Online community meetup: Thursday February 18th

Join us at the February 18th online community meetup to hear Javier Viñuales from Graspway tell us about Why did Graspway choose the Open edX platform?

Full details on the wiki: February 18 meetup


We had a good event! @vigu gave us a great overview of how Open edX solved the training challenges Graspway faces with its customers, including the integration with Wordpress. The questions were wide-ranging, from licensing to authentication.

The recording is here:

Thanks, Javier!

1 Like

I took notes. Might be useful for the wiki, later:

Community meetup 2021-02-18


@nedbat (host, edX)
Javier Viñuales (speaker, Graspway)
Silvia M
Roger Taylor
Cristina Pérez
Luis Fresno
Juan Ramón
Jean Talbot
Sergio Garcia
Gérin-Lajoie Robert


Ned hosts the meeting.

Nedbat announces:

  • Open edX Code of conduct
  • Open edX Social media links

Nedbat: 2020 Highlights

Nedbat: 2021 predictions

Let’s continue with collaboration and energy, and the community will grow.

Nedbat: Working groups

Get involved via working groups. Marketing has taken on figuring out the 2021 virtual conference. We want more working groups.


Javier Viñuales talks about Graspway

Javier: What’s Graspway

Feynman: grasp the knowledge, understand and follow your way
Built by OpenSistemas, Spanish company
Also the name of product
Based on data and learning analysis
600+ courses
500000 users
500 teachers
Relationship with Microsoft

Javier: Wants to solve the “Fundamental Problem of Training”

Empowering people with knowledge. Not very easy. Why? Training is a mathematically complex system:

  • a lot of independent elements.
  • Interactions between elements is local.
  • Behavior very difficult to predict.

Javier: the solution is a revolution

…Of more than 150 years.
Begins with distance education (1800-1990). Railway, post mail, telephone, radio, TV.
e-Learning (1995-2010): WWW, Linux, Opensource
MOOCs (2008-now): general internet access and cloud
Data driven online learning (now-future): Big Data and AI & ML - this is what OpenSistemas is working on

Javier: OpenSistemas

15 years of training experience. Years of developing e-learning, learning from mistakes and customer requests, such as:

  • Need for content portability
  • Poor scalability
  • Poor reliability
  • Lack of learning paths
  • Big and small customers
  • Services portability

Javier: Ideas for a good learning product

  • Real open source, not just near open source
  • Good community is important
  • Unified user/data model
  • Identity provider support (important for corps and edu)
  • Nice UX
  • Easy brand and content management
  • Ecommerce
  • Mobile
  • Multilevel data analytics
  • Real-time access to data

Javier: The platform has to include:

  • CMS/LMS integration
  • Coherent license model
  • Docker/Kubernetes (scalability)
  • Unified extensions model
  • SAML support
  • API
  • SCORM support
  • LTI support

Javier: the winners are:

Wordpress and Open edX

Javier: Wordpress used for:

CMS for homepage, course catalogue, course details, my course, my profile, other pages, eCommerce, access to Control Center

Javier: Open edX used for:

Creating courses, course content (problems, activities, a lot of features), forum, etc

Javier: Graspway offers:

Not just wordpress + openedx. Control Center: a lot of funcionality that’s not in Open edX.
Single sign-on
Unified user and course management
Dashboard per user role
Processes and objectives for group of courses
Learning path builder (sequence of courses, gated by progress)
Org hierarchy builder
Unifies data for later analysis

Cloud services

Javier: Pre-covid

IaaS only for big companies, 3 to 6 months for a single deployment.

Javier: Post-covid

Tech is key
Urgent online training needs - time is of the essence
Self-serve deployments

Javier: overview of the Graspway product

Account → Cloud Manager (WP, OE, CC, multiple orgs per account, multiple sites per org, pay per use)
Either SaaS, multi-tenant
Or PaaS, single private tenant (allow custom development?)


Ned: real open source? What does that mean?

Javier: Choose the right set of licenses. AGPLv3 might not be compatible with others. Real opensource is related to the openness of the community.

Adolfo: IaaS vs Saas?

If one customer needs a specific XBlock, it may go into SaaS if it makes sense, but if not, PaaS

Jean Talbot: do you use woocommerce?

Javier: Yes, good extension model and license.

Sofiane: does woocommerce also manage subscriptions?

Javier: No. We have our own subscription model.

Nedbat: a lot of people change front-page of sites - not open sourced. How do people feel about that? There was an effort at one point to build a shared front page, but it hasn’t gained wide adoption

Javier: not only a technical point. Customer feedback: we already have a team of content creators that usually use wordpress. Can you give us wordpress? Can you integrate with Microsoft, etc?

Nedbat: Is integration between WP and OE open source?

Javier: Not now, but it might be. Would help the community grow together.

Jean talbot: How is auth done between WP and OE?

Javier: First thing we solved. We decided not to integrate WP and OE directly. Uses SAML across the board, with a separate iDP.

Adolfo: Is the CC based on WP, or a separate piece of software? Will it be open sourced?

Javier: It’s a totally separate piece of software, and as mentioned above, it might be open sourced, depending on how we develop the business model.

Adolfo: How do you deploy OE?

Javier: Everything is an IDA, never touching the server’s code remotely, all stateless. Deployment was the hardest challenge, particularly empowering new developers with a dev environment.

1 Like

Wow, I didn’t know you were taking notes! I’ll sit up straighter next time :slight_smile:

1 Like

OMG @arbrandes your notes are awesome!!

It was a pleasure to answer the questions, we always enjoy learning from our clients and the communities, learning to improve Graspway and its services.

I hope we can share our approach to microservices and deployment of Open edX + WordPress + Our secret sauce :stuck_out_tongue: in another meeting, and learn about how others are working, so we can improve all together, so it is more fun to work :wink:

Thank you very much @nedbat and all the community, kudos for all of you!

1 Like

@vigu, welcome to the forum, thanks for the compliment, and kudos for the talk! :slight_smile: