04 August 2012

Installing Moodle on Windows 7 And Using Active Directory For Authentication Of Users In Moodle

Introduction

I have been asked to do an installation of Moodle and use Active Directory, which has all the user names and passwords of the students already setup, and use those same user names and passwords to log in to Moodle.

There are a number of ways to setup users in Moodle:

1. To get the student to enter an email address and after recieving this email to click on the link provided, however lately Moodle has advised to stop using this as it is an invitation for spammers

2. To manually type in students names, addresses and passwords, which for the school I am doing this for, is not practical as there is over 400 students and a large number of teachers.

3. To use a plugin in called LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) which connects to an existiing Active Directory and uses the user names and passwords from there. This will be the way I will be installing Moodle for this school.

Moodle, for those of you that don't know, is a Content Management System that is used by teachers and lectures in schools and colleges, for providing notes, lectures and assignments in a number of formats i.e. Word, Powerpoint and PDF, to students. Students can access Moodle both internally and externally from their school or college through a URL.This can in some cases reduce the number of books students need to buy or carry around with them.

Using Moodle and Installation

Moodle mostly is very easy to use and in general has been widely accepted.

However installation on windows was a PITA (Pain In The Ar**). When moodle first came along it was mainly installed on Ubuntu. Moodle needs 3 components to work, Apache, MySql and PHP. Under Ubuntu these would be automatically installed and configured.

In Windows up to a while ago each of these components would have to be individually configured. Then came along a tool call WAMP (Windows Apache MySQL PHP) for windows which would install all 3 components and configure themselves automatically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAMP

The current install packages of Moodle come with XAMPP which installs all 3 components and configure themselves, which now makes it very easy to install Moodle on Windows Clents and Servers.

XAMPP's name is an acronym for:
X (to be read as "cross", meaning cross-platform)
Apache HTTP Server
MySQL
PHP
Perl


Microsoft have a number of articles on LDAP here:


Installing on Windows 7

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