General help

Office Add-in for Moodle

 
Picture of Irene Krechowiecka
Office Add-in for Moodle
 
I came across this last week http://www.educationlabs.com/projects/officeaddinformoodle/Pages/default.aspx
and it looks an excellent tool as would save having to download and upload when wanting to make changes to docs and spreadsheets. However can't get it to work as it should. Installs in Office OK and finds my Moodle then logs in without a problem but then says it cannot find courses. I read that this can happen if you have categories block so disabled that and went to list of courses. That didn't fix it and can neither open from nor save to Moodle as get same error message about it now being able to find courses. Anyone used it successfully?
 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Just to be clear.... all it's doing is downloading the document in the "background" and then uploading it again when you have completed your edits. Convenient certainly, but not magic wink
 
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Wazza
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

It wil lbe magic for my teachers. The go through a whole lot of clicking to get a Word document from the NAS into Moodle.

Granted, they tend to find the most dificult route from A to B. I have seen teachers logging in 7 times to get to Moodle smile

A webinterface to upload en download files is not so convenient. I think Microsoft did a great job with this plugin. Teachers can edit documents on the fly in Moodle now, without going through the login proces, finding their course, finding the correct folder, downloading the document, editing and uploading.

 
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Picture of Irene Krechowiecka
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Thanks all for this. I'm just on my way to Moodle Moot with netbook that has open office on so cant try suggestion of not logging on as admin but will when I return.

Even in some of the best designed courses I have people wanting to upload docs, often to a directory so it doesn't clutter. My reality is that to get people started and enthusiastic I have to go with what works for them. If that is using existing Word documents then it is still a good start we can build on. If that can be made easier through this plug in it would be a real bonus
 
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Picture of Andy Freed
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Yeah, there are admittedly several good uses of this tool, and it's easy for me to forget that there are lots of different uses of Moodle out there besides just "DL college courses."

I can see how this plug-in would be really helpful for SACs, corporate intranets, campus courses that use it as a repository, etc.
 
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Wazza
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Hi Irene,

Make sure yoiu do not log in as admin. It doesn't work when I use my own account, but when I use the credentials of a user that has the teacher-role in some courses then it works fine for me.

However, I seem to have another problem. I see the courses, I can even make new folders this way in the Moodle courses. I can open documents, but I can't save them. Since I can make new folders I suspect the rights on my Moodle server to be OK though.

Anyone else having this problem?

 
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Hey it's me, Mike
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Getting the Office Add-in for Moodle (OAM) to work for the site admin role...

  1. In OAM: Remove your moodle site (by right-clicking on the name of your site and selecting del)
  2. In moodle: site admin->modules->blocks->courses set 'Admin view' to Admin sees own courses
  3. In moodle: if you are logged in as site admin; assign yourself a teachers role to any courses that you need to be listed in the office add-in window / UI (or courses that you teach or participate in).
  4. In OAM: re-enter your moodle site and details

Encountered issues:

  • the courses block needs to be displayed on the front page / site home
  • doesn't seem to work with moodle sites that are behind the login (moodle site home page is login auth window)
 
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Ray Mizzi
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
This worked.
I am office admin and have office 7 and 10 (beta)
am able to view and work on course material using word.
 
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Picture of Jürg Hoerner
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I have the same problem. I can make new directories but can save the files.

Did you solve this problem, when yes how?

Thanks Jürg

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup TestersGroup Translators
Hi Irene,

Sorry I've no experience of the Office Add-in for Moodle, but wondered whether Mark Drechsler’s recent blog post Moodle Plugin Review 4 - MS Office Plugin might be of help.
 
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Picture of Andy Freed
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
I've been unsuccessful at getting it to work either, and the educationlabs website is all messed up so I can't comment, view, or reply to any threads. I'm having the same issue with courses, and I tried changing the homepage view to courses (rather than combined list) and created a new connection but it didn't work. I'll try again later.

rant

I'm actually somewhat irked by this plugin. Sure, it's great for anyone who wants to continue using the old "download a bunch of word docs" paradigm of hastily created courses (this is not a comment about the content, just the format), but it's bad for mobile viewers, annoying for anti-clutter freaks, problematic for non-Office users, and just so year 2000.

