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Community Champion

Explaining LTI versus LTI

I have been working with a vendor who says that their product integrates with Canvas. They have been unable to provide me with any explanation of how the integration works, except to keep insisting it would “add a link to the student’s main page” in Canvas. When pressed as to whether this meant the Dashboard, they said yes. They provided me a key and secret, and I configured the app, but it does nothing. I am beginning to suspect that I’ve had a gross misunderstanding with them. What I THINK is happening is that they’re unaware that they have to develop an LTI external app, instead assuming that by giving us the key/secret to allow Canvas to talk to their system, that it will magically put a link somewhere.


Since I’m not a developer, I feel like I’m lacking the proper language to explain this to them. If you had to explain to someone the difference between using LTI as SSO, and actually building a tool that uses the LTI framework to communicate with Canvas, what would you say? And if they were ignorant of the app-building process, where would you direct them?

I'm putting this in the Canvas Admins‌ groups, and tagging the Canvas Developers‌ as well. Help! :smileyconfused:

22 Replies

One thing you can always do if it is a "Configure by URL" is load the URL into your browser.  It will be a URL that usually ends in something like "/lti/config.xml" or similar.  This is the LTI configuration XML and you should be able to see the placements in there.

What it sounds like is they have given you the Launch URL with no configuration information or XML which you need to be able to enable the placements.  Its really frustrating sometimes when vendors dont understand even the basics.

Community Champion

Yes - what vendors mean by "integration" usually falls far, far short of what I think of as "integration."


Here is an idea for the Community.  Instructure is in the process of launching a new Partner Portal.  It would be great if someone would suggest that there be a section for each partner describing "Level of Integration with Canvas."  We take our integration very seriously and have spent a lot of effort with automatic filtering for sub-accounts, so we'd love to be able to put that out there.