mkauffman

LTI Deep Linking/Content Item Message

Blog Post created by mkauffman on Apr 24, 2018

If you're attempting to build an LTI tool provider that supports Deep Linking aka Content Item Messaging and you see the following symptom described in Behind the Blackboard!

 

"LTI TP posts back to /webapps/blackboard/controller/lti/contentitem fails. When posting back to /webapps/blackboard/controller/lti/contentitem Learn fails with "The specified resource was not found, or you do not have permission to access it."

 

You can fix the issue by addressing two items in your code:

a) Blackboard Learn sends an optional "data" field with the LTI launch. Be certain you pass it back to Blackboard Learn.

b) The ContentItemSelection request sent to BB must be signed. You can check your signature with a tool like: http://lti.tools/oauth/

c) When checking the signature of the content received at your tool provider, unescape the content then create the signature to check. Do not sign the content before it has been unescaped. I.E. if you try to check the signature of content containing " the signature will not match because Learn signed it when that character was represented as ".  The same holds in the other direction. Learn expects the content to be signed before the Tool Provider escapes the HTML. To be clear - we're talking about this type of HTML Escape/Unescape - Free Online HTML Escape / Unescape Tool - FreeFormatter.com  Also, when you want to send an empty value to Learn, avoid null. Use "" instead.

 

Lastly, after calculating the signature, be certain to escape the content posted back to Learn, not encode it. As an example, for the " character use " not %22.

 

The Partner that originally reported the issue got back to us and said they did the following above two items to their Tool Provider code to resolve it. In the meantime our automated processes created a known-issue article, then when the bug was closed by our LTI engineer as unable to reproduce it was set as being resolved in 3400.1.0. It's not a bug and functions as designed in all versions of Learn that content-item messaging is available.

 

Note: We've certified Blackboard Learn as an LTI Tool Consumer. If you have issues with your Tool Provider code and Blackboard Learn, our engineering team requests that you first certify your Tool Provider using the Learning Tools Interoperability Certification Suite | IMS Global Learning Consortium  - before bringing the issue to Blackboard.

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