LTI (Learning Tools Operability) is a standard that allows applications like Ares to integrate with platforms such as course/learning management systems. As of Ares v5.0.4/5.0.5, Ares supports these connections using LTI 1.3, which can also take advantage of the LTI Advantage extensions.
Creating a new LTI 1.3 connection will not break any pre-existing LTI 1.1 connections configured in previous versions of Ares as LTI 1.1 and LTI 1.3 use a different set of configuration tables in the Ares Customization Manager. However, sites with existing LTI 1.1 connections in Ares should create a new LTI 1.3 connection following the instructions in this article due to the end of support for LTI 1.1 by IMS Global. See the IMS Global website for further definition and history of LTI.
Please contact Atlas Systems at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-567-7401 ext. #1 for assistance with LTI setup.
In order to successfully connect Ares with your course/learning management system (CMS), we recommend involving the following people:
- Atlas Systems customer support agent
- Your Course Reserves staff
- Your Course Reserves IT support (access to Ares Customization Manager)
- Your course/learning management system administrator
Ares supports LTI 1.3 connections through the Ares Web API. Most course/learning management systems are LTI compliant and can be integrated with Ares using LTI. See the IMS Global Learning Tools Interoperability Catalog and view which LTI versions are supported by each product. We recommend learning more about LTI and your specific course/learning management system in preparation for Ares integration.
LTI 1.3 Configuration Process
Overview | Configuring the LTI 1.3 Tool Within the CMS | Configuring the Ares Customization Manager Tables
CMS-Specific Configuration Instructions
Atlas has compiled instructions for using LTI 1.3 to connect Ares with some commonly used course/learning management systems:
- Canvas: Integrating Ares and Canvas with LTI 1.3
- Brightspace Desire2Learn (D2L): Integrating Ares and Brightspace with LTI 1.3
- Moodle: Integrating Ares and Moodle with LTI 1.3
- Blackboard: Integrating Ares and Blackboard with LTI 1.3
Creating a new LTI 1.3 connection between Ares and a course/learning management system will require configuring tools and settings within both your CMS and Ares instances. This process will generally be performed in this order:
- A new LTI 1.3 tool is created within the CMS and configured to connect with the Ares server. Specific settings for the tool will generally need to be populated with the commonly used LTI configuration links listed in the section below.
- See Configuring the LTI 1.3 Tool Within the CMS below for more information
- The LTIPlatforms table in the Ares Customization Manager is populated with the configuration details for the LTI 1.3 tool created in the CMS and with a few other details to configure mapping between the two systems.
- These details can be obtained from within the CMS administrator interface after the tool is created.
- See LTIPlatforms Table below for more information.
The LTIPlatformMappings table in the Ares Customization Manager is configured to specify which LTI fields used by the CMS should map to which Ares fields.
Note: If migrating a previous LTI 1.1 connection to a new LTI 1.3 connection between your CMS and Ares, your field mappings in the LTIFieldMappings table will need to be migrated to the new LTIPlatformMappings table. Please note that LTI parameter names used in the LTI Field Name column will need to be changed to use updated LTI 1.3 parameter names when migrating your existing field mappings to the new table. Please see the IMS Global documentation for more information on these changes.
- See LTIPlatformMappings Table below for more information.
- Test the LTI 1.3 connection by using the new Ares LTI 1.3 tool to configure links to the Ares course page and deep links* to Ares items on your CMS course pages.
- See CMS-Specific Configuration Instructions for instructions on creating these links in Moodle, Brightspace, Canvas, and Blackboard.
*The LTI deep linking functionality requires that the ltiContentItem.js file is present in the js folder of your Ares web directory. If your web directory does not contain this file, please visit the Ares Downloads page to download the latest version of the Ares web pages, then locate and copy this file from the downloaded web pages into the js folder in your web directory. After adding the file, ensure that the following line of code is added to your include_head.html file:
Configuring the LTI 1.3 Tool Within the CMS
Commonly Used LTI 1.3 Tool Configuration Links
The first step in the LTI 1.3 configuration process is to create a new LTI 1.3 tool within the CMS that can be used to connect to your Ares server. The process for configuring this tool varies by CMS, but will most likely require populating the tool's settings appropriately with the links below to configure the connection to your Ares server. CMS-specific setup instructions are available for Canvas, Moodle, Brightspace, and Blackboard.
