Archive for December 14, 2016

Exciting LTI and LibAuth Updates, and Some LibGuides Fixes, Too

The year may be winding down, but here at Springshare we’re still moving full steam ahead! This latest release provides some great new features for LTI and LibAuth, and some key LibGuides fixes to boot. Let’s get started with the LTI updates…

LTI Updates

Just in time for spring semester planning/course building, we’re rolling out a few updates to LTI that make it easier to set up and provide more options for Automagic display behavior! Everyone does things just a little differently, so we’ve been tweaking and tweaking over time (thanks to your feedback!) to provide as much flexibility with setup as possible, while still using the same overall code for everyone. (We’d particularly like to thank Linda, Chris, and Amanda at Penn State for their invaluable feedback, which resulted in many of the improvements in this update! 🙂 )

Quick reminder:

  • Who can use LTI?
    LibGuides CMS customers; LibGuides customers who subscribe to the E-Reserves module (for E-Reserves content only)
  • Where would I add this tool?
    So far, this is mainly used by Learning Management (LMS) / courseware systems, like Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai…though it can be used in any software that supports the LTI framework.

Metadata Importing / Updating

Show of hands…how many of you have been holding off on implementing LTI Automagic because you had to manually add metadata to each guide, course, and/or subject you wanted to pull into your course site? Mmmm hmmm…that’s what we thought. Well, wait no more! And for those of you who have done it already and need to add/update items, rejoice! Metadata importing & updating is here!

Import Metadata

  • Just download the import template, fill it in, and upload to add metadata to guides, courses, and subjects simultaneously. Awesome, right?
  • Even better? Either keep that file handy or do an export of all metadata (use the Template export option) and use that file to update your metadata using that same import function!
  • Head to LibGuides > Admin > Metadata & URLs (previously Subjects, Tags & URLs) to review metadata currently in your system and run your import!

Automagic Matching & Display

Over the past year & a half of LibApps LTI availability, we’ve expanded what you can do with the Manual and Automagic tools greatly, thanks to your feedback. We realized the Automagic content matching options are no longer relevant…matching happens largely in the same way for all 3 original options – it was only the display options that differed. So we made some adjustments to the Setup Options area to reflect the display options instead. We also added a second “failover guide” option!

Content Display BehaviorFor matching, if a single guide or course matches (only one, not one of each), the tool automatically displays that one item. Otherwise, the Library LTI page displays, with all matches listed (if any). You can alter this behavior using the following options…and you can use them in any any combination you wish:

  • When no matches are found, display the following guide. (The dropdown lists all published & private guides from your LibGuides site.)
    This option automatically displays a specific guide instead of the Library LTI page if nothing (no guides, courses, or subjects) matches the parameter value sent from the LMS.
  • Display the Library LTI page when a single matching guide or course is found.
    Basically, always display the Library LTI page – single match, multiple matches, or no matches.
  • (New Option!) When displaying the Library LTI page, display a link to this guide if no matching guides are found. (The dropdown lists all published & private guides from your LibGuides site.)
    Anytime the Library LTI page is displayed, if there is no matching guide to display, the selected guide will display instead.

We’ve mapped your original selections to these new options, so you don’t have to worry about going in to make changes, unless you want to check out / change the options, of course! Here’s how we mapped the old to the new:

  • Option 1 was: “Load a specific guide if there is a direct match, otherwise load the Library LTI page.”
    Now: No additional options are selected.
  • Option 2 was: “Always load the Library LTI page.”
    Now: “Display the library LTI page when a single matching guide / course is found.” is selected.
  • Option 3 was: “Load a specific guide if there is a direct match, otherwise load this pre-selected guide.”
    Now: “When no matches are found, display the following guide.” is selected, with the appropriate guide selected from the dropdown.

