Design Tools Technical Overview


Design Tools is an add-on to Canvas that uses LTI, the Canvas API, and the ability inside Canvas to utilize custom CSS and JavaScript files to integrate with Canvas. Design Tools is comprised of two LTI tools and one JavaScript widget that works with the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE). These tools can be installed at the Canvas root account or in any sub-account within your Canvas instance.


Regarding data, Design Tools does not require the use of any student information, so it does not store any user data. It also does not store any course content. All content created with the tools is written as HTML into the Canvas RCE and stored as HTML in Canvas. Additionally, user information and authorization is all managed by Canvas. Design Tools stores an encrypted developer key that you provide upon installation (click here for more information about the installation or here for more information about the developer key and OAuth tokens) and encrypted OAuth credentials for those who use the LTI tools. 


As mentioned, Design Tools does make use of the Canvas API. You can read a detailed description of what APIs it uses and why here


The LTI tools, CSS files and JavaScript files required for Design Tools to operate are all SaaS delivered using AWS and maintained by Cidi Labs to continue to work with Canvas as it releases new code every three weeks.