SOURCE: Blackboard Inc

May 05, 2005 13:58 ET

Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition Unveiled

New Features and Functionality Will Help Colleges Create Networked Transaction Environments™

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 5, 2005 -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is pleased to announce the launch of the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition™, the next generation transaction system, to securely process campus transactions involving dollars, data, access and authentication. The new product edition utilizes a more robust platform and includes new, enhanced functionality. New features include sophisticated door access, the ability to schedule utilities, support for multi-platform database and enhanced commerce and access control transaction processing. The Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition is available to all existing Blackboard Transaction System clients as well as new customers.

Blackboard spent over a year developing this new product edition to help clients foster Networked Transaction Environments, whereby any student, teacher or member of the campus community can use a universal account on campus, off campus and online for all commerce transactions, activities, facilities access and web services.

Door access (via a magnetic strip ID card), one of the central new features of the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition allows campuses to easily, securely and cost-effectively control and monitor campus facilities. Door schedules, alarms and other operating conditions can be adjusted depending upon the needs of students and faculty. Authorized users can see exactly who accessed various buildings at what times, providing greater security for a campus community. In addition, if a cardholder loses his or her card, an authorized system user can simply designate that card as invalid, without the hassle of changing locks and keys. This saves time and money for all members of a campus community.

In response to client requests for choice and flexibility, the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition supports running the Oracle database on the following operating systems; Red Hat Linux, Sun Solaris™, HP-UX and Microsoft Windows Server. Another new feature of the product is the ability for users to schedule utilities, such as importing student data, to run automatically at a designated time. This makes it possible for users to set their system to run such jobs in the middle of the night, freeing computers and systems up during work hours for other functions.

The Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition has been designed to offer enhanced stability to ensure system uptime and improved service to the campus community. In response to the need for faster transaction throughput, this platform incorporates technology to offer exceptional processing speed. To better serve all members of campus communities, Blackboard has developed a modern architecture enabling faster development of new features and functions.

South Dakota State University and Black Hills State University (also located in South Dakota) have been using the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition over the past two months -- testing the program in a beta version. At Black Hills State University, door access has been set up for 59 doors on the campus.

"Whoever wrote this software really understands what campuses need," said Jerry Swarts, Director of University Support at Black Hills State University. "Not only was it easy to set up and configure, but the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition offers flexible monitoring capabilities of the alarms and door status, which is something that was absent in other products."

"I am very excited about the release of the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition," said Tom Bell, Vice President Commerce Industry Relations at Blackboard. "It demonstrates Blackboard's commitment to enhancing the educational experience. In addition to bringing some great new features to the transaction system marketplace, this new offering also sets a solid foundation for future product development. Blackboard has just set new benchmarks for the transaction system market."

To learn more about the Blackboard Transaction System - Universal Edition, call 1-800-424-9299 or visit

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry. The Company's product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite™ Blackboard's clients include colleges, universities, schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our most recent 10-K filed with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of May 5, 2005. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to May 5, 2005.

Contact Information

  • Blackboard Public Relations Manager:

    Melissa Chotiner
    Blackboard Inc.
    202-463-4860 ext. 2404

    Media Contact:

    Dan Baum
    DBC Public Relations Experts
    202-298-7600 ext. 205