Translation Table Updates

LTI Translation Table TemplateIf you use the Translation Table option, especially if you subscribe to E-Reserves, get ready for some great news… The template has been updated to allow matching on different metadata for guides, courses, and subjects for a single entry! For example, if you want to populate the Library LTI page for any given LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.) course section with a general guide and subject, but a specific E-reserves course (for that specific section/instructor), this is perfect! Simply add the different metadata for the guide, course, and/or subject to the template, and you’re good to go! (For example, for my LMS course number 2017S-12345, I might add ENG100 for the related guide, 2017S-12345 for the course, and ENG for the subject.)

And since you can use this in conjunction with the matching options in the previous section, you could also set a general guide (general research, library, or even LibGuides info) to display if there is no matching course-related guide!

As with the matching section above, we’ve mapped your existing Translation Table files to this new format on the back end so it continues to work as before: guide, course, and subject fields all contain the same value.

Other LTI Updates:

  • Manual Tool - Custom NameManual tool + Canvas users: You can now customize the name of your Manual tool so it’s easier to find when adding links in Canvas courses! Go to LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool > Manual > Setup Options to customize yours.
    Important: If you already have the Manual tool installed in Canvas, you must reinstall it to use this feature, which will break existing connections.
  • Desire2Learn customers: LTI should be working (and has been for a little while now). As is true for other LMSes, D2L Admins need to configure the tool to enable sending the user role (Faculty, Student, etc.) & that should do it! The role tells the tool whether or not the user can edit the item, which is required by the Manual tool to initially select the guide / course / database(s) to display to students.
  • Automagic matching no longer returns published Internal or Template guides. In fact, we also removed matching on friendly URL to further ensure this type of thing doesn’t happen in future.
  • Profile pictures on the Library LTI page are now linked to that user’s profile page in LibGuides. (The link will open in a new window.)
  • When an instructor-level user clicked the Automagic link in the LMS course site and the Library LTI page was displayed, there was a note at the top in a yellow box that should’ve only appeared the first time the link was clicked…but appeared every time. That was confusing (and annoying 😉 ), so we removed it.
  • Guides with only one page now display the nav button, as they do when accessed from your LibGuides site.

LibAuth - Add ConfigurationLibAuth Update

We heard from some of you that you have more than one authentication system available at your institution, so we’ve added the capability to utilize any and all of those in LibAuth. Even if you already have an authentication method added in LibAuth, you’ll see the Add Configuration button to get you started on another.

LibGuides Updates

Admin Menu ChangeRemember the Metadata Import news in the LTI section? Well, since LibGuides CMS allows for metadata for more than just LTI, you can use that functionality for any metadata you’d like to add, without having to go to every guide (etc.) to add it! If you skipped that section, scroll back up to learn more…then come on back here to continue reading about LibGuides updates. 😉

Also, this new functionality resulted in an Admin menu name change: Subjects, Tags & URLs is now Metadata & URLs…because otherwise, we’d end up with a crazy-long menu name!

Lastly, there are a few small bugs that we’ve swatted here at Springy HQ to make your LibGuides experience even more awesome!

  • We added a character counter for Twitter posts so that you’ll know when you’re approaching that magic 140 character limit.
  • Patron accounts will no longer be recorded as [Deleted] if they write a long discussion board post and their cookie expires in the meantime.
  • Permitted Uses fields in A-Z Assets now save and delete properly.
  • We changed the text options that you see when editing an RSS asset to reflect the current behavior: show item under title / click on (i) icon.
  • It’s now possible to delete custom metadata from a guide.
  • We’ve fixed the link to E-Reserves contained in E-Reserve Request notification emails.
  • E-Reserves pages in guides with friendly URLs no longer prevent E-Reserve item pop-ups from displaying.

LibCal 2.6.3 – Equipment & Spaces Updates Now Live!

Have you heard about our all new Equipment and Spaces Module? It makes reserving spaces and equipment a breeze, and brings a new level of reservation flexibility along with a beautiful, tile-based public interface. “Spaces” are our all new upgrade to the Room Booking module. They offer more flexible reservations and the ability to book spaces and equipment in a single reservation.

