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openEQUELLA 2019.1 Features Guide

Table of Contents

Administration Console Package

In openEQUELLA versions prior to 2019.1, the Administration Console was launched from the openEQUELLA Settings page using Java Web Start. As time progresses, there are an increasing number of organisations who would prefer not to have Java installed on the client side as part of the Standard Operating Environment (SOE).

Until the Administration Console functionality can be transferred to the web, an interim solution in the form of an Administration Console ‘package’ is available to use with openEQUELLA 2019.1 and future releases. This package bundles the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with the Administration Console and allows users to access the Administration Console on local systems. This will remove the requirement to install Java locally and this package will be the access point to the Administration Console from openEQUELLA 2019.1 forward.

Downloading the package

There are three Administration Console Packages available on GitHub, one each for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

To download the package
  1. Go to https://github.com/apereo/openEQUELLA-admin-console-package/releases and download the latest package for your operating system.

  2. Extract the package files to your preferred location on your local drive.

Opening the Launcher

The Launcher enables the configuration of openEQUELLA servers and the launching of their respective Administration Consoles, as well as various other functions.

To open the Launcher, double-click the relevant launcher file (Windows-launcher.bat, Mac-launcher.sh, or Linux-launcher.sh). You may wish to create a shortcut for this file as you will use it each time to access an Administration Console. The openEQUELLA Administration Console Launcher displays. An example is shown in Figure 1.

Launcher

Figure 1 openEQUELLA Administration Console Launcher

openEQUELLA Administration Console Launcher components

The openEQUELLA Administration Console Launcher has the following functions:

Adding servers

Once the package is installed, each openEQUELLA server and institution must be configured to access their respective Administration Consoles. For example, if your organisation has a production environment and a test environment and you have access to the Administration Console for both instances, you are required to add both servers. Additionally, if there are multiple institutions on each server, a server record must be added for each institution.

To add a server
  1. Open the Launcher using the relevant launcher file (Windows-launcher.bat, Mac-launcher.sh, or Linux-launcher.sh).

  2. Select Add Server. The Server Editor dialog displays, as shown in Figure 2.

    Server

    Figure 2 Server Editor

  3. Enter a Server Name - a descriptive name for the openEQUELLA institution.

  4. Enter the Server URL - the full openEQUELLA domain, including the institution name. For example, https://myorganisation.openequella.com/institution1.

  5. Click Save.

Cloning servers

Once one server has been configured, on selection of the Add Server button, the user is presented with the option to clone the currently selected server. Selecting Yes to this option will prefill the Server Name and Server URL fields with the currently selected server details, and the user can adjust them to the required values.

Selecting No to this option will leave the Server Name and Server URL fields blank.

Launching the package

Once a server record has been added for an institution, the Administration Console for that institution can be opened.

To launch the Administration Console
  1. From the openEQUELLA Administration Console Launcher, select the required Server.

  2. Select Launch to open the Admin Console for the selected server/institution. An example is shown in Figure 3.

    LaunchAdminConsole

    Figure 3 Launch the Admin Console

    The Enter login credentials dialog displays. An example is shown in Figure 4.

    Credential

    Figure 4 Enter login credential dialog

  3. Enter your login credentials

NOTE: Login credentials will be requested each time an Administration Console is launched.

The Administration Console for the selected Server/Institution opens.

Login Notice Editor

openEQUELLA 2019.1 introduces the ability to create and display a notice on the Login page. This feature enables administrators to create content to display on the notice using a rich text editor (TinyMCE 5.0.2), including images, links, embedded videos, and more; as well as being able to schedule the notice to display within configured date and time parameters.

Please note that the Login page notice is in addition to the existing functionality which allows a simple text message to display in a popup after a user has logged in. This functionality has not changed, however access to the configuration setting for this function has been incorporated with the new functionality into the one Login notice editor setting.

An example of the new Before login notice is shown in Figure 5 and the existing After login notice is shown in Figure 6.

Login Notice Figure 5 New ‘Before login’ notice

After Notice Figure 6 Existing ‘After login’ notice

Accessing the Login notice editor

The Login notice editor is accessed from Settings > General settings > Login notice editor. An example is shown in Figure 7.

Settings Figure 7 Accessing the Login notice editor

Login notice editor page

The Login notice editor page displays two tabs, BEFORE LOGIN NOTICE and AFTER LOGIN NOTICE. It also displays a Back arrow beside the page heading in the top left (Login notice editor) that is used to return to the Settings page without saving any changes made in the Login notice editor. An example is shown in Figure 8.

Editor Figure 8 Login notice editor page

Before login notice tab

The BEFORE LOGIN NOTICE tab allows a notice to be created and formatted to display to users on the openEQUELLA Login page. It can be displayed based on the scheduling options selected. The tab includes:

An example showing content added using the rich text editor is shown in Figure 9.

Before Login Figure 9 BEFORE LOGIN NOTICE tab

Schedule settings

The Schedule settings section enables the Before login notice to be set to:

An example is shown in Figure 10.

Schedule Figure 10 Schedule settings with Date/Time picker

After Login Notice tab

The AFTER LOGIN NOTICE tab allows a simple text notice to be entered to display to users in a popup dialog box once they’ve logged in. The tab includes:

An example is shown in Figure 11.

After Notice Figure 11 AFTER LOGIN NOTICE tab

Support for Languages other than English

In openEQUELLA, language packs can be used to control the language within display areas of the system. openEQUELLA 2019.1 expands its support for languages other than English in its search capabilities (such as recognising the specified language’s stop words, stemming, etc.).

The default openEQUELLA search language is English, but this can be changed by editing the optional-config.properties file to specify the required default search language (using the Alpha-2 country code).

To edit the default search language
  1. Go to the openEQUELLA directory on your system and open the learningedge-config folder.

  2. Open the optional-config.properties file using your text editor of choice.

  3. At the bottom of this file, uncomment (remove the \# in front of) the freetext.analyzer.language property and add = xx (where xx is the Alpha-2 country code) (see example in Figure 8).

    Note that the Alpha-2 country code must be entered in lower case.

  4. Restart the openEQUELLA server.

An example where the required search language is German is shown below.

Language

Figure 12 optional-config.properties file – ‘freetext.analyzer.language’ property

REST API Enhancements

See

Cloud Providers

openEQUELLA introduces the ability to add a Cloud provider. Cloud providers can be developed by third parties in order to deliver cloud services to openEQUELLA.

The process of signing up for a Cloud provider service (for example, ECS AutoTag) takes place outside of openEQUELLA, and as part of that process the Cloud provider supplies a service URL and possibly credentials for the registration process. During registration, openEQUELLA and the Cloud provider authenticate using these credentials resulting in a bi-directional communication channel.

Once openEQUELLA is successfully registered, the Cloud provider has the means to automatically add and update wizard controls in the Collection Definition Editor (e.g. the ECS AutoTag control), which enables the service to be incorporated in contribution wizards.

Cloud provider permissions

The MANAGE_CLOUD_PROVIDER ACL needs to be granted to the relevant administrators before they can register a new Cloud provider. This is done through the Security Manager, accessed via the Administration Console. An example is shown in Figure 13.

acl Figure 13 Security Manager - Cloud providers

Registering a Cloud provider

To register a Cloud provider
  1. From the openEQUELLA Settings page, select Integrations > Cloud providers.

    cloudsettings Figure 14 Settings, Integrations, Cloud providers

    The Cloud providers page displays. An example is shown in Figure 13.

    cloudrego Figure 15 Cloud provider registration page

  2. Click the Add (Plus) button to open the Register a new cloud provider dialog.

  3. Enter the registration URL supplied by your Cloud provider, view the Cloud provider disclaimer then click REGISTER.

  4. A registration form requiring you to enter credentials or displaying other information may display, depending on the Cloud provider’s process. An example of the Edalex Content Services registration form is shown below:

    cloudform

    Figure 16 Example registration form

  5. Enter the required information (e.g. username and password provided to you by the Cloud provider) then click REGISTER.

The registration and authentication process occurs in the background and once completed successfully, the Cloud provider information displays on the Cloud providers page. An example is shown in Figure 17.

cloudpage Figure 17 Cloud providers page with registered Cloud provider

Enhanced Blackboard Integration

The openEQUELLA / Blackboard integration has historically been achieved with a building block and web service that was uploaded into the Blackboard site. This has historically presented some difficulties and Blackboard is retiring their SOAP Web Services in Q2 2020 which will effectively break the openEQUELLA web service. Due to this upcoming loss of functionality, and the complexity of maintaining the building block and web service, a pure LTI / REST integration is being developed. This integration is available in this release as a ‘beta’ feature with a minimal set of functionality, and will be enhanced for 2019.2.

As part of migrating from the building block and web service integration to the LTI / REST integration, adopters will have access to the following Blackboard abilities:

Adopters will no longer be able to use the ‘My Institution’ integration that was part of the building block and web service integration.

Enable Using Blackboard REST APIs

In order to make REST calls into a Blackboard site, adopters will need to obtain a REST Application ID via https://developer.blackboard.com/ . This REST Application ID will then be used (via the same site), to create a REST Application key and secret that is tied to your Blackboard site URL. You will need this key and secret when configuring the integration in Blackboard. Please read this post for more information on how Blackboard handles REST Application IDs.

Configure openEQUELLA

Configure a new LTI Consumer

This is a standard LTI Consumer in openEQUELLA, so only a high level review is provided.

  1. Under Settings > Integrations > LTI Consumers, click on Create new LTI consumer.
  2. You can leave the ‘Consumer key’ and ‘Consumer secret’ with the system-generated values, or specify your own.
  3. Choose your SSO configuration and role mappings. For testing, leave Useable by as Everyone, and set Unknown user handling to Create local user and add them to the following groups…. Then choose a group for all ‘new’ Blackboard users crossing over to openEQUELLA to be added to.

Configure a new External System Connector

  1. Under Settings > External system connectors, click on Add new connector.
  2. Select Blackboard REST.
  3. Configure a Connector name, and provide a Blackboard REST URL.
  4. Click on Test URL. Ignore the Test web service button. This will be removed in 2019.2.
  5. Specify the REST API Key and REST API Secret from https://developer.blackboard.com/ .
  6. The rest of the configuration is standard External System Connector details.

Configure Blackboard

Register the Provider Domain

  1. Under System Admin > LTI Tool Providers, select Register Provider Domain.
  2. Configure the Provider domain. So for https://my.learning.center/oeq, you would put my.learning.center.
  3. Set Provider Domain Status to Approved.
  4. Under Default Configuration, set Default Configuration to Set globally.
  5. Configure the Tool Provider Key and Tool Provider Secret with the values you configured in the openEQUELLA LTI Consumer.
  6. Configure the Tool Provider Custom Parameters with the following. Note, omitting the bb_user_login_id line will result in the LTI crossover (SSO into openEQUELLA) using the Blackboard user’s externalId instead of the userName.
    bb_user_login_id=@X@user.id@X@
    bb_user_id=@X@user.batch_uid@X@
    
  7. Under Institution Policies, set Send User Data to Send user data only over SSL.
    • Note: You can select Send user data over any connection, but it is not recommended for a Production install.
  8. Set User Fields to Send to Role in Course, Name, and Email Address.
  9. Set Allow Membership Service Access to Yes.

Configure Course Content Tool Placement

  1. Under the newly registered provider domain, select Manage Placements.
  2. Select Create Placement.
  3. Configure the label and description.
  4. Configure the handle (this cannot change after the placement is created).
  5. Leave Availability set to Yes.
  6. Set Type to Course content tool, and then select Supports deep linking.
  7. Under Tool Provider Information, set the Tool Provider URL to {https://your.oE.domain.xyz/demo/}blackboardltisignon.do.
  8. The Tool Provider Key and Tool Provider Secret will be preconfigured (and readonly).

Configure the REST Application in Blackboard

  1. Under System Admin > REST API Integrations, select Create Integration.
  2. Configure the Application ID from your registration on https://developer.blackboard.com/ .
  3. Select a ‘Learn User’ that has sufficient permissions.
  4. Leave End User Access as the default Yes.
  5. Leave the Authorized To Act As User as the default Service Default (No).

Usage

Permissions

Grant the following to your openEQUELLA users

In an original Blackboard course, navigate into {your course} > Information > Build Content > your-oEQ-CTT-placement . This is known as ‘Pull to LMS’. Currently only works for original Blackboard courses. Ultra courses are planned for 2019.2.

Other integration abilities

The rest of the integration abilities are similar to the building block and web service flows:

Notes

Blackboard integration tickets

2019.1 Enhancements

All Identified Possible Enhancements

Enhancements Currently on the 2019.2 Roadmap