Getting Started with the Janrain Education Center


OK, that's a good point: if the purpose of the Janrain Education Center is to explain things (like Janrain software products) in a way that pretty much anyone can understand, well, then isn't a bit … odd … to have a 750-page document that doesn't do anything except explain how the Education Center itself works?!?

Well, that's difficult to argue with. (Although, in our defense, this isn't a 750-page document. Not quite.)

And, besides, this isn't really so much an explanation of how the Education Center center works as it is an explanation of why the Education Center exists in the first place. We did a radical overhaul of our old documentation site, and many people might be wondering why we did that, and why we think this new site would be better. That's the main reason for doing this Getting Started guide.

Although it also gave us a chance to show off some of our new capabilities, and that was kind of fun, too.

So what is different about the Janrain Education Center? Well, for starters, the name is different: the Education Center used to be called the Janrain Documentation and Developer Portal. Why did we change the name, aside from the fact that "The Janrain Documentation and Developer Portal" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue? Well, we changed the name mainly because we felt that "Education Center" better describes our new mission. Will you still be able to product documentation and API references and developer resources on this site?

You bet you will: API reference material and Console user guides aren't going away any time soon. At the same time, however, the word "documentation" tends to imply written texts, and we intent to go beyond the written word, taking advantage of multimedia, simulations, online courses, and anything else we can think of that might help us educate people on Janrain and Janrain products. We aren't quite there yet (hey, we just started on this a couple months ago!) but we're headed in that direction. Because of that, rebranding ourselves the Education Center seemed like a no-brainer.

Oh, and did we mention that also helps us closely integrate product documentation with Janrain University? This, too is very much a work in progress but, with any luck, you'll soon see some nifty crossover between the documentation and training: for example, product documentation might include excerpts and vignettes from Janrain University courses, and Janrain University courses might refer to, and take advantage of, all the technical information found in the documentation. Remember the old Certs commercial: "It's like two, two, two mints in one!"? Well, this isn't really like that, but it was the best we could come up with on short notice. Maybe this analogy works better:

"You got chocolate in my peanut butter!"

"Well, you got peanut butter in my chocolate!"

Good idea: we'll drop the metaphors and simply give you a chance to explore some of the other differences between the new Education Center and the old Janrain docs site: