Installing the Authoring Tool

Tom Taylor edited this page Aug 15, 2016 · 4 revisions
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What is installed?

The authoring tool is a user interface for the Adapt framework. The framework and the core plug-ins are installed as a part of the installation of the authoring tool. You do not need to install them separately. The authoring tool requires NodeJS and MongoDB to run. The installation method you choose will determine whether these need to be installed manually.

Upon installation you can begin creating responsive e-learning courses.

What skills are needed for installation?

The purpose of the authoring tool is to bring the power of the framework to persons whose technical skill sets are limited. While installation is getting easier, it still requires the installer to take steps that are typically hidden within a packaged installer. You can expect that installation methods will continue to develop as the tool itself develops. Currently, instructions are provided for two methods of installation. Both methods can be used on all computer platforms. Both require use of the command line (i.e., terminal, command prompt window, git bash, etc.), though only basic skills are needed.

Installation Methods

Install with a provisioned virtual machine

Summary: This method requires you to install Git, Vagrant, and VirtualBox before proceeding. Installation creates a virtual machine that has been provisioned with the authoring tool and all its dependencies.
Recommended for: Persons who are inexperienced with node applications, trouble-shooting install processes, and configuring modules. Systems with unusual configurations.
Advantages: Fewer pieces to install and configure. The authoring tool and its dependencies have been configured in advance to work on the virtual machine.
Limitations: Installation uses default values. Not recommended for production use!
Instructions: Install with Vagrant

Install manually

Summary: This method requires you to install NodeJS, Grunt, Adapt CLI, MongoDB, and to download and unzip the authoring tool repository before proceeding. Installation creates the authoring tool as a node application running on your system.
Recommended for: Persons with a technical background who want more control over configuration options. Developers who want to contribute code to the Adapt authoring tool project. The authoring tool is intended to be installed on a server for use by a team. Nonetheless, it may be installed on a stand-alone computer for use by an individual.
Advantages: Control over configuration variables and MongoDB. Does not require the use of a virtual machine.
Limitations: System configuration can impact the ease and success of installation.
Instructions: Install on a Server (detailed); Developer's Install (succinct)

Install using third party services

In addition to the methods above, there are a whole host of services out there which offer hosting of Node.js servers (some even for free!). See below for a list of confirmed working services, along with installation instructions for each:


If you experience difficulties during installation, please visit the Adapt community technical forum for assistance. Please begin by searching the posts for possible resolutions. When requesting help, please provide relevant information such your computer's operating system, what steps you took before trouble was encountered, and any error messages that were displayed.