You're adding thousands of lines of behind-the-scenes code for simplicity's sake when there's a decent editor built in to Moodle, and even plugins to allow shared online docs via services like Google Apps which avoid having to deal with multiple downloaded temp-file versions of the same document.

/rant

However, I can see a benefit because it means that there will be less calls when a Word to HTML conversion blows up. Or some images didn't get uploaded to the right folder. Or a source document for a PDF is lost. And I suppose it means that people can spend more time creating content.


 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Vote +1

The underlying issue with this is that it encourages users to create courses full of Word documents. It's a properly bad idea. It's much more sensible to use the built in editor. You therefore end up with a much more lightweight course (and much more accessible too). That's before we even discuss how much easier making edits becomes!
 
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Hanging in my Stackhat
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
From an 'advancing *agogy' viewpoint I completely agree with your joint sentiments that promoting this methodology encourages poor design in many cases, but should Moodle be giving user what they want or what we tell them they should want?

I realise this is a moot point here as the plugin isn't actually a Moodle plugin per-se, but the question is essentially the same, and regardless of what I may think about it I know a whole bunch of clients who will be very happy to use this - assuming they don't use a Mac and that they have the Courses block showing on the Front/My Moodle page...
 
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Picture of lawrence li
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
So to sum up, the office plugin is workable for Moodle or not now?
 
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Picture of Geoffrey Brewster
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
While I completely agree that users should use the built in editor for Moodle, the reality is that most users create their content with Word and then copy and paste it into the editor even if they use it.

I have tested Moodle 2.0 and the HTML area handles copying from Word better. I do wish it was even better.

The bottom line is that if we are saying that it is better for users to create HTML files rather than uploaded Word files, then it should be easy for them to do so within their regular work flow because the reality is most Moodle users will not change how they do things easily.

I have tested the plugin, and have gotten it to work well. I have not decided whether to promote it or not since I agree that uploading a bunch of Word files doesn't really take advantage of what Moodle and the web have to offer.

 
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Wazza
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I think this is to much ranting. This is not a Moodle plugin, this is just a free attempt from Microsoft to make it more easy to open and save a Word/Excel document to Moodle.

If you don't like it, don't use it.

I have many teachers that use Word documents. I tried to convince them to use well formated online-html pages, but what if the content changes every now and then. It takes them a whole lot of time to edit the content online or upload new documents.

Furthermore, we use a few courses as 'libraries' to store documents as a repository. Several courses link to these documents. The 'Librarian account' is perfect to use for editing these documents in the repository.

I still can't get this to work properly though, but since others can my best bet it's something with my Moodle file structure.

 
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Picture of lawrence li
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Hi Richard

"we use a few courses as 'libraries' to store documents as a repository."
how do you do this?
 
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Wazza
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Hi Lawrence,

I'll try to be short smile

  1. Create a course
  2. Make sure this course has guest access
  3. Use this course as a file repositry (just add files - nothing more)
  4. Give someone the teacher-role and give it the name 'Librarian'

The Librarian is responsible for the document storage. Now other teachers can make links from several courses to the same documents/files. If this document contains a mistake or needs to be altered, you just have to correct this one file and it will still work from all the courses that link to it.

Hence, the 'repository'. We have about 8 of them - all store different files.

If you use this Office add-in and you use the credentials of the librarian to log into your Moodle, then updating your documents is a piece of cake. Just use the 'Open from Moodle' option in Office, edit the document, and save it to Moodle.

 
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Picture of lawrence li
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Thanks Richard the reply but I researched a month, I've no idea how I can make moodle a repositry for documents

based on your method,the couse is for guest access that means other people can access and download all the document?

secondly, how can I other course to link the documents inside this course? I've also no clues on it...pls would you further tell me , thanks and appreciate
 
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Tabitha - Cave, Stewart Island, NZ
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Moodle Course Creator Certificate holders
You right click on the file (or control click on apple) and copy the link location.
You go to the course you want the link to appear in. Add a label and type something useful like "click here to go to...." and then use the chain icon in the WYSIWYG editor to add the link, paste it in and press okay and save the label.
Link created.

