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README.md

TRAX LRS

About this software

TRAX LRS is a Learning Record Store which conforms with the lastest xAPI specification and has been certified by ADL. It has a minimalist set of features, but can be extended by anyone who has PHP/Laravel programming skills.

Use cases

Web App vs Pure API

  • Web App: TRAX LRS offers an xAPI compliant API, as well as a user interface (UI) which may me used to manage the API clients, to explore xAPI data, and much more. The UI access is secured by an authentication system.

  • Pure API: TRAX LRS may be used as a pure xAPI compliant API, without any user interface. In order to support this scenario, TRAX LRS offers a set of commands that you may use directly in your console.

Database scenarios

  • Relational database: most modern relational databases now support the JSON format which may be used to store xAPI data. TRAX LRS offers several options in order to support this scenario: MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL.

  • NoSQL database: NoSQL databases may also be a good choice as they natively deal with the JSON format and offer a high level of scalability. In order to support this scenario, TRAX LRS may be used with MongoDB.

  • Hybrid database: in some specific cases, it may be relevant to use an hybrid solution. With TRAX LRS, you can use a NoSQL database to store xAPI data, and a relational database to store everything else, including user accounts and related data (e.g. roles & permissions, groups, etc).

Server requirements

  • Apache 2.4 with mod_rewrite activated.

  • Database, depending of your scenario:

    • MySQL 5.7.19+ (except MySQL 8)

    • MariaDB 10.2.8+

    • PostgreSQL 10.3+

    • MongoDB 3.6.3+

  • PHP 7.1.9+ with the following extensions (both Apache and CLI!):

    • OpenSSL, Mbstring, Tokenizer, XML, Ctype, JSON, Curl, BCMath, Exif

    • PDO_MySQL if you want to use MySQL or MariaDB.

    • PgSQL and PDO_PgSQL if you want to use PostgreSQL.

    • MongoDB if you want to use MongoDB.

  • Composer to install and update the application.

Installing the application

Cloning the application

To simplest way to clone the application is to use the Composer create-project command in your terminal. The following example installs the application in a directory named traxlrs:

composer create-project --prefer-dist --stability rc trax/lrs traxlrs

Directory permissions

After cloning the application, you may need to configure some permissions. Directories within the storage and the bootstrap/cache directories should be writable by your web server or TRAX LRS will not run.

Public directory

After cloning the application, you should configure your web server's document / web root to be the public directory. Other directories should not be accessible for security reasons.

Creating the database

Create an empty database with a utf8mb4_unicode_ci encoding.

Configuration

At the root of your application, you should find a file named .env. If this file does not exist, copy and rename the .env.example file. Then, edit the .env file in order to configure your application.

General settings

  • APP_ENV should be local during development and production on you production server.

  • APP_KEY should have been generated during the installation. If not, the php artisan key:generate command will generate a key for you. TRAX LRS will not run without this key.

  • APP_DEBUG should be true during development and false on you production server.

  • APP_URL should be the root URL of your application.

Database

  • DB_CONNECTION should be mysql with MySQL and MariaDB, pgsql with PostgreSQL or mongodb with a pure MongoDB scenario. For hybrid database scenarios, it should be mysql or pgsql depending of your relational database.

Relational database (when applicable)

  • DB_HOST and DB_POST should be used to locate your relational database.

  • DB_DATABASE is the name of your relational database.

  • DB_USERNAME and DB_PASSWORD are the credentials of your relational database.

  • DB_MARIADB should be 1 when using MariaDB, 0 otherwise.

MongoDB database (when applicable)

  • MONGO_DB_HOST and MONGO_DB_PORT should be used to locate your MongoDB database.

  • MONGO_DB_DATABASE is the name of your MongoDB database.

  • MONGO_DB_USERNAME and MONGO_DB_PASSWORD are the credentials of your MongoDB database.

Data store drivers

  • USER_STORE_DRIVER should be added and set to mongo for pure MongoDB scenarios. Otherwise, this setting should be removed.

  • CLIENT_STORE_DRIVER should be added and set mongo for pure MongoDB and hybrid database scenario. Otherwise, this setting should be removed.

  • XAPI_STORE_DRIVER should be added and set mongo for pure MongoDB and hybrid database scenario. Otherwise, this setting should be removed.

Sessions

  • SESSION_DRIVER should be database for relational and hybrid database scenarios, or file for pure MongoDB scenarios.

  • SESSION_CONNECTION should be mysql with MySQL and MariaDB, or pgsql with PostgreSQL. It is not used with pure MongoDB scenarios.

Installing the database

Your application must be well configured before trying to install the database. When you are ready, enter the following command from the root of your application:

php artisan migrate

Creating the admin user

After installing the database, you may want to create an admin user in order to log into the application. Enter the following command from the root of your application:

php artisan user:create-admin

Copy the generated password and email. Then, open your browser and log into the application. Don't forget to change your password in My Profile.

Creating a client account

Once your database is installed, you may want to create some Basic HTTP client accounts in order to let your third party applications connect to the LRS. You can create client accounts directly from the LRS user interface (Basic HTTP Clients page), or with the php artisan client:create command (see details below).

Then, you can configure your client with its credentials and the following endpoint, considering that your LRS URL is http://trax.test:

http://trax.test/trax/ws/xapi

If you want to check that the endpoint URL is correct that your LRS is running, just enter http://trax.test/trax/ws/xapi/about in your browser. You should see some JSON information.

Console commands

TRAX LRS provides a few convenient commands to manage your application directly from your console:

  • php artisan user:create-admin <email>: create a new admin user account given an email address. When the email is omitted, it creates the standard admin account or reset its password.

  • php artisan user:list: display the list of user accounts.

  • php artisan user:delete <email>: delete a user account.

  • php artisan client:create <username> <password>: create a new API client, given a username and password. The username and password are optional and are automatically generated when they are omitted.

  • php artisan client:list: display the list of API clients.

  • php artisan client:delete <username>: delete an API client.

Performance optimization

To optimize the performances of the application, you may want to activate some caching functions. From the root folder, enter the following commands:

php artisan route:cache
php artisan config:cache

License and copyright

TRAX LRS is distributed under the EUPL 1.2 license.

Copyright 2019 Sébastien Fraysse, http://fraysse.eu, sebastien@fraysse.eu.