Tao offline is the ability to deliver a test without an active internet connection.

In order to provide an offline delivery, a internet connection is required to synchronize data. It means:

  • Data
    • Users (test-taker, proctor, test-center administrator)
    • Test centers (and assignments of test-taker/delivery)
  • Content
    • Deliveries (compiled test and associated items)

The synchronisation is scoped to a test center "organisation id" to fetch only required data to make the process less resource intensive. The synchronisation is a 2 step process: synchronisation of data/content, then synchronisation of results. It is launched by the "offline device" to fetch data from "central server"

All communications data are encrypted and protected by Oauth2 token

1°) Platform initialisation

We provide a tool to initialize TAO with preconfigured options from a JSON file.

sudo -u www-data php tao/scripts/taoSetup path/to/setup.json

Two setup.json are available to install an "offline device" and a "central server"

Take care to update super-user.password, configuration.global.timezone, configuration.global.url, configuration.global.lang and database configuration under configuration.generis.persistences.default

1A - Central server initialization (This is an informational step, the platform will be preconfigured with setup.json)

To prepare for synchronisation the platform will:

  • Generate keys pair for asymetric encryption (public/private). These will be used for results, encrypted on offline devices and only decryptable on central server.
  • Prepare all storage (database/filesystem) to process encryption
  • Scope the synchronisation to the test center organisation id
  • Enable endpoints to provide credentials for sync user to allow him to be authenticated against Oauth2 service
sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\taoOffline\scripts\tools\setup\SetupCentralServer"

Documentation of encryption: https://hub.taocloud.org/techdocs/tao-encryption/readme-tao-encryption

1B - Central server: Test centers data and content

In order to provide tests to testtakers, test centers have to follow these rules:

  • A valid organisation id property.
  • It can be assigned to one or more test-center administrator and proctor.
  • It has to contain eligibilities to assign test-taker to delivery.
  • Several test centers can have the "organisation id", all will be synchronized

To create item/test/delivery don't hesitate to check the user guide : https://userguide.taotesting.com/3.2/introduction/what-is-tao.html

To import users, CSV importers exist:

  sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\tao\scripts\tools\import\ImportUsersCsv" -t test-taker -f tao/test/user/import/example.csv
  sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\tao\scripts\tools\import\ImportUsersCsv" -t proctor -f tao/test/user/import/example.csv
  sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\tao\scripts\tools\import\ImportUsersCsv" -t test-center-admin -f tao/test/user/import/example.csv

1C - Create sync users

To be able to identify an incoming synchronisation request, users are associated to an "organisation id". This user will be allowed to synchronize test center(s) with associated "organisation id".

  sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\tao\scripts\tools\import\ImportUsersCsv" -t sync-manager -f tao/test/user/import/example.csv

User importer can ingest CSV files formatted similarly to the file located at tao/test/user/import/example.csv. Note, for sync-manger an "organisation id" column is also required!

1D - Offline device initialization (This is an informational step, platform will be preconfigured with setup.json)

To prepare for synchronisation the offline device will:

  • Prepare all storages (database/filesystem) to process encryption
  • Scope the synchronisation to test center organisation id

These actions are grouped in one command line:

sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\taoOffline\scripts\tools\setup\SetupClientServer"

To make "offline device" aware of "central server", the central server url has to be provided

sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\taoSync\scripts\tool\RegisterHandShakeRootURL" --rootUrl=http://central-server.test/

2°) Synchronization!

During synchronisation, the public key is retrieved from central server to manage results encryption.

2A - Synchronization of data and contents

At this point, central server has the data and allow connections for synchronisation. Offline devices are ready, USB/app/local server is setup with central server url and mechanism to fetch sync user has been registered.

login/password from sync-manager csv are provided to school.

To make the process as easy as possible for synchronizer (e.q. teacher/school IT), it connects to the platform then a big button is available to synchronize data.

During synchronisation, data and contents are compared:

  • If does not exist then create
  • If exists but does not match then update
  • If exists locally from a previous synchronisation, but not anymore on central then delete

All received data are encrypted and cannot be read. To decrypt required data for delivery passation, test-taker has to log with his own login/password.

Each testtaker has his own application key to access only his own data . Once test takers is logged in, a proctor can interact (depending on central server -> test center -> eligibility settings) If a testtaker has been added to a testcenter eligibility (or remove) or if any data have been changed since last synchronisation, offline device data will be updated as well

Time to deliver to test taker the test itself

Test takers pass the test, finish it and generate result variables (of course encrypted)

Delivery passations do not require an internet connection to process All login/password pairs for sync-manager/test-takers/proctors have to be provided to schools

2B - Synchronisation of results

Sync-manager user have to synchronize again to synchronize results. Results are encrypted and synchronized as is.

Only results of finished tests will be synchronized

Behavior of steps 2A and 2B are exactly the same. The sync-manager click on synchronization to fetch data and send results To make it automatic and/or scheduled, this synchronisation can be launched from shell, or included in CRON:

sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\taoSync\scripts\tool\synchronisation\SynchronizeAll"

Documentation of synchronisation process: https://github.com/oat-sa/extension-tao-sync

3°) Reporting and Results processing

After an offline device send back results to central server, results are still encrypted. In order to decrypt, a shell command exists, can also be part of CRON:

sudo -u www-data php index.php "oat\taoEncryption\scripts\tools\DecryptResults" -all

You should see results under tab results in backoffice of central server

Enjoy