BSE embed on Canvas mobile app—does vanity domain setup make a difference?



  • rburriel
    rburriel OregonFounder Posts: 50 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2021

    I agree that the Launch External Tool relates to how iOS handles BSE embedded content. Setting aside for the moment the question of why BSE embedded content behaves differently than HTML embedded content (perhaps it has something to do with the tracking cookies needed for analytics), the question from @chriscas relates to whether a video actually loads once you click Launch External Tool. For me, it does. With the caveat that 1) We do have vanity domains for Kaltura and Canvas (not the URL at the top of the frame in the screenshot) and 2) I'm using an iPad, not an iPhone, and the iPhone has been known to exhibit different behavior than an iPad when it comes to embedded Kaltura content.


  • cameronzimny
    cameronzimny Dallas, TXFounder Posts: 32 ✭✭

    @chriscas Wow it definitely seems strange the Launch External Tool button lands you in the course's Media Gallery.

    So, where are we now? It seems pretty safe to say the vanity URL setup has no impact on the Launch External Tool button in the Canvas mobile app. Android earns the prize here for displaying the BSE video in-line (in addition to the button).

    @thomas_ellis Yes, I also noticed if you use a not-BSE embed code the video plays in-line on iOS (and there's no Launch External Tool button, either). My understanding is the sacrifice of these types of embeds in KAF is the user analytics for the video—do I have that right?

    Final couple notes: I asked one of our Canvas people to touch base with our Canvas rep on the possibility of changing the language/text for the Launch External Tool button (like we can do language exceptions in KMS/KAF). I'm pretty sure the answer to that is "No," because the focus of the response what all about Kaltura being the third-party/external product. Anyhow, they said try the different settings for the Canvas app in iOS (link to Canvas article about this).

    So I did. Results: No adjustments to the settings resolved the Launch button (i.e., the button's there still instead of in-line video). The "Open external tools in Safari" takes the users out of the Canvas app to open the External Tool is the phone's default browser. And I didn't observe any differences after turning on "Allow Cross-Website Tracking." (@chriscas I wonder if changing these settings would produce different behavior in your instance?)

    Thanks again for everyone's input on this.

  • chriscas
    chriscas Dearborn, MI, USAFounder Posts: 4

    @cameronzimny , Thanks for the suggestions about app settings. I just tried adjusting the "open in safari" and even the allow cross-site setting for the Canvas app, but neither made any difference for us.

    I'm wondering if LTI 1.1 vs 1.3 comes into play here (we recently migrated to LTI 1.3), since different users seem to be getting different experiences in the app.

    @thomas_ellis , do you think this is worth filing a Kaltura support ticket about? Since everything seems to work fine on the web, I am leaning towards this being a Canvas App issue, but it always seems like Canvas wants to pin issues on 3rd party vendors and 3rd party vendors want to pin the blame on Canvas. It's super frustrating as an administrator for both systems, since all we want is for things to work decently for our faculty and students.

    Maybe it would be good if some of us could report how things are configured and what behavior we see in the Canvas iOS app:

    University of Michigan-Dearborn:

    iOS (phone) experience - Embedded videos "launch external tool" button in the app leads users to Media Gallery

    KAF/Canvas integration - LTI 1.3

    KAF vanity domain -

    Canvas domain -


  • thomas_ellis
    thomas_ellis Virginia, U.S.Kalturian Posts: 44 ✭✭

    @chriscas , you can open a Kaltura ticket for sure. I'm curious, does anyone have other third party tools in Canvas that open natively in the iOS app vs. the launch external tool button?

    Your experience with the tool launch in iOS taking you to the Media Gallery seems off though and we should take a look at that.

    Thomas Ellis | Principal Solutions Engineer Kaltura

  • cameronzimny
    cameronzimny Dallas, TXFounder Posts: 32 ✭✭

    @rburriel @chriscas re: "whether a video actually loads once you click Launch External Tool."

    After clicking the Launch button, our BSE-embedded videos do load and play for me (albeit on the "next" screen, not in-line). We do not have vanity domains set up, and I've only tested this on iPhone (iOS 14.6).

  • mkraft
    mkraft Michigan, USAFounder Posts: 56 ✭✭✭

    @thomas_ellis "does anyone have other third party tools in Canvas that open natively in the iOS app vs. the launch external tool button?"

    Maybe it is a systemic iOS or Canvas app thing (or both), but on my Android 11 phone the Canvas student app displays both the embedded videos inline AND provides me with a launch external tool button. It's not the best use of screen space or UX, but compared to iOS, it's a better experience.

    Melinda Kraft, Business Systems Analyst Lead (she, her, hers)

    University of Michigan - ITS Teaching & Learning

    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3704

  • rburriel
    rburriel OregonFounder Posts: 50 ✭✭✭

    Back to the heart of the matter... @chriscas has a BSE integration that's glitched. When someone clicks "Launch External Tool" from the Canvas app, the video isn't loading; the user is instead directed to the Media Gallery. So, how do we fix that?

    I would suggest that something is wrong with the LTI XML. I would proposal a re-installation of the LTI integration in Canvas for the 2 (or 3, if you have IVQ gradebook transfer) LTIs for Kaltura.


  • rburriel
    rburriel OregonFounder Posts: 50 ✭✭✭

    Hmm... this is setting off alarm bells in my head about LTI 1.3. We're not there yet, and now I'm deeply concerned. We generally expect these major changes to be tested thoroughly prior to being released to the community but it's my past experience that bugs are generally only caught by community members after a release, and you may have caught a big one. I wonder if there's bounties for such bugs. Maybe there's a $5 Starbucks card in this for you.