We’re adding more great reasons to try out the new Equipment and Spaces module, including the extremely exciting, much anticipated read/write API for both Equipment and Spaces! Read on to learn more about the latest and greatest…

Read/Write APIs in the Equipment and Spaces Module

Full read/write APIs are now available for both Equipment and Spaces, which makes it possible to view availability and create a new reservation from anywhere! What makes these read/write APIs so exciting? Simple – it enables your in-house library developers to create exciting apps and functionality that will take your LibCal data and content and distribute that data wherever you need it.

A major first use we’re expecting to see with LibCal’s read/write APIs are integrations with existing room panel systems, i.e., touchscreen panels located outside of a space in your library. Our new read/write APIs make it possible to both view upcoming meeting reservations and create a brand new reservation right from that panel. We can’t wait to see what else the LibCal community dreams up for these new read/write APIs, so please don’t hesitate to share what you plan to do with the new tools! To take the new APIs for a spin, admins can head to Admin > API > Equipment / Spaces.

Admins Create Bookings of any Length

adminduedateWhile following the rules is important, we know there are times when librarians just need to break the mold and allow loan periods that extend past normal due dates. We’ve got you covered – now you can create reservations of any length, and renew existing reservations so they’re due back at any time in the future you specify.

Plus more Equipment and Spaces Updates

  • We’ve added a new report for viewing Overdue Items, so you can see everything that’s overdue at a glance.
  • Speaking of overdues, we’ve also adjusted the public display so that if an item is currently overdue, it will not display as currently available for the current day on the public side of the system.
  • We added a new setting to control whether new reservations should default to the longest or shortest possible loan period. Currently, Equipment and Spaces always default to the longest possible loan period when a patron creates a new reservation; with this setting, you can now choose to make the default the shortest possible loan period. You’ll find this setting under Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Category > Booking Default.

Login to LibGuides (And Other Springy v2 Tools!) Using Your Authentication Layer

LibAuth Login

LibAuth Login

Early this year, we announced greater LibAuth integration with Springshare Tools. One of the components of this integration is the ability to use your own authentication method to login to your v2 Springy tools!

Basically, if you’re using LDAP, CAS, Shibboleth, SAML, ADFS, or a self-hosted authentication tool – you can use that protocol for logging into your LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, etc.

While you’ll still need to have an account in those Springshare tools, you won’t have to remember separate passwords for your Authentication layer and your Springshare apps.

Setting It Up – Cool Winter Project!

Navigate to LibApps > Admin > LibAuth Authentication. You need to be a LibApps admin in order to see this menu. Being a LibApps admin is different than being a LibGuides admin. Contact your LibApps admin if you need to elevate your account status.

On the configuration tab, set up your authentication protocol and be sure to run tests to make sure it’s working. At the bottom of the screen, click “YES” under Allow logging into LibApps using this authentication. Inside your authentication layer, you’ll need to release the email attribute.

LibAuth Authentication

Creating a lot of LibGuides Accounts?

No one wants to click ‘Add Account’ 100+ times when adding all of your LibGuides authors. But, they do need to have a LibGuides account for the authentication integration to ‘connect’. So, we’ve got a workaround that will make things much faster for LibGuides admins!

  • Setup your LibAuth login credentials (see above)
  • Login to LibGuides > Admin > Accounts
  • Click ‘Invitations’ Tab > Invite Users Button
  • Paste in email addresses for all your LibGuides authors (paste in hundreds of emails!)
  • Choose account level > hit send!
  • Authors will receive an invitation to create an account password however, their account has been ‘created’ so they can sign into LibGuides using your authentication layer!

Important Things to Note:

  • Not available with SIP2 – SIP does not contain the email attribute, so we’re not able to offer this option for SIP2 authentication services.
  • Granular Permissions – Are still managed at the Springshare Tool level. So granting access to specific tools and areas within those tools are handled inside LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, etc.

But Wait, There’s More!

