CMS Pro CS User Guide

CMS Pro CS (Client-Server) Overview

CMS Pro CS is a WAN-based course management system designed to work in conjunction with ToolBook II 7.2 and above. The remainder of this document will use CMS Pro as the product name. The CMS Pro system provides the following general functions:

  • Manages student-to-course assignments
  • Tracks course activity, including scores and completion status
  • Reports; over 50 reports, including course assignments and activity
  • Provides security, with login and password screens for students and administrators
  • Network-ready; simultaneous read/write to system databases on a LAN or WAN
  • Provides database management utilities for purging outdated records
  • Works with all ToolBook II question objects

CMS Pro is provided as a set of ToolBook-based modules -- applications designed to manage a portion of the system's data. These modules, along with an overview of their purpose and capabilities, are listed below:

Administration module (admin.exe)

The CMS Pro Administration module manages students, courses, assignments, activity records and security. It is designed for use by system administrators and others who are granted the rights to manage student information.

Student Access module (student.exe)

The CMS Pro Student Access module provides the ability for students to start their assigned courses and run open-enrollment courses. It also tracks student activity, including the date and time a course was started and completed, and the score achieved by each student.

Reporting module (cmspro.rbk)

CMS Pro includes over 50 reports, with the capability to add reports and customize the included reports. The reporting module is integrated with the Administration and Student modules; most screens in these applications provide a Reports button which leads to a list of reports that pertain to the current system function.

Maintenance module (cmsmtc.exe)

The CMS Pro Maintenance module's function is to maintain the Reports table so that CMS Pro reports work properly and to purge outdated student and/or activity records.

Course Developer Guide

Enhance your ToolBook II courses by using the various CMS course developer aids, including widgets, logging support and application programming interface (API) functions.


What's New in CMS Pro CS

CMS Pro is based on the original course management system provided with Multimedia ToolBook - CBT Edition by Asymetrix Corporation. As such, CMS Pro includes the same functionality as the original CMS but adds significant new capabilities. These new capabilities are described below.

Supports latest versions of ToolBook

CMS Pro supports ToolBook II Assistant and Instructor, versions 7.2 and newer.

Increased total user capacity

The original ToolBook CMS imposed a limit of 500 users, due mainly to ToolBook's inability to displays information for more than 500 users at the same time. With the use of an external data grid combined with user search capabilities, CMS Pro can now manage many more users. Because of the scaling ability of MS SQL Server database system, there is no fixed limit to the number of users you can manage with CMS Pro.

In addition, the WAN networking capabilities allows users to be located in remote locations anywhere in the world and access the CMS database.

Y2K compliant

CMS Pro is Y2K compliant.

Based on SQL and ODBC

CMS Pro uses Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) technology, the Structured Query Language (SQL), and the MS SQL Server database system to provide multi-user access to its database across any network including a tcp/ip wide area network. The use of ODBC and SQL leads to increased system performance and a familiar language for easy query customization.

Student Groups

To ease student assignments and management, and for increased flexibility in the use of the system, CMS Pro provides the ability to define student groups and group administrators. Students can be assigned to one or more student groups, and one or more courses can be assigned to a student group.

Student skill levels and certifications can be managed using groups and the property settings of the groups. As with many features in CMS Pro, the use of student groups is optional.


CMS Pro includes over 50 reports and provides context-related access to the reports within the administration and student modules. The reports are defined and displayed using R&R Report Writer by Liveware Publishing. R&R provides the ability to preview reports on-screen before printing, customize the filter conditions of the reports, and add custom reports with the use of the full version of the software available separately (CMS Pro includes the read-only version of R&R Report Writer). Contact Liveware Publishing at for more details.

Assign student groups to courses

In CMS Pro, you can now assign the same set of courses to an entire student group with the click of a button. This new feature can lead to faster and more consistent student assignments. Certification and skill level settings can be applied and edited during this process as well.

Manage non-ToolBook course modules

When defining course modules, you can now choose any file type as a module. For example, in between two ToolBook-based course modules, you may wish the student to view a proprietary application or a Microsoft Word document. When a student encounters a non-ToolBook course module, the CMS Pro student module launches the file and displays a screen in the background asking the student whether they've completed the work in the module or whether the student would like to go back to the module at some point in the future.

CMS Pro will track the number of sessions and the time spent on these modules, as well as mark the course module as 'Completed' if the student selects the completion option. Although no scoring is provided for non-ToolBook course modules, using this feature can open-up training to a wide range of file types.

Student ID field

When defining CMS Pro users, you can use the Student ID field to enter a unique identification number such as a student number, SSN, or employee ID number.

Manager-level privilege

Normally, CMS Pro users who have an administrator-level privilege can view activity for their assigned students only. Using the new Manager-level privilege in CMS Pro, you can allow designated administrators to view activity for any student and change user passwords for administrative reasons.

