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Mozilla Open Badges Backpack
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Mozilla Open Badges

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We intend to provide an open set of specifications, tools and services for generating verifiable badges that users can take with them wherever they go and use however they like.

For more information, check out

I'm an Issuer, how do I use this?


  • Webserver capable of serving requests to the general internet.
  • Ability to make a POST request from your server backend and read a JSON response.
  • Email addresses of the users you wish to issue badges.
  • Badge image must be in PNG format.

Usage example:

  1. Generate an assertion (see below) for the user recieving the badge.
  2. Store that assertion at a public-but-secret URL and serve it with content-type: application/json

    • The assertion contains private information about a user, so you want a non-predictable URL scheme to prevent automated scraping.

    • This URL should be stable - any badge issued from it relies on its existence for verification.

    • Both of these problems will be solved in the near-term future by supporting signed assertions, so you'll only need to expose a URL containing your public key.

  3. Make a POST request to the open badge creator with the assertion URL. If validation passes, you will receive an HTTP 200 with content-type: image/png, the body being a your badge.image with the assertion URL baked into it.

  4. Send/give the image to the user (for example, email it).

The Issuer Javascript API

We have an easy to use API built for Issuers to easily push badges into Users Backpacks, giving the User the ability to approve the push through a lightboxed modal. The API is written in Javascript, and is includable in your project with just a few lines of JS. Full documentation is in the wiki -


Please see the page on Assertions to learn how to format your assertions, and see the page on Badge Baking to learn more about how to use the baking API and what kind of responses to expect in case of error.

I want to play with the code, where do I start?

The easy way

Use Vagrant. vagrant up in the project root will spin up a fully provisioned VM (it'll take about two or three minutes, longer if you don't have a lucid32 box), vagrant ssh to get into the VM, then start-server will start up the server at http://localhost:8888. The server will also watch for changes, so you don't have to manually reload it.

The hard way

  1. Setup a MySQL database. Create a database and a user with full privileges on that db. For example:

    CREATE DATABASE openbadges;
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON openbadges.* TO badgemaker@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'secret';
    CREATE DATABASE test_openbadges;
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON test_openbadges.* to badgemaker@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'secret';
  2. Copy the openbadges/lib/environments/local-dist.js to openbadges/lib/environments/local.js and edit the configuration to match your local development environment. The MySQL database credentials should match step #1. For example:

    database: {
      driver: 'mysql',
      host: '',
      user: 'badgemaker',
      password: 'secret',
      database: 'openbadges'
  3. Install local dependencies: npm install

  4. Run the test suite: ./node_modules/.bin/vows -i

  5. Start your server: ./node_modules/.bin/up -w -p 8888 app.js

No matter which way you choose, you should join the Open Badges Google Group. If you have any problems setting up the environment, feel free to post a message to the list.

Optional: A real hostname

I like to be able to use http://openbadges.local for accessing the project. Assuming you used vagrant, you can change the hostname in local.js and do sudo echo " openbadges.local" >> /etc/hosts to make it happen. If you're on OS X, you can also use Gas Mask for temporary hosts file switching rather than having to manually edit /etc/hosts

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