What is it built with?
The technology stack used in Open edX is somewhat complex. At a high level, the technologies involved in the different layers are:
- Ubuntu 16.02 for the operating system.
- Vagrant and alternatively docker for the virtualization and containers layers.
- MySQL for relational databases which hold the learner records and MongoDB for non relational databases wich hold the course contents and the activity in the forums.
- Nginx and Gunicorn for the web server and request interpretation.
- Django as the application framework and python as the programming language.
- DjangoCelery for asynchronous processes.
However, other technologies and services are involved in the operation of the platform and its complementary applications.
Experience it yourself
As part of the Discovery of Open edX, eduNEXT provides some tools to get everyone to experience the Open edX platform first hand without any previous knowledge or technical effort required.
LEARNER DEMO SITE
The Open edX demo site provided by eduNEXT features most of the basic functionality in Open edX LMS and e-commerce from the learner’s perspective. In includes a few dummy courses built to demonstrate the different features and configurations available.
The Author’s lab is a Sandbox environment powered by the Open edX platform and maintained by eduNEXT. It’s a place to experiment as an author or instructor and play around with lots of powerful features. It’s not meant to hold actual courses and data, at it’s access is open to everyone and its data is wiped clean periodically.
YOUR OWN PRIVATE SITE
Once you are all familiar with the Open edX platform and need to provision it for your online learning initiative, you can get the help of experts to do it for you better, safer and faster, or you can proceed on your own following the technical documents listed at the end of this article.
What languages are supported in Open edX?
The Open edX platform and all related documentation are released in English only, but it is always built with high internationalization standards, which allow it to be localized in many other languages. The translations of thousands of strings into each language are done by and reviewed by volunteers from the Open edX community in a collaboration platform called transifex.
The availability, completeness and accuracy of the translation may vary from one language to another. Some long time contributors such as eduNEXT take care of maintaining one or more languages to ensure they are up to date, complete and well translated.
For other languages, translators are always welcome and this is a simple to do and very valuable contribution to the project. To signup to be a translator for a particular language or to download the language packs, visit The Open edX project in Transifex.
What is the Open edX community?
Open edX has a growing and active community of enthusiasts, developers, learning experts, service providers, translators and more, that contribute in different ways their time and efforts to this open source project.
The community is always active via email groups in google, online platforms such as Jira, Confluence and Github, group messages on slack, and scheduled online video calls.
eduNEXT has been a very proud member of this community since the very beginning and welcome everyone who wants to join this great challenge to help build the best open online education platform. Below you’ll find the links for all the Open edX community platforms and channels.
- chatThe Open edX Community Forum
- chatThe slack channel
- emailA few mailing lists powered by google groups
- codeThe github repository and wiki
- descriptionThe Confluence wiki
- question_answerThe Open edX Jira page
The Open edX community also meets in regional and international events at least once a year. The Open edX conference is hosted by one of the educational institutions that support this project and gathers developers, contributors, service providers, organizations and individuals from all corners of the world that are interested and engaged with the
open edX project. eduNEXT takes pride in participating in every event as part of our long term commitment with this initiative. Take a walk through all the international gatherings by visiting the open edX event gallery.
Where is the Open edX documentation?
While a lot of efforts are put by edX in maintaining the user and the technical documentation, keeping up with the fast development and evolution of the platform and services is always a challenge, and the wide variety of options and configurations also implies there is a wide variety of documents out there.
The most reliable sources of information are the official documents to be found on https://docs.edx.org/openedx.html. Please note that the docs.edx.org page publishes both the documentation for edX.org and that of Open edX which are slightly different and also maintains a set of working documents from one release to the next called the “latest” documentation. Whenever possible, you should base your explorations in the documentation for the specific release you will be using.
Here are the links to the main documents for each role for the Open edX Ironwood release.
For system admins:
For Course authors and course staff
In this case, only the “Latest” version is maintained:
How do I get the Open edX platform installed?
This is a key and complex part of the process, so we have a full post with all the details on how to provision the Open edX platform for your own initiative.
In fact, at eduNEXT we believe that adopters of this technology need, resources and more along their journey, so we have made it our main commitment to be there a provide a full range of tools, applications and services to simplify and shorten the process. We call it the Journey to online learning with Open edX and it involves 4 well defined, although sometimes overlapping stages:
Where can I find more info?
Besides all the information you’ll find in this website, the communication channels and the online platforms mentioned above for the Open edX community, there a few more resources to get more information: