ONLYOFFICE is a free open-source office suite distributed under GNU AGPL v3.0. It comprises web-based collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations for integration with multiple cloud storage services like Nextcloud (for more details, refer to this tutorial), ownCloud, Seafile, Alfresco (for more details, refer to this tutorial), Plone, etc. or for integration into your own web solution.
Along with collaboration and productivity solutions, ONLYOFFICE editors can be connected with popular e-learning platforms such as Moodle, OpenOlat, Chamilo. These integrations allow teachers to share course materials, and students to write their research papers, essays, and reports right inside this service, without switching between multiple apps.
In this article, we will tell about the ONLYOFFICE integration with Moodle, an open-source learning platform that allows educators to build custom secure teaching environments on their network.
What you’ll learn
This guide will describe how to connect ONLYOFFICE and Moodle instances to each other via the integration app that enables multiple users to collaboratively edit office documents from Moodle in real time using ONLYOFFICE Document Server, and to save back those changes back to Moodle.
What you’ll need
- ONLYOFFICE Document Server
- Moodle instance (you can get the latest version from the official website)
- Moodle ONLYOFFICE integration app
Installing ONLYOFFICE Document Server
You will need an instance of ONLYOFFICE Document Server that is resolvable and connectable both from your Moodle server and any end clients. ONLYOFFICE Document Server must also be able to POST to your Moodle server directly.
In case you’re new to ONLYOFFICE, check the software requirements and available installation options here.
Installing the Moodle ONLYOFFICE integration app
This plugin is an activity module.
Get the integration app from GitHub and follow the usual Moodle plugin installation steps to install it into your mod/onlyoffice directory .
Configuring the Moodle ONLYOFFICE Integration plugin
Once the plugin is installed, you’ll need to specify the address of the machine with ONLYOFFICE installed:
You are also able to restrict the access to ONLYOFFICE Document Server. To do that, you can set up a
Secret key to be used for generating a
token that the Document Server will use to verify commands from the client/editor. In the ONLYOFFICE Document Server config file specify the same secret key and enable the validation.
The secret is not required in order for the plugin to work.
Using ONLYOFFICE within your Moodle instance
Once installed, you can create ONLYOFFICE activity in any desirable course to start working with documents.
Admins/Teachers can choose whether or not documents can be downloaded or printed from inside the ONLYOFFICE editor.
Clicking the activity name/link in the course page opens the ONLYOFFICE editor in the user’s browser, thus students and teachers are able to:
- create and edit DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, TXT, CSV documents attached to the courses;
- view the above-mentioned formats and PDF files;
- convert the following files into the corresponding Office Open XML formats: ODT, ODS, ODP, DOC, XLS, PPT, PPS, EPUB, RTF, HTML, HTM;
- work with advanced objects including autoshapes, tables, charts and equations;
- collaborate on files in real time with a range of collaboration tools;
- make use of third-party plugins such as YouTube, Translator, Thesaurus, etc.