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There are a couple of key points where the LAMS server will have to talk to the external integrated server in order for the tool adapter to work. Many of the calls will be made to the tool adapter servlet which will handle the special functions required for LAMS tools that are not often directly implemented by other LMS tools.

Authoring

As was discussed earlier, in order for this tool adapter concept to work, we need to pass the authoring page the customCSV parameter so it can correctly create the activity instance on the external LMS. There are a few steps to follow before we can get to this point.

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To make this ext_lms_id configurable, the tool will need a admin page accessible through the sysadmin interfaces, you may need to add further configuration items to this page as your tool adapter requires including a external tool adapter servlet url which will be discussed later in this document.

Authoring Action

Once you have your ext_lms_id happening, you need to manage actually redirecting to the external tool's authoring page. When the user clicks on the activity to open author, a request is made to the tool's authoring action. If you have configured the ext_lms_id correctly, and you have passed the customCSV from the original author login request call, then the customCSV will be passed in the request to the authoring action. You can decode it here and then construct the authoring url based on the parameters. If the base authoring URL is static and unchanging (minus parameters) as with the moodle forum tool, then you may wish to store a server URL in the tool's admin page and hard-code the relative URL. If the author URL is dynamically changing as is the case with the .LRN Forum tool, you may need to include a author URL in the customCSV passed form the external server.

In your call to the external tool's authoring page, you will need to add a parameter that tells the external server the return or save-content url. That way when the user clicks save on the external tool, they can be returned to LAMS to save the tool. The external tool should add a extra parameter for the external content id, so it can be saved in the LAMS content instance and used for future references to this tool content. 

Export Learning Design

How to implement export and import tool contentTo export a LAMS learning design, the authoring tool content needs to be serialised into a file so it can be imported again later in a different context. LAMS will go through a sequence and call each tool to output its tool content. This is made a bit more complicated for tool adapter tools, since they do not have the content stored locally, they only have an external content id. When the call is made to export the tool adapter content they have to call the external tool adapter servlet to request the content in a server to server call.

You will not need the customCSV for this so long as you saved the info in the customCSV in the LAMS tool content instance object, you will only need to retrieve the external tool adapter servlet url, and then add the parameters from the saved tool content.

Authentication

As with other integration server-to-server calls, the call to the tool adapter servlet will require a hash containing the timestamp, user, server id and secret server key. View the integrations page for more information on this.