3.2 The System Settings Page - Maple T.A. 2016 Help
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3.2 The System Settings Page

Select System Settings from the System Admin menu to view the System Administration page. The page itself is divided into eight distinct sections:

System Settings

Mail Settings

Authentication Settings

Maple Settings

Custom CSS Styles

Custom Head HTML

Custom Footer HTML

IP Address Groups Settings

System Settings, Mail Settings, Authentication Settings, Maple Settings, Custom CSS Styles, Custom <head> HTML, Custom footer HTML, and IP Address/Host Name Groups.

The System Settings Panel

The System Settings panel provides an interface for system administrators to change the path of the Maple T.A. installation, limit the size of uploaded files, control the number of users allowed on the system, and set the time between log file generation.

Property

Default

Comments

Gateway Home Path

None

Maple T.A. installation directory. This directory is set during installation and can be changed through the system settings page and directly in the system_properties table of the database.

School Name

None

School Name is a required field.

Update School Logo

None

School logo to display in the top-right of the header of every page, including the login page. The recommended dimensions are 140 by 53 pixels. If no school logo is provided, a Maple T.A. logo is displayed.

Time Zone

None

Time Zone can only be entered through the drop down list box.

Allowed File Extensions

htm, html, jpg, gif, png, pdf, txt, m4v, mw, mla, wmv, avi, ggb, wav, mp3, swf, lib, ind, jp

Allowed file extensions for files you wish to upload through the Class File Manager in a class.

Max Users

None

The number of student users allowed on the system concurrently.

Show Student ID

True (checked)

If checked, students will see their student ID displayed on the Assignments page in the top center of the page.

Anonymous Homepage

True (checked)

Allow anonymous users to access system homepage. For more information, see the section on Allowing Anonymous User Access below.

Max Upload Size (kB)

2000

Maximum size, in kilobytes, of an uploaded file. Uploaded files include question banks and course modules.

Assignment Autosave Interval(s)

60

For essay questions, the system will automatically save the students typed response at this time interval.

Anonymous Role

Guest

If Anonymous Homepage is on, this is the Anonymous Role is the role that will be given to anonymous users.

Usage Sleep Log (mins)

20

Time limit, in minutes, to wait between generation of usage logs.

Allowing Anonymous User Access

A class can be set up to allow anonymous access, so that anonymous users can take practice tests for testing or self-evaluation purposes. For a class to have the option to allow anonymous access, anonymous access must be enabled at the system level first.

To enable system level anonymous access:

1. From the System Admin menu, select System Settings.

2. In the System Settings panel, select the Anonymous Homepage check box.

3. Click Submit.

To enable class level anonymous access:

1. From the Class Manager menu, select Class Search.

2. Search for the class that you want to enable anonymous access to.

3. Click the class name from the Active classes in the system panel.

4. In the Class Details panel, click Class Info.

5. Click Edit.

6. Select the Anonymous Homepage check box.

7. Click Submit.

The Mail Settings Panel

The Mail Settings panel of the System Settings page provides an interface for system administrators to configure email settings for Maple T.A.

Property

Default

Comments

MX Lookup

Unselected

Find and use MX records for the given domain.

Domain Name

None

If the property "MX Lookup" is selected, you will need to provide the domain name.

Generic

Selected

Use a mail server from the server list.

Servers

Localhost

If the property "Generic" is selected, you must provide a single server or a list of servers separated by a semicolon (;).

From Address

Defined during installation of Maple T.A

This is the address that will appear in the from field of any email sent.

User Name

None

The user name used to connect to the mail server (if needed).

Password

None

The password used to connect to the mail server (if needed).

Format

Text

Determines whether email will be sent as HTML or text only.

Test Connection

None

The test connection button takes the settings that are in place and attempts to connect to the mail server. The user is informed whether or not the test was successful.

The Authentication Settings Panel

The System Administrator can control user authentication and validation through the Authentication Settings panel of the System Settings page.

Property

Default

Comments

Require User Validation

True

Values are "true" or "false". If "true", users logging in for the first time will be required to confirm their profile details such as first name, last name and email.

Enable LDAP

False (unchecked)

Checking the Enable LDAP box, means that Maple TA LDAP authentication needs to be configured through the ldap.properties file. For more information, see Chapter 6: Maple T.A. LDAP Authentication in the Maple T.A. System Administrator's Guide.

Allow Self Registration

False

Values are "true" or "false". If "true", users will see a link on the login page that allows them to register themselves. This feature is normally used only by Maple T.A. installations that are oriented towards placement testing.

The Maple Settings Panel

The local pool of Maple servers is a collection of instances of command-line Maple that are started as needed by Maple T.A. to compute versions of questions (for example, randomized questions) and to grade questions. This pool is configurable through the System Settings page. To access the System Settings page, select System Settings from the System Admin menu.