Authentication in LibCalIf you haven’t had a chance to check it out, there are amazing LibAuth integrations with LibCal. You can route users through your authentication layer for Room Bookings, Calendar Event Registrations, Equipment Bookings module, and even My Scheduler Librarian appointments.

It’s Just the Beginning!

This release is just phase one of our big plans for LibAuth integration with Springy Tools. We hope to integrate authentication services inside all of our Springshare apps! Just imagine, routing LibWizard quiz takers through your authentication service. Or allowing students to post on discussion boards or comments on your blog through your active directory of users. Or using your authentication protocols before patrons can initiate a LibChat chat exchange. This is just the beginning of great things to come!

LibGuides v2 Server Move And Many New Features

2016 was an action-packed year for our apps, with hundreds of new features across all products and an ever-growing platform. So, it’s fitting that we end this big year with another big update which will set the stage for even more growth and exciting new features in 2017 and beyond.

Namely, on Friday December 30th at 10pm US EST we are moving LibGuides v2 to a new, better, and more powerful infrastructure.  We anticipate no more than 5-10 minutes of downtime during the move, as we have the process down now, having moved all our other servers (LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2, LibWizard, LibInsight) in the past two months. We selected the time/date accordingly, to cause as little disruption as possible.

LibGuides v2 Server IP will change – your action may be required

If your LibGuides custom domain is setup using an A record, you must do something on your end to ensure a smooth transition. We have a handy utility for you to check whether any action is needed on your part. Simply enter your LibGuides domain and the utility tells you what you need to do. In short:

  • If you’re using a libguides.com domain = no action is required on your part;
  • If you’re using a custom domain with CNAME alias = no action is required on your part;
  • If you’re using a custom domain with A record you will need to do something – we recommend you switch to CNAME because it’s more flexible.

The utility will tell you all you need to know so please check it out asap:
http://springshare.com/dns/lg2.php.

New stuff made possible with the new infrastructure

Here are some of the things which are now going to be possible on the new infrastructure.

Load balancing for handling spikes in usage and improved backups infrastructure so that we can do up-to-the-minute backups in case any failures occur.

https support for custom domains. In January 2017 we’ll start offering our LibGuides v2CMS clients full https support – but you still need to provide the required certificate files to us. Please fill out our https interest form (note: this form is for v2 users only – v1 users please see info for v1 systems). We are starting with LibGuides v2 CMS support for custom domains first, until we reach the scale required to support https for custom domains for base LibGuides installs too.

European hosting facility. For clients who do not wish to have their data/apps on US soil, we are offering hosting in our new European hosting facility in Amsterdam. This server cluster is completely independent of our US server cluster so the data in there will not “cross” into US.  Starting in mid-January we will offer free migration to all clients who wish to be moved to the European facility. This is not just for LibGuides but for *all* Springshare apps (i.e. LibGuides/LibAnswers/LibCal/LibInsight/LibWizard/LibCRM) – when an institution decides to host in our European hosting facility, all of their Springshare apps will live there. Please fill out our european hosting interest form (note: this form is for v2 users only – v1 users please see info for v1 systems).

Write APIs for all Springshare apps. Starting in January we will release the write APIs for LibGuides v2 A-Z content and for LibCal v2 Equipment and Spaces. Then we will expand the write APIs based on users’ feedback and needs so please let us know what you want write APIs to do and we’ll put it on the to-do list. We are super excited about write APIs – it will enable your in-house library developers to develop exciting apps and functionality and turn LibGuides/LibAnswers/LibCal/LibCRM into data and content stores and distribute this data and content from our apps anywhere at the point-of-need.

LibGuides v1 systems are unaffected by this server move

We are only migrating LibGuides v2 servers so if you are still on LibGuides v1 none of this applies to your system – however we strongly urge you to upgrade to v2 asap so that you can take advantage of these amazing new features (plus hundreds of other features we built into v2 over the past couple of years). It’s a FREE upgrade so there’s no reason to wait.
Help Docs & More Info for v1 to v2 Migration:

We are super excited about this and cannot wait for 2017 and beyond because we have really big plans for the growth of Springshare apps that will benefit our client libraries. We’re just getting’ started, folks!

So, to sum it up – the LibGuides v2 server move is happening on December 30th at 10pm US EST, there will be about 5-10 minutes of downtime, and you must check whether your domain setup requires any action on your part. Please go to our utility at http://springshare.com/dns/lg2.php to test your domain.

As always we’re here for any questions or comments, please email us at support@springshare.com. Happy Holidays!

Slaven & the Springy Team

LibWizard 1.7.7 Update Now Live!

Some fun end-of-the-week news – the LibWizard 1.7.7 update is now live! With this update we’re bringing you easy color customization for Forms, Surveys, Quizzes and Assessments, plus optional HTTPS support. For sites using the full LibWizard platform, we also have exciting news – file uploads are now available across all modules! Read on for deets on all the latest…

Simplified Color Customization

blueformHave you ever wanted to change the colors of a form, survey, quiz or assessment so it’s snazzier and more eye catching? Then do we have big news for you – we’ve added super simple color pickers to all LibWizard modules! Previously, customizing the colors of elements in LibWizard could take a bit of doing and required a good amount of CSS knowledge for optimal results. But no more – we’ve added simple color pickers for individual system assets, as well as for the site as a whole via the system settings.

Customize any major element of any quiz, survey, etc. – from background colors to fonts and font colors to the all new optional border, our color pickers have you covered. To start customizing a survey, quiz, etc., head to the builder and select Options > Look and Feel > Page Fonts and Colors. To customize colors across your site, Admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Custom Colors.

 

File Upload Support

Have you ever wanted to include a file upload as part of your surveys, quizzes, etc.? Perhaps you’re collecting documents for your institution’s IRB, or collecting proposals for an upcoming conference. Whatever the reason, we have great news for you – file uploads are now available as part of the full LibWizard platform! Whether it’s collecting a list of works cited as part of an Assessment or taking submissions for your “Why I love the Library” photo essay, you can keep track of all of this and more with the LibWizard platform.

Enable file uploads in your LibWizard assets by heading to the builder and choosing the new File Upload content type. Good to know: File uploads are currently limited to 20mb per upload, and are retained until the form, survey, etc. is deleted.

HTTPS Support

Do you frequently find yourself embedding forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments in https based websites (like a course management system, or perhaps your main library website)? Then this feature is for you – we’re introducing optional HTTPS support for all LibWizard sites. If you’re ready to make the switch to force all LibWizard content (both the builder as well as individual forms, assessments, etc.) to load via HTTPS, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Misc. Settings and select Enable HTTPS.

Good to know: Enabling this setting means that all content added to your site must also be loaded via HTTPS. This will impact all content that librarians create in the site – all page URLs shown in Assessment & Tutorial slides, as well as image uploads, etc. must also load via HTTPS in order to avoid mixed content error messages.

Additional Fixes and Features

  • Spaces Can’t Bypass Required Questions – Previously, required questions could be bypassed by entering a space (or spaces) instead of a “real” answer. We’ve changed this behavior so responses that just contain spaces won’t pass the required check.
  • Print Individual Responses – We’ve added a Print button to the “preview” view of individual patron responses, so they’ll print with ease.
  • We fixed a bug in Numeric fields, where initial responses that fell outside of the required minimum/maximum setting were being recorded. This now generates an error message, and the response is not recorded within the reports.
  • We addressed an issue with Account Permissions, where making an asset “public” made it both visible and editable for all regular level users in your LibWizard site. Now, setting an asset to “public” will make the asset and any responses visible to other regular users, but they won’t be able to edit its contents.

As always, thanks so much for your great feedback. We hope you’re as excited for these new LibWizard features as we are – don’t hesitate to drop us a line and let us know what you think!