. Just install, set-up, and run.

We had enough of:

  • Forcing people to choose between proprietary software or none
  • Interfering with how people use our software

Now Comet:
  • Is available to more people
  • Allows people to develop and add any new features (should they have the necessary technical skills)
And we'll continue to develop and maintain Comet.

To get your free copy just email us and ask (in line with our privacy practices, your email address will only be used for the purpose of replying to you.)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Groups - Part 2

Another use for groups is available if Comet has set-up a trainer. A trainer is similar to an administrator except that the administrator may restrict what sections or sub-sections of Comet are available to the trainer. For example, the administrator may not want to allow trainers to be able to change any of Comet's preferences, or to add/edit trainers.

Another restriction that an administrator can apply to a trainer is to associate the trainer with a group(s). So the trainer may only work with the group they are associated with. Other trainers may be associated with this or other groups. In this way the actions of one trainer may be kept separate from other trainers.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Groups - Part 1

Within Comet every user is a member of a nominal group called "none". There is no direct access to the "none" group so what value is there in having a group? Well to enrol, say, 30 users into a course then you'd have to go to the Users pane select Enrol users in a course select the 30 users and to then select the available course.

If you had created a group called, say, Thirty and added the 30 users to the group then you'd be saved the hassle of selecting all 30 users when enrolling them in a course. Enrolling the group automatically enrols all members of a group. Of course there's nothing to prevent you from dealing with users individually even though they are members of a group you have created.

Users can be members of any number of created groups. Though when you add users to multiple courses then you'll need to be careful that contradictory actions are not made. For example, if two groups are enrolled in the same course, un-enrolling one group would also un-enrol the members of the other group that are in the first group ("last" actions take precedence).

Groups can allow you to do some actions easier and quicker than dealing with many users individually.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Why choose our LMS/LRS when there are over 600 other systems available, especially when many of them are free? The answer depends on what you need.

Many systems are significantly more powerful than Comet. Blackboard, for example, allows for extensive communication (chat, mail, discussions...), content creation... but online criticism of it as slow and unreliable can often be traced to poor configuration by local system administrators. And Moodle includes capabilities that are impressive yet you can readily find people who claim that it is "hard to use".

The last time I helped install Moodle I remember spending  the best part of a week getting the basic functionality working the way the client wanted. While I can appreciate how a system that encompasses many, many features may be time consuming to configure I still like the simple things, simple.

With Comet, installation and configuration (not including the MS SQL Server database configuration) is basically copying the files to a web server, setting some folder permissions, and being able to write a connection string.

True, that one caveat is that if you upload a lesson (a SCORM compliant or Tin Can compliant course) and then you later replace the lesson with completely different content it could cause issues when a user tries to resume the lesson they had started but if you pay attention to what you're doing then there shouldn't be any problems.

So choose Comet if you prefer working with a system (doing your work) rather than on the system (trying to get the system to work).

Thursday, December 4, 2014


We've recently released version of Comet Learning Management System/Learning Record Store and we intend using this blog to tell you more about Comet while keeping the tone informal. Our website
http://www.apixel.com/page03.htm introduces Comet as

... an efficient learning record store (actually its an LRS within an LMS) designed to deliver online learning quickly, easily, and affordably. Comet allows administrators to take advantage of functionality to streamline enrolment and grouping of users/learners/students/trainees, the tracking and reporting of user progress and performance as well as user access to learning content. Comet reduces administration and provides simplicity and ease of use not found in many other systems.