You have to have guest access on the library course or the link won't work due to permissions. Alternative to guest access is that all Moodle users on the site are enrolled into the library course or given an enrolment key prior to trying the link.

Note - the user must have the ability to read the files - if they don't have Microsoft Office installed then they may not have a way to read the files.
 
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Picture of lawrence li
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
thanks...but using this method will not be good idea to share learning object like this...unless all courses are free and open to all...
 
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Picture of John St
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Core developersGroup Plugin developers
If you force login (i.e., guests can't view your moodle site without logging in from somewhere) the add-in will not work it seems. Which is a bummer because it really is quite useful.
 
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Picture of Buddy Ethridge
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Plugin developersGroup Testers
We use a CAS login system and it is not currently supported. I'm sure some of our faculty are going to be disappointed by this. Microsoft is supposedly working on supporting some alternate authentication methods.
 
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Picture of marsyitah ismail
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Dear Buddy

We are also using CAS login system and you're right..it doesn't work. If you're right about Microsoft working on it..that's great. Really hope they will come up with something soon as we are looking forward to using this add in widely.
 
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Picture of Chris Moffatt
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

We are going to release an update to the add-in to support logging in with 3rd party authentication schemes - e.g. CAS and LDAP. More information in this blog post.

Thanks, Chris (Microsoft Edu Labs)

 
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Picture of Irene Krechowiecka
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Still struggling here. I'm trying it on a Moodle instance with just two courses on that I have given myself teacher rights to and am loging in as teacher rather than admin. I have tried with courses block on and off and still get the same error message about courses module may be showing categories. Have put list of courses on front page - but each course is in a category as you can't create a course outside a category as far as I can see. Or am I wrong - do I need to delete all the categories I created for this to work? Can Moodle work with no categories at all? It comes with Misc as default, would that need to be deleted too. Spoke to Alex Buchner at Moodle Moot and he told me it was working well for him, so Alex if you see this please help
 
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M Pretorius
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Hello Irene

I just got it working. There are a few issues that you need to be aware of. I suggest that you read the blog post of Mark Drechsler’s blog post as Helen also suggested. The post helped me to sort out my problems. What I at first did not realise is that the courses block has to be added to the home page of your moodle site - it does not help to have it within a course. You also need to remove the Moodle link created by the OAM if you have made some changes and then add it again.

Greetings
Marius
 
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Picture of Chris Moffatt
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

The good news is that we are going to release an update to address the problem many are encountering when courses are displayed in categories. (as well as support for 3rd party authentication schemes). More info here: http://www.educationlabs.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=23 

Thanks, Chris (Microsoft Education Labs)

 
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M Pretorius
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
A very helpful little tool ... for teachers. I got carried away at first and thought that it would enable the learners to work natively in Office and save to Moodle. It is not meant for that.

Let me explain my scenario for usage. I teach a Computer End User course where the students work with a lot of Microsoft Office source documents. These may be Word, Exel or Access documents. They download from Moodle, edit and upload these to Moodle Assignments. If I want to change any of these documents now - it is a piece of cake.

I have not tried/tested it fully yet, but I suppose that if you want learners to use Moodle as a repository for their documents you could create a course for each learner and give them file management rights in that course - or just assign them to be the teacher in that course, where the sole purpose of the course is to act as a 'MySpace'. They would then be able to work natively from Office and all other documents that they want to store they have to work through the Moodle interface as we used to.


 
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Picture of Lindsay Dragoo
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
I have been using the addon for Moodle in word, and have experienced continually crashing of my office suite. Has anybody else had this issue?


 
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Picture of Chris Moffatt
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Hi Lindsay,

It would be great if you could send the logs for the Add-In to moodle@microsoft.com so we can try to debug the problem.

Thanks, Chris (Microsoft Education Labs)

 
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Picture of Anton Mitchell
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I am not even getting as far as the add moodle dialog.

If I click on 'open from moodle' I get a different dialog from the one shown in all the info i've seen, which only asks for the server address, not my credentials. if i populate it, it then goes to my moodle site, and my normal login page appears within the dialog.

I login as usual then it goes to the front page and the little circle of much waiting appears, and thats it!

I have tried all of the suggestions here but this is as far as it goes, any ideas?

