Moodle + Office 365: Better together

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Moodle + Office 365: Better together

A Setup Guide

Microsoft France

Published: July 2015

Version: 1.0
Authors: Frédéric Chiaroni (Edunao), Nicolas Humann (Exakis), Romain Lacour (Exakis), Philippe Beraud (Microsoft France), Nicolas Frindel (Microsoft France)
For the latest information on Office 365, please see:


Introduction 3

1.Objectives of this paper 5

2.Non-objectives of this paper 6

3.Organization of this paper 6

4.About the audience 6

Building a test lab environment 7

Provisioning an Office 365 environment 9

5.Creating the Office 365 accounts 9

6.Creating the test users 10

7.Creating the so-called "System API" account 13

8.Configuring the SharePoint Online privileges 13

Provisioning an Azure environment 16

9.Introducing virtual machines in Azure 16

10.Understanding the ongoing costs of virtual machines in Azure 17

11.Adding the Azure trial to the Office 365 account 17

12.Preparing the local environment for Azure 18

13.Installing Azure PowerShell 18

14.Connecting to your Azure subscription 20

15.Enabling Windows PowerShell scripts 22

16.Enabling WinRM for remote PowerShell shell 23

17.Deploying the core Azure-based environment 23

18.Creating the virtual networks 24

19.Creating the affinity group 25

20.Creating the Cloud service 25

21.Creating the storage account 25

22.Deploying the MySQL virtual machine 26

23.Deploying the Moodle virtual machine 27

24.Creating the HTTP (80) and HTTPS (443) endpoints 27

25.Completing the DNS registrations 27

Setting up the Moodle platform 30

26.Setting up the Moodle server 30

27.Setting up the Apache HTTP server 30

28.Setting up the PHP script language and its extensions 31

29.Setting up the additional packages required by Moodle 32

30.Setting up Moodle from the server 32

31.Creating the moodledata directory 33

32.Setting up and configuring the database server 34

33.Setting up the database server 34

34.Configuring the database server 36

35.Opening the MySQL server on the virtual network 36

36.Pointing the domain name to the Moodle server 37

37.Installing the SSL/TLS certificate 40

38.Opening the rights on the Moodle configuration files 41

39.Setting up and configuring Moodle from the web 42

40.Setting up Moodle from the web 42

41.Creating the administrator account of the Moodle platform 42

42.Configuring the front page 43

43.Locking the Moodle configuration files 43

44.Setting up the Microsoft resources for Moodle 44

45.Creating a free account on 44

46.Setting up the plugins from the Moodle plugins directory 46

47.Starting cron on the HTTP server 51

Setting up and configuring the Office 365 services on Moodle 53

48.Configuring the plugins 53

49.Configuring the Office 365 single sign-on 54

50.Registering an application in the Azure portal 56

51.Configuring the application that provides identities to Moodle 57

52.Adding a user to the application 61

53.Integrating with Microsoft Office 365 62

54.Integrating with OneNote 63

Illustrating the user experience 67

55.Signing in to Office 365 67

56.Signing in into Moodle 69

57.Configuring the synchronization of the Moodle calendar with Office 365 70

Going further 72

Appendix A Microsoft plugins for Moodle 73

58.Microsoft Office 365 plugins 73

59.Microsoft Services plugins 73


Moodle1 is an open source Web-based platform designed to provide all the tools required for classroom management, where teachers and students have the ability to smoothly and easily collaborate on a day-to-day basis. As the recognized leading learning management system (LMS), Moodle is unsurprisingly used in more universities and schools than any other LMS in the world to provide large populations of students with dematerialized training content through a compelling and motivating environment.

Microsoft Office 3652 provides secure anywhere access to professional email, shared calendars, instant messaging (IM), video conferencing, and document collaboration. It represents the cloud version of the Microsoft communication and collaboration products with the latest version of the Microsoft desktop suite for businesses of all sizes. Office 365 indeed notably includes:

  • Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus. Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus3 is the Office software that can be installed locally on a device (computer, phone, or tablet) as a subscription. Depending on the device type and related operating system, it includes the following programs: Access, Excel, InfoPath, Skype for Business (formerly Lync), OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, etc. The programs have the same features and functionality as other versions of Office. For example, Word in Office 365 ProPlus works the same way it does in Office Professional 2013. This version of Office is included in E3, E4, A3, Business and Business Premium plans4 and is therefore the logical companion of Office 365 services.

The programs of the Office suite can be deployed easily in a click-to-run mode on a Windows computer, either directly from the Office 365 portal or from the local network with your own management tool.

Note For more information, see the Microsoft TechNet article Getting started guide for deploying Office 365 ProPlus5.
Note For more information about the different types of licenses available for Office, go to the following pages: Choose an offer6 and Offers and prices for Office 365 Education7.

  • Microsoft Exchange Online. Exchange Online offers cloud-based email, calendar, and contacts with the most current antivirus and anti-spam solutions. It enables access to email on virtually any mobile device and takes advantage of options for voice mail, unified messaging, and archiving.

  • Microsoft SharePoint Online/One Drive for Business. SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service for creating sites that connect colleagues, partners, and customers using enterprise social networking and collaboration like Yammer. OneDrive for Business is a large capacity personal storage space hosted in the Microsoft Cloud, allowing users to access their documents anywhere and to facilitate their sharing.

  • Microsoft Skype for Business Online. Skype for Business Online offers cloud-based IM, presence, and online meeting experiences with screen sharing, voice and video conferencing.

Note For additional information on Office 365 in addition to the content of this paper, please refer to the Office 365 Community web site (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.)8.

Serving nearly 80 million users worldwide, Moodle has already changed the face of classroom management. With open-source plugins developed by Microsoft and available with their complete source code on the GitHub forge9, Moodle now benefits from an integration path with Office 365. Combined with Office 365, which is being embraced in a big way by the education world thanks to its business-class productivity tools and the above Office 365 ProPlus benefit, Moodle becomes even more powerful to ultimately bring a better and more productive classroom experience to teachers and students alike.

The Moodle with Office 365 integration is thus helping to reinvent productivity in education with:

  • Easy Access.  Your Office 365 username and password now get you into Moodle with no additional credentials to remember.  Moodle is now also accessible from the new Office 365 app launcher, meaning it’s just a few clicks away from any of your favorite Office 365 apps like Delve, Outlook Web App, SharePoint and others.

  • Work Offline.  Moodle courses can now include Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) that can be edited on any device and even offline – no need to stop working if you don’t have an Internet connection.

  • Mobile Friendly, Cross-Platform. Moodle calendar events can be synced with Office 365 and will show up in all of your mobile devices that support Exchange – iOS, Android, Windows, etc.

  • Classroom Ready.  Teachers and faculty can embed their interactive Office Mix10 lectures in Moodle courses and manage Moodle assignment submissions through OneNote11 and store the Moodle course documents on OneDrive12.

Note For additional information, see the blog posts Office 365 and Moodle: An Open Approach to Transforming Classrooms13 and Office 365 and Moodle integration14.

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