Student search

CMS Pro provides student search capabilities that allow you to pin-point a specific student or a range of students. By using the student search capabilities, you can greatly reduce the number of students listed on the various management screens and improve system performance by reducing the number of students the system needs to display. You may select from several fields to search including last name, first name, ZIP code, etc.

Self-registration for students

CMS Pro is designed to allow you to enable or disable many of its features. One such feature is the ability for any person who has access to the CMS Pro student application to register as a student. Once the new student enters the required data, including their name, employee or other identification number, login name, and password, the student is then able to take courses designated as open-enrollment. If they selected a group during registration, the courses assigned to the group would also be available to the student.

CMS Pro is now able to track the activity for the self-registered student. Administrators can easily find the students who have self-registered to assign those students to courses and add additional information about the students.

Guest students

If the CMS Pro administrator enables the feature, any user with access to the student application can log in as a guest. Guest users are able to launch open-enrollment courses, but no activity is tracked for these users.

Course completion date stamp

When a registered student completes a course module or all modules of a course, CMS Pro tracks the date and time when the completion occurred. CMS Pro provides reports that allow you to extract this information and use it as the basis for sorting and analysis.

In summary, CMS Pro is based on the original Multimedia ToolBook CBT Edition management system from (formerly Asymetrix Learning Systems). CMS Pro is the result of several years of enhancements as a result of numerous suggestions and requests from CMS users.


About Courses

A course is a series of one or more books (which function as modules) that you have created using ToolBook II Assistant or Instructor, or a third-party application, and which is managed as a single entry in CMS Pro. For example you might create a CBT application consisting of a series of books that teach students the fundamentals of workplace safety. You can use the CMS to tie these books together into a single course in which the individual books are automatically presented to the user in the correct order.

After adding a course to CMS Pro, you can assign it to students. CMS Pro tracks student progress through the course, book by book, maintaining a separate record for each student and course, as well as for each of the component books of each course. If a course contains more that one book, a student must complete all the books before CMS Pro marks the course as completed. A course can also be marked as "open enrollment", meaning that any student can take the course, which is useful if you have a course that all students may take. Books used in one course can be used in other courses as well.

If a student starts a course but doesn't complete it -- for example, the student has finished only some of the books in a multi-book course -- the course is flagged as "incomplete." When the student next logs in, he or she is prompted to take the incomplete course before being offered other courses. A course that has been assigned to a student but not started is marked in the CMS Pro database (and in a transcript) as "not begun." When a student complete a course, the course is no longer displayed in the list of assigned courses. The status of all course, whether complete, incomplete, or not begun, is displayed in the on-line user transcripts.

Courses can be "active" or "inactive". An active course is one that is ready to be taken. An inactive course is one that is still tracked in CMS Pro, but is not currently available. You might mark a course as inactive if you wanted to keep it in CMS Pro but it had been superseded by a newer version, or if you have created it but don't want students to take it before a specific date.

When a student exists a book, CMS Pro automatically reports the score to the database system, which records the score in the student's activity record. Administrators can later review the scores for all their associated students and courses. Students can also review their own scores.


About Users

Every user who administers or takes courses using CMS Pro must have an entry in the CMS Pro database. The CMS Pro Administration Module provides functions to add, edit and delete users, and provides user-related reports.

CMS Pro provides security levels (called "privileges") to grant or restrict access to system functions. The highest level security is the system "superuser" followed by one or more system managers. Each user is also granted rights or restricted from assigning courses, adding courses, removing courses, editing users, reviewing activity, and taking courses.

The "superuser" is allowed to add new administrators and new students; an administrator is allowed to create only student entries. When adding a student, an administrator can associate the student with a particular administrator who is allowed to view that student's activity records. If a student is not associated with an administrator, only the superuser and system managers can view that student's activity records, although a course's administrator can view all the activity records for that course.

CMS Pro also provides the ability to establish student groups. You can add students to one or more groups and assign courses to the group. A group administrator can view all the activity for their group or groups.

Students can self-register from the CMS Pro student application if the system administrator enables this ability. This allows any person who accesses the student application to view courses established as open-enrollment. The student application also allows anonymous, or guest, access to open-enrollment courses. The system administrator can also enable or disable this feature.


About Activity Records

To determine a student's progress in a course, you can review activity records that CMS Pro maintains for each course and student. The records note a student's score in a course and how much has been completed. You can review all student activity for one course, or all courses for one student. You can also choose from several activity reports to view on-screen or print.

CMS Pro can also help manage the log files generated by ToolBook. When ToolBook produces a log file, CMS Pro stores the data in its Activity database and provides a screen to view the log data.







CMS Pro CS User Guide
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