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Can you confirm you are using Moodle 1.9? AFAIK it has not been updated to work with Moodle 2.

 
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Picture of Anton Mitchell
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I am using 1.9.18 with MS Office 2007

 
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Picture of Chris Liang-Vergara
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
Yes - same thing - it always crashes/freezes the second I try to open/save to Moodle for the first time. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling multiple times.

Oddly - it works great on my computer running Win 7, but the crashing happens on my XP. Is this related?
 
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Picture of April Cookson
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
I have had a similar problem...works great on Windows 7, but I can't even get it to install correctly on XP.
 
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Think I am older now :)
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Documentation writersGroup Testers
Hi all,
This was a helpful thread and as was the postings in MSEdLabs site. But of course I notice the documentation was "terse". In my first attempt it would not work on demo.moodle.net nor on one of my home computers localhost (yes it was turned on). I created Office_add-in_for_Moodle page and added some quietly unpleasant words on the page comment. And then...

A few deep breaths later, I decided to try to set up a link to a localhost where my 'teacher' was assigned to the MS Add-in course. It worked. Deleted my page comments and added screenshots to the Doc page.

I did not push this feature of Microsoft Office to see how many ways a perpetual Newbie, might break it in his daily work. I want to play with some Moodle front page or My Moodle page settings to find the breaking points. Also I want to see if once I establish a link to a Moodle site with Office, can back out of Office and then go back in which will allow Office to log into the Moodle site as another valid user (with perhaps a different set of courses/folders etc).

I am not a big fan of devoting a lot of Moodle energy documenting other for profit products that happen to interface with Moodle. I concede that I use Office and 1 page of documentation is not an excessive use of Moodle resources smile

Chris
 
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Picture of Andy Walker
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Hi,

We have recently got this working on Moodle (1.9.8+) however we've found that if we enable the NTLM auto-login within moodle then the office add-in breaks. Has anyone else seen this or come up with a work around?

Cheers,

Andy 

 
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Picture of andrew castle
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
The Microsoft Education Labs website has been down for a couple of days. Anyone have any news about this?
 
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monia
Installation
 
Hello,

I found this add in useful and installed it in my office but unfortunately I can’t set up it with my website mixed

When I tape the web address or network location of my web server appears this message:

There was an error connecting with the Moodle.
Verify your Moodle web site is online.

My Moodle web site is online but for now doesn't have a domain name, for now is a sequence of numbers. Do you think the problem is this?

I tried with the address moodle.org and the add-in seems work in my computer.

Has anyone experienced this problem?

 
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Picture of Robert Brenstein
Re: Installation
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
If you have the numeric address only, enter the address in your browser, like

http://192.168.1.1/moodle

Moodle, however, will work only if it properly installed on a web server.
 
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Picture of Richard Booth
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
I have recently installed the Office add-in for a member of staff at my College.

It works on my computer with a test tutor login, but for one tutor it does not work at all.

She is a tutor on the Business courses on our Moodle installation but her courses do not display when she logs in to the add-in. The Moodle instance appears, but when she clicks on the '+' to open the file structure, nothing is there, it is just blank.

Does anybody have a clue why this is happening or experienced the same problems?

Best wishes,

Richard.
 
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Picture of Graham Lee
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I too am having a small issue with this add-in.

first off, it is great for all our lecturers, those that I have tried it with, love it, and although a course of solely office documents isn't great, we encourage use of all modules within Moodle -variety and all that.

The issue I have is that (and this has only happened on our main Moodle, and on both last years and this years Moodles) initially, no problem, then after a period, something happens (we do not know what or why) and all new staff who I install it for need to be enrolled on one specific course (different one on this years Moodle to last years) otherwise, they get the message "An error occurred while loading the courses. This can happen if the courses module on your Moodle shows a list of courses categories instead of courses."

Add the member of staff to this one specific course, and they can access all of their courses through this add-in. So whilst we can get around the problem, I don’t want to promote it too much, until I can find the cause and resolution – anybody any ideas as to what might be happening?

