Overview

IMS Global Certified
[IMSB1ss2013W1]

lti4win is a Windows desktop client application which acts like an LTI tool consumer. It provides a simple environment for testing connections to LTI tool providers by allowing launch credentials to be specified, and resource links and users to be defined. For a quick start it configures itself for any applications which can be auto-provisioned; for example, Rating or WordPress which provide 14 day trial accounts.
Flash movie View movie illustration - LTI Launcher for Windows (3:36 minutes)

System requirements

The lti4win application is written for Windows XP (or later). It uses an open source OAuth class for signing launch requests. The source code for the application is not currently available.

Installation

The lti4win application may be installed by downloading the installation program. Running the file will install the application and add an entry to the start menu and an icon to the desktop. The configuration data for the application is stored in a file named LTI4Win.ini in the user's AppData\Local directory. The application can be uninstalled via the Windows Control Panel.

When the application is first opened, a tool consumer GUID value is automatically generated. This value cannot be changed, but other tool consumer properties can be entered on the Tool Consumer form accessed from the Settings menu.
Tool consumer form
The values entered on this form are sent as parameters with each launch request. If the Send return URL? checkbox is ticked then the launch_presentation_return_url is assigned a URL to a dummy page on this site.

Quick start

The following applications are currently available to be automatically provisioned:

Please get in contact if you have an application you would like added to this list.

To quickly try out the application with one of these tool providers:

  1. click on a trial launch link on a website
    Automatically provision from a web link
    (for example, see the Rating application); or
  2. select an application from the Provision tool list (see below).

The drop-down list against the Provision button on the toolbar (or from the File > Provision tool menu option) is populated automatically from the web when the application is opened (and may, therefore, change over time). You can select one of these applications to have it configured in the application.
Provision a tool
Selecting as tool will obtain a set of launch credentials (URL, consumer key and secret) and add the tool to the Tools tab. When the Launch tool now? prompt is displayed, click Yes. A dummy resource and user will be created automatically if none exists and a launch request will be sent to the selected tool. The result of this request will be displayed in a new tab. The status bar at the bottom of the window shows the IDs of the tool, resource and user from the launch. You can now interact with the tool just as if it had been launched from within a VLE/LMS.
Launch a provisioned tool

Usage

Interface

A tabbed interface is used to provide access to:

Each of these tabs is described in more detail below. A fourth tab will be added when a tool provider is launched within the application.

The Add new button on the toolbar (or File > New... menu option) can be used to create a new tool, resource or user, according to which tab is currently selected. The selected object on the current tab can be edited or deleted by clicking the Edit or Delete button on the toolbar, respectively (or by using the Open... or Delete options on the Edit menu).

Tool providers

Each tool added is shown on a separate panel on the Tools tab. The tools are displayed in alphabetical order when the application is first opened. The name of the currently selected tool is shown in brackets in the tab title. Double click a tool (or right click and select Edit, or click the Edit button on the toolbar) to open the tool configuration form.
Sample tool configuration form
Each tool may be given a description, launch URL, and consumer key and secret. Custom parameters to be passed on a launch may be added, one per line, in for form name=value. Check the Open in browser? box to have the tool launch in a separate browser window (rather than in a tab within the application). Click OK to save any changes.

The current selected tool is identified by a white background; clicking on a different tool changes the selection (or right click on a tool and choose the Select option from the shortcut menu).

Resources

Each LTI launch occurs from a resource link. The Resources tab has a panel for each resource link; these are displayed in alphabetical order when the application is opened. The name of the currently selected resource link is shown in brackets in the tab title. Double click a resource link (or right click and select Edit, or click the Edit button on the toolbar) to open the resource link configuration form.
Sample resource link configuration form
Each resource link may be given a title and description and a context (ID, type, title, label and sourcedids). Click OK to save any changes.

The current selected resource link is identified by a white background; clicking on a different resource link changes the selection (or right click on a resource link and choose the Select option from the shortcut menu).

Users

Each LTI launch may be made by a selected user. The Users tab has a panel for each user; these are displayed in alphabetical order when the application is opened. The name of the currently selected user is shown in brackets in the tab title. Double click a user (or right click and select Edit, or click the Edit button on the toolbar) to open the user configuration form.
Sample user configuration form
Each user may be given a name, email, role(s), and a sourcedid. Click OK to save any changes.

The current selected user is identified by a white background; clicking on a different user changes the selection (or right click on a user and choose the Select option from the shortcut menu).

Launching a tool

A tool provider can only be launched when a resource is selected (unless the option to permit launches without a resource is checked on the Settings menu); a user is optional. By default the settings to automatically create a resource and/or user are checked (see the Settings menu); in this case a launch will always be possible. To launch the selected tool provider click on the Launch button on the toolbar, selecte the File > Launch menu option, or press [F5]. A message is displayed whilst the launch takes place
Sample launching page
To launch as a different user or from a different resource link, just select the new user or resource link and relaunch the tool. To launch a different tool just select the new tool (change the resource link and user if desired) and click on the launch button. There should be no need to log out of a tool provider application before performing a new launch; the tool provider should automatically cancel any existing session that might exist.

The tool provider will be launched in a separate tab within the application unless the Open in browser? box has been checked for the tool, or the Always launch in browser option has been selected on the Settings menu. By default an internal connection to Internet Explorer will be used to launch in a separate window, but the Settings menu allows an alternative browser to be selected; the list provided should include all the browsers installed on the machine as well as a Default browser option which will use whichever browser is the current machine default. If an installed browser is not listed, try making it the default browser, then change the default back to your preferred browser and reload this application.

Outcomes service

LTI 1.1 added an Outcomes service which allows tool providers to access a grade book column associated a resource link. The Outcomes service is activated via the option on the Settings menu; its current status is displayed in the status bar. When activated, the application listens for incoming requests. By default the URL of the Outcomes service is http://localhost:8000/outcome; this can be changed by entering a domain name in the Tool Consumer form. This allows externally hosted tool providers to use the Outcomes service; but requires that the machine being used has a URL which is accessible by the tool provider. For example, to change the Outcomes service URL to http://my.domain.com:8000/outcome enter a domain name of my.domain.com; to also change the port number to 8080, for example, add this as a suffix to the domain name: my.domain.com:8080. Do not enter a protocol before the domain name; the application always uses http.

The values of outcomes set by tool providers can be viewed by selecting the Outcomes page on each tab. To display the outcomes for the currently selected tool, display the Outcomes page from the Tools tab. Outcomes associated with the currently selected resource or user are available via their respective tabs. Outcomes are displayed in chronological order. Double-click the row for an outcome to delete the entry. New outcomes can only be added by a tool provider; if an outcome already exists for the tool/resource/user combination its value is updated. When a tool, resource or user is deleted any associated outcome values are also deleted.

Reference

The application only permits one instance to be run at a time. The installation process defines URL protocols of imslti and imsltis to allow non-secure and secure tool provisioning URLs to be included in a web page. Clicking on one of these links will automatically open the LTI4Win application and provision the tool (see Quick start section above). This is equivalent to selecting one of the tools available from the Provision tool... menu or entering a manual provision URL. Windows should check on a regular basis for any updates available for the application so that you can keep it up-to-date; open the Windows Task Scheduler to check/change the settings.

Menu options

MenuOptionDescription
FileNew...Create a new tool, resource or user (depending upon the currently selected tab)
Provision tool...Provision a new tool by either entering a provisioning URL or selecting it by name
LaunchLaunch the currently selected tool (may require a resource link to be selected first)
ExitClose the application
EditOpen...Configure the currently selected panel
DeleteDelete the currently selected panel
SettingsTool consumer...Configure the tool consumer data
Show toolbar labelsDisplay labels below the toolbar buttons
Suppress warning messagesDo not display any warning messages
Auto create resourceAutomatically create a resource if a launch is requested and no resource exists
Auto create usersAutomatically create an instructor and a learner if a launch is requested and no users exist
Activate Outcomes serviceStart listening for Outcomes service requests
Always launch in browserAllow the tool setting to be overriden and always launch tools in a browser window
Specify browserSelect a browser from the list of those installed on the machine
Allow unsigned requestsEnable a launch to be made even when no key and/or secret is specified (this is not a valid LTI launch request but can be useful for testing)
Allow launches without a resourceEnable a launch to be made even when no resource is selected (this is not a valid LTI launch request but can be useful for testing)
Auto launch tools when selectedAutomatically launch a tool when it is selected, whenever possible
HelpAboutDisplay the application details, including version

Shortcut menu options

OptionDescription
Select/DeselectSelect or deselect the panel
EditEdit the panel
DeleteDelete the panel

Toolbar buttons

LabelDescription
Add newAdd a new panel
ProvisionProvision a new tool
EditConfigure the currently selected panel
DeleteDelete the currently selected panel
LaunchLaunch the currently selected tool

Keyboard shortcuts

KeyDescription
F1Display Help > About dialog
F5Launch the currently selected tool
Alt-F4Close the application

Version history

VersionDateDescription
1.1.0.520 April 2013First release
1.1.0.621 April 2013IMS certified release
1.1.0.724 April 2013 Changed UI to only allow a panel from being deselected by selecting another or via the shortcut (right-click) menu
Fixes a UTF-8 encoding issue
1.1.0.827 April 2013 Added options to launch tools in a different browser
1.1.0.930 April 2013 Added UTF-8 support to the UI
Optional return URL parameter
Help menu option to access the on-line documentation page
1.1.0.1030 April 2013Minor bug fixes
1.1.0.111 May 2013Minor bug fixes
1.2.0.113 May 2013 Added Outcomes service support (LTI 1.1)
Improved some of the icons
1.2.0.230 May 2013 Fixed bug with changing default port for Outcomes service endpoint
1.2.0.331 May 2013 Corrected format of XML for Outcomes service responses
1.2.0.413 June 2013 Fixed bug with OAuth signatures involving URLs with explicit default port numbers
1.2.0.517 June 2013 Fixed bug with handling spaces in Authorization header for Outcomes service
1.2.0.629 June 2013 Added option to allow unsigned launch requests

Licence

This work is written by Stephen Vickers and is released as shareware. You can use this link to download the installer for lti4win.

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