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Integrating to Enhance Remote Learning with SumTotal and LinkedIn Learning


Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, many employees of a privately funded aerospace company were working from home. The business wanted to integrate LinkedIn Learning (LIL) with their SumTotal environment so they could spend time on professional development. The plan was put into motion, but due to their high security requirements, the company didn’t want to open their firewall up to LIL. Instead, they partnered with GP Strategies® to design and implement a solution that would allow them to create a smooth integration between SumTotal and LIL and provide a seamless user experience for their learners.

Connecting learners to relevant content


Currently, there isn’t plug-and-play integration between SumTotal and LIL that meets the security requirements set by the client. GP Strategies assessed these requirements and looked at possible solutions to integrate the two systems, ultimately deciding that utilizing an API would be the best option to complete the integration.


The integration involved two touchpoints between the systems: activity creation and maintenance and learning history. Creating and updating LIL activities in SumTotal was handled using the Training Migration data import tool. The Training Migration tool allows for managing activities via CSV files. Bringing course completions for LIL activities back into SumTotal was the more involved step of the solution.

After evaluating two different solutions for this step, GP Strategies decided to utilize APIs provided by SumTotal and LIL. This was preferable as it could be automated and is near real time. Although their SumTotal instance is hosted on AWS, an API solution could be built specifically for SaaS-hosted customers. In particular, SumTotal has two APIs, a SOAP API and a REST API. The SOAP API has been available since early versions of the SumTotal product, while the REST API was recently released and is still in development. GP Strategies chose to use the SOAP API due to its functionality and stability.

To pull completions from LinkedIn Learning, the LearningActivityReports API route was used. Using the correct parameters, this API route allowed GP Strategies to pull course progress for individual users within a certain time period. Once completion records were pulled using the LIL API, GP Strategies located and organized the relevant information to activate completions as needed.

In the end, completions were synced between the two systems in near real time within the security constraints. Bookmarking (lesson location) information is stored within the LIL application so no user functionality was lost with this solution.


The functionality required was successfully implemented, including being able to record and track certifications for their 4,500 employees and granting/rescinding the certifications as criteria were met or expired. The LIL integration was made to allow many of the “required” courses for these certifications to be made available to remote users. The manual job of pulling LIL courses to create a completion report and run it through appropriate processes was automated, cutting this time down from one hour to an automatic overnight process with no support required.

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