home | documents | JClic in a network

Installation of JClic in a network

There are two features of JClic that will allow us to optimize its use in the school network:

  • To configure the reports system
    JClic reports runs in the server and carries out two functions: to compile information on the JClic activities carried out by the students, and to represent statistical reports based on the results of these activities.
  • To use the same projects library from all the computers
    This will facilitate the management of the packages of activities: they are installed once in the server and become available to any computer connected to the network.

The first feature is explained in the instructions of configuration of JClic reports. Is advised to read them before continuing.

As you will have seen, there are two operation modes of JClic reports: standard (single Java application) and advanced (using Tomcat). Some of the steps to follow now will depend on the chosen mode.

Configuration of the server

We will make two tasks in the server: to share a folder and to create a JClic projects library on it.

Creation of the shared folder

There are some examples of how to share a folder, both in standard and advanced operation modes:

Standard operation mode:

  • In Windows, if the server already has a folder or a shared unit (for example S: or C:\S), we can create a subfolder S:\JClic or C:\S\JClic.
  • Also in Windows, if we don't have any generic shared resource, we can create a folder C:\JClic and share it with the name "JClic".
  • In Linux there are at least two systems of sharing folders: NFS (Network File System) and SMB (Samba). In bot, we can make use of an existing shared resource creating a subfolder called "JClic" in it , or we can create a new folder and make it a shared resource.
  • In Mac OS X we can also share folders in an AppleTalk network through AFP (Apple Filing Protocol). In this article you can read how to share a folder in read-only mode.

Advanced operation mode:

  • If in the first part we have choose to use JClic reports in the advanced operation mode (Linux + Tomcat + MySQL), we can create a directory called "JClic" in the root of Tomcat, usually located in /usr/share/tomcatx/webapps. (where "x" is the version of Tomcat being used).
  • Also if we have the Apache web server installed, we can create the folder "JClic" in its root, since Apache is more safe and efficient that Tomcat serving static files.

Creation of the shared library of JClic projects

The steps to create the shared library of JClic projects are:

  • Launch JClic player in the server.
    Note: If the server does not have a graphic window manager, launch JClic in another computer with read and write access to the shared folder.
  • Go to Tools - Libraries and click on New.
  • In the dialog window, leave checked the option Create new project library and click on Ok.
  • Select the "JClic" shared folder created in the previous step. The program suggests to create in it a file named library.jclic. Click on OK.
  • You will see a new element in the list of libraries, named "New project library". Select it, click on Edit and change its name to "Shared Library".

Installing JClic projects in the server

In the server, launch a browser, go to the library of activities of the clicZone and install some projects in the shared library that we have just created.

Also in the server, launch JClic and go to Tools - Libraries. Select the shared library and click on Edit. Here you can create folders and subfolders (for thematic areas, for working projects, for groups...). You can also cut, copy and paste the project icons in order to move it from one folder to another.

Last details in the server

To prevent confusions, it can be convenient to eliminate all the project libraries except the shared one. This can be done from the JClic menu Tools - Libraries.

It is also advisable to assign a password to JClic, in order to prevent unauthorized access to the configuration and management of the library. This can be done from Tools - Settings - Security.

Configuration of the clients

The clients must be configurated one by one. The good news are that we must to make it once.

Finding out the path to the shared library

We must start discovering how to reach the file library.jclic from the network clients. Some examples are:

Standard operating mode:

  • In Windows clients, the path will probably be:
    \\nameoftheserver\S\JClic\library.jclic, or \\nameoftheserver\JClic\library.jclic.
  • In Linux clients the shared unit must be mounted in order to be available to JClic, through mount or smbmount. Once gotten on, we will find the resource in a directory like /mnt/S/JClic/library.jclic (if we are making use of a resource "S" that we already had gotten on), or /mnt/JClic/library.jclic, if we have created a specific mount point for the shared folder.
  • In Mac OS X we can get on the volume from the Finder (menu Go - Connect to the server). Once gotten on, the library will be accessible in /Volumes/S/JClic/library.jclic, or in /Volumes/JClic/library.jclic.

Advanced operating mode:

  • If the server has been configured in the advanced mode, Tomcat will allow you to enter the library through the HTTP protocol. The path will be a URL like:


    where nameoftheserver can be the name of the server or its ip address, and XXXX is the port number where Tomcat is running. By default it is 8180 for Tomcat 4 and 8080 for Tomcat 5.
  • If the server has also Apache installed and you have decided to create here the library folder, the URL will be similar but with another port number (or without any port number if Apache runs on port 80).

Configuring JClic

  • In each of the network clients, launch JClic. This can be made from the downloading and installation page.
  • Go to Tools - Settings - Libraries.
  • Leave checked the box Automatically go to libraries when JClic starts.
  • Click on New and select the option Add a link to an existing project library.
  • In the File or URL field, write on the path to the file library.jclic that we have found out in the previous step.
  • Click on OK.
  • Close JClic and check that wen starting it again we can access to the shared library.

Last details in the clients

  • It can be convenient to eliminate the "main Library" and to leave only the "shared Library". This will avoid the dialog window that always appears as JClic starts, prompting us which library we want to load. It can be suppressed from Tools - Libraries.
  • It can also be convenient to protect the configuration with a password. This can be done in Tools - Settings - Security.

Maintenance of the system

If new projects have to be installed or the structure of the shared library has to be modified, by always making it from the servant|server, since the customers do not have laws|rights of writing.

It|He|She has to be taken into account that for erasing an icon of the library (from the menu Herramientas - Libraries - To Edit) are not erased the files of its|his|her|their project. These will continue in the folder of the library. Totally to eliminate a project its|his|her|their folder has to be suppressed manually.

Advanced functionality

In this document he|she|it has explained itself|himself|herself as creating only one shared library, but there can be other solutions, as creating a specific library for every cycle or course. We have also supposed that there is only one servant|server that acts as servant|server of reports and the library of projects houses. Evidently, these tasks can be divided up among different computers also.

If the advanced modality has been opted for and the library has been placed in the Apache servant|server, and if this servant|server has exit to Internet, your pupils|students will be able to be connected also from home|house: it will only be necessary that they start off JClic, go to Herramientas - Libraries and think a new library noting|pointing the corresponding URL (http://servidor.dominio/JClic/library.jclic). Like this they will be able to work with the same projects as at school.


Share |
Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament d'Educació Xarxa Telemàtica Educativa de Catalunya