Cheers

Graham

 
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Picture of Nick Abraham
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Hi, I am also having a little difficulty with the add-in -  can anyone offer an explanation or solution? I am using the trick for working as an admin and it works fine  -  I can save doucuments to different areas without any problem. The issue I have is when I open a document from MS Word and make changes to it, the changes do not appear in the document when I open it from within Moodle. However, when I open the document from MS Word, the changes are displayed - does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Nick

 
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Picture of Amir Elion
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Translators

Possibly the document is changed on your moodle server but the older version file is cached in your computer's temporary internet files.

The check - try opening it from another PC. If you see the newer version, this means it is ok. To be able to see it on your regular PC delete temporary internet files on it.

 
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CLC Logo
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 
One of our schools is using this add-in with Moodle 1.9.

They are considering upgrading to 2.0, what are the implications for this add-in? Does it become un-necessary due to new features in 2.0? If it is still needed has it been tested it with 2.0?

I saw this from MartinD in April last year...
"They've done this by calling Moodle web scripts directly which is probably not as stable as using web services designed specifically for this purpose (such as the ones in the upcoming Moodle 2.0)"
 
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Picture of Tim Noakes
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I am having a serious problem with our office plug in. It works for a while then gives the message "an error occured whilst loading the courses. This can happen if the courses module on your Moodle shows a list of course categories instead of courses".

We are a Moodle 1.9.5+ site. Office 2003 on Windows XP.

We have chaged the view in the courses module from course categories to courses (all).

It works as Admin user but works initially if you are a teacher on the course then after a while gives up (even if you delete and re-add the Moodle site log in credentials on the plug in).

I have almost read every post and we need this to Work (for everyone, all the time).

Please help??

Many thanks


 
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Picture of Tim Noakes
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

I have found a 'Fix' for this problem.

In Administration Block > Appearance > My Moodle

Tick Force Users to use My Moodle.

Then the office plug in works for everyone!!

The only down side if that make the Front Page completely redundant!!

Tim

Moodle Admin,

South Leicestershire College


 
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Picture of Dave Perry
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

I think the plugin came out before Web Services was properly done in 2.x (mainly for the mobile support I'd imagine). It would be far better if it just used web service calls and not requiring that my moodle page to be the homepage (which looks nasty unless you do some serious customisation of it - not to mention losing the news etc).

 
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Picture of Emily Wargo
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Hi.  I'm creating a course in 2.0 for Educators called "How to Use Microsoft Outlook 2010 for Educators."  I want to install this plug-in if it's available for 2.0 and is relatively stable because I think it would work well with the class since they will be doing a lot of work using Microsoft Outlook among classmates, etc.  Does anyone know when or if there has been any action regarding updating the plug-in to work in 2.0 or is this still an ongoing process with Microsoft?  What would be the risks if I tried to install the plug-in?  Thanks for any help anyone can providesmile

 
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Picture of Mike Algozzine
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

The Office Add-in no longer works after a load balancer was replaced in our hosted Moodle environment. We can log in to Moodle, search for courses, and open files, but we can't save files:

Error saving file - Couldn't save the file. You may not have permission to save to that location or the location may not be available.

We can upload the file in Moodle, so apparently it's not a permissions issue. We're using LDAP authentication over SSL. It worked fine before the hardware change. If it's an authentication issue, it seems odd that we can still log in and open files. Any ideas? How do we access log files for the add-in?

 
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Picture of Mike Algozzine
Re: Office Add-in for Moodle
 

Here is a snippet from our log file:

Operation := ExecuteSaveFileRequest
ErrorCode := ConnectionError
Exception := Microsoft.EducationLabs.MoodleAddin.Common.Model.ModelException: Couldn't save the file. ---> System.Net.WebException: The underlying connection was closed: A connection that was expected to be kept alive was closed by the server.

As mentioned earlier, our hosting provider recently installed a new load balancer, so the session handling mechanism may have changed. We have a high-traffic site, so they may be closing connections more aggressively to avoid hitting the load balancer's threshold for concurrent sessions. It seems odd that the add-in can't establish a new session under these circumstances though. Others have reported similar problems, although it may be somewhat unusual for a load balancer or Web server to be configured this way.

Is there anything we can do, other than reconfiguring the load balancer, which is probably not an option for us?

 
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