LTI 1.3 Tool Configuration Links
The following links can be used to configure the Ares connection settings for the LTI 1.3 tool in your CMS:
Note: The Ares web domain and path to the Web API used in these links must match those used in the Base API Url column of the row in the Ares Customization Manager's APIConfig table that has an ID number matching the value of the ClientUploadAPIConfig customization key. To verify these values:
- Open the ClientUploadAPIConfig key under System | Client Upload and note the key's value
- Open the APIConfig table under System | Integration
- Locate the row of the table with an ID matching the value of the ClientUploadAPIConfig key
- Verify that the Base API Url value of this row (Note that these values are case-sensitive):
- Has a domain matching that of the domain for the URLs in the links used to configure the LTI 1.3 tool in your CMS
- Contains the same path to the Ares API as used in the URLs in the links used to configure the LTI 1.3 tool in your CMS. This path is located directly after the domain and will behttps://<your.AresWeb.domain>/ares/webapi/for standard Ares installations.
Configuring the Ares Customization Manager Tables
LTI Platforms Table | LTIPlatformMappings Table | Using Multiple Course/Learning Management Systems
After creating the LTI 1.3 tool in the CMS, there are two tables in the Ares Customization Manager you will need to populate with information about the tool and other information about how to map the fields and roles from your CMS to your Ares system:
These tables can be located in the Ares Customization Manager at System | Integration. Please see the section on each table below for more information on configuring the table values.
If you are linking more than one Course Management System with Ares through LTI, each system will need a separate entry in this table. This table should be populated with certain configuration details specific to the LTI 1.3 tool created in your CMS to connect with Ares.
|ID||This value will be automatically generated and should be entered into the LTI Platform ID field for entries configured in the LTIPlatformMappings table for the CMS.|
The URL that the CMS will use to send the authentication request. This should be a URL under the CMS's domain and can generally be retrieved from the configuration details for the LTI tool created in the CMS to connect with Ares.
|Ares Web URL||
This field is only needed if you use multiple CMS systems that use
This is typically the URL of your CMS instance. It may also be found as the Platform ID or another similar setting within the configuration details for the LTI tool created in the CMS to connect with Ares.
The ID of the LTI 1.3 tool created to connect with Ares. This should be retrieved from the configuration details for the LTI tool created in the CMS to connect with Ares.
The ID of the LTI 1.3 tool deployment used by the CMS to connect with Ares. This should be retrieved from the configuration details for the LTI tool created in the CMS to connect with Ares.
This field should be left blank as keys will be automatically generated in the LTIKeys table when the connection between Ares and the CMS is established.
|Key Set URL||
The URL that the CMS will use to store keys for that system. This should be retrieved from the configuration details for the LTI tool created in the CMS to connect with Ares.
A comma-delimited list of all of the roles from your CMS that will
|Course Proxy Roles||
A comma-delimited list of all of the roles from your CMS that will
The LTIPlatformMappings table specifies which LTI fields should map to which Ares fields. The LTI Platform ID value is used to specify which CMS system will use each field mapping, allowing you to configure different mappings for the same field across multiple CMS platforms.
|LTI Platform ID||
The ID number of the row configured in the LTIPlatforms table for the CMS system that will use this field mapping (e.g. if this field mapping is being configured for Canvas and the ID number for the Canvas entry in the LTIPlatforms table is 3, then this field should contain the value 3).
|Ares Field Name||
The Ares field you want that LTI value to import into (FirstName,
|Ares Object Name||
Either Course or User
|LTI Field Name||
*The field in the CMS (given_name, https://purl.imsglobal.org/spec/lti/claim/context#id, etc.)
*Please consult with your campus CMS administrators to obtain the proper LTI parameter field names to use for each Ares field mapping. Note that the names used for these parameters in LTI 1.1 have changed in LTI 1.3. Please see the IMS Global documentation for more information on these changes.
Using Multiple Course/Learning Management Systems
It's possible to create more than one entry in the LTIPlatforms table of the Customization Manager and direct more than one course/learning management system to Ares using LTI. If continuity across the programs is required, identical values must be able to be mapped into Ares' ExternalCourseID and ExternalUserID fields, as Ares uses these two fields to uniquely identify courses and users, respectively.
When configuring the LTIPlatformMappings table, separate entries should be created for each CMS using the LTIPlatformID value in the LTIPlatformMappings table to specify which CMS will use each mapping. Specifying the LTIPlatformID for each mapping allows you to map different LTIFieldName parameters from each CMS to the same Ares field or to map the same LTIFieldName parameter from each CMS to different Ares fields. The LTIPlatformID value should correspond to the ID number of the entry in the LTIPlatforms table for the CMS.