By default, Maple T.A. uses the local pool of servers. It is also possible to use Maplesoft's MapleNet product as an alternative to the local pool. There are two reasons for doing this:

1. Provide a wider range of question features including Maplets and gridlines on plots.

2. Scalability- the option of load balancing by running Maple T.A.'s Maple computations on a separate server.

Maple T.A.'s use of MapleNet is configured by properties in the System Admin user interface, under the Maple Settings section.

If all of the above properties are configured correctly, Maple T.A. will use MapleNet. Otherwise, Maple T.A. will use its local pool.

To confirm that Maple T.A. is using MapleNet, check mapleta.log. The following message will be issued at startup:

INFO This Maple T.A. instance uses MapleNet Services

Note that you will have to increase the log level for mapleta.log to INFO, from the default WARN, to see this message. For more information, see Chapter 4: Logging in the Maple T.A. System Administrator's Guide.

To configure MapleNet itself, refer to the MapleNet documentation. In particular, be aware that when Maple T.A. is configured to use MapleNet as the back-end math engine, and questions need access to files or custom libraries, the following may be required:

1. MapleNet may need to be run without security option "-z" to enable general access to the file system.

2. If Maple T.A. and MapleNet are running on two different servers, the absolute path to the library file from the Maple T.A. server needs to be identical to that seen by MapleNet on the other server. This can be done by copying the required files, or by using a shared network file system.

Property

Default

Comments

Use MapleNet

False (unchecked)

If unchecked, Maple T.A. will be used as a local pool of servers to compute versions of questions and to grade questions. If checked, MapleNet will be used instead.

Server

None

The domain or subdomain address of the MapleNet server, for example, maplenet.myu.edu. MapleNet can run on the same machine as Maple T.A. In that case you would specify MAPLENET_SERVER=localhost.

Port

None

The port number listened to by MapleNet on its server, for example 8180.

User Name

None

The username configured for MapleNet.

Password

None

The password for MAPLENET_USER.

Maple Path

Defined during installation of Maple T.A

The path to Maple on the local machine.

Min Servers

1

Minimum number of Maple servers in the pool.

Max Servers

5

Maximum number of Maple servers in the pool.

Max Restarts

250

Maximum number of maple commands that will be sent to a Maple server before it is terminated and replaced with a fresh server.

CPU Limit (s)

120

Maximum number of CPU seconds that can be consumed by a Maple instance in the pool, before it is aborted (that is, assumed to be a "runaway").

Retry Delay (s)

120

Number of milliseconds to wait between requests for a Maple server instance, when all servers in the pool are busy.

Time Limit (s)

20

Time limit, in seconds, for a Maple statement to execute and return a result.

Plot Driver

gif

Graphics format used to render plots. The choices are gif and jpeg.

Size Limit (kB)

100000

Maximum size of data a Maple statement is allowed to generate.

Plot Height (px)

800

Plot height in pixels.

Plot Width (px)

400

Plot width in pixels.

Enable MathApp Question

True

Allow instructor to create Math App questions. Note that the MathApp questions use MapleNet.

Shared Math App File System

False (unchecked)

To use this option: check the Shared Math App File System box, then create a symbolic link that maps the Maple T.A. Public_Html/worksheets directory to a directory under MapleNet.

Note: This option is available on Linux only.

The Custom CSS Styles Panel

You can override the default styling in Maple TA by providing CSS styles. This allows you to customize the look of Maple T.A.'s fonts, colors, borders, etc.

The Filter Input Panel

You can set filters on Instructor and Student input that may: contain invalid HTML code, or cause cross site scripting vulnerabilities.

The Custom <head> HTML Panel

You can place custom code in the <head> tag of every Maple T.A. page. The custom code can be extra CSS, JavaScript files, custom scripts, etc.

The Custom footer HTML Panel

Code added to the Custom footer HTML panel is added just before the closing </body> tag. For best results regarding the appearance of this code on the web page, the code should include CSS.

The IP Address/Host Name Groups Panel

The System Administrator can define groups of IP address through the IP Address Groups panel of the System Settings page. IP addresses can be given individually, with wildcards, or using Netmask format. Enter only one IP address or pattern per line. For example, you might create groups that corresponding to computer labs at your institution.

Similarly, to restrict access to an assignment to specific host names, the system administrator can define a host name pattern such that only computers that match this pattern are allowed to complete the assignment. Host names must be entered with wildcards. For example, (*.maplesoft.com).

Groups that are defined in the system settings are available to instructors when they define the properties of assignments or tests. In the Assignment Editor, instructors can require students take an assignment from a restricted set of IP addresses or host names by selecting from a list of predefined groups set up by the system administrator or creating a custom IP address/host name restriction.

Note: To enable the host name restriction feature for instructors, the system administrator must configure Tomcat to actually do the host name lookups. This is done by adding "enableLookups" to the connector tag in the TOMCAT/conf/server.xml file. For example:

<Connector connectionTimeout="20000" port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1" redirectPort="8443" enableLookups="true"/>

After making this change to the connector tag, Tomcat must be restarted.