Tag Archives: experienceAPI

Captivate 7 Fail #2: Tincan implemented? Really?

Fresh from the joy of trying to get their subscription system working (read it all here folks), now to try and get busy with the most anticipated feature in my mind: TinCan support.

The Dream

I won’t detail what TinCan is (working on that as a separate article). Instead I’ll assume you’re reading on because you know what TinCan is and are/were also keen to use Captivate as part of the solution.

In essence the plan was to use Captivate to generate some training elements (for example, standalone system demos), publish to our intranet, and then have them report usage to our LRS.

The (Painful) Reality

It started so well. Within your project you update the quiz preferences and there’s now a TinCan option to select. Awesome.


So far so good. Next click that Configure button and see what that gives us.


Err OK. Not quite what I was expecting. FYI TinCan works by generating statements about learning involving a subject (who did the learning), an action (how did they learn: read, studied, attended, etc) and an object (the item being learnt with). Doesn’t have any of that recorded but let’s keep going. Fingers crossed.

Publish the course and load on the intranet. Attempt to launch and oops:

TinCan-Launch Error

Makes sense. We’ve not bothered to define the LRS (where the statements get stored), nor any of the details needed for the statement.

If in doubt, goto the code

So let’s check what code is generated for us.

For starters TinCan.xml sounds promising. It’s not:


It just appears to repeat elements from the configuration window.

So also in there is another promising file tc-config.js. Now this does look a bit more useful:


This at least contains some of the elements expected for TinCan. And it does at least mention the LRS. With an empty section that then matches what the error message is reporting.

But any idea how you’re meant to fill in that config file? Or define that LRS? No? Me neither. And that’s not to mention nothing in there about defining the learner/subject.

Why are all the Captivate 7 FAQs about Captivate 6?

Next step, check the website. (I know, getting desparate).

Go to the Captivate 7 page at Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/au/products/captivate.html), then click FAQ. Go on. Try It. I’ll wait.

Done that? Did you notice, like I did, that the FAQs are specifically about Captivate 6, saying so in big letters in the title? TinCan support was only introduced in version 7, so not looking forward to a lot of help there….

Note, if you think the main FAQ page being tied to the old version is bad, wait ’til you just try searching for Captivate 7 in Google. From its results Adobe are still fixated on Captivate 5.5!!

Starting to develop a pattern here in the quality of support…..

OK. Give up. Last resort. Read the manual.

Greetings to the Captivate Documentation Team (if you exist)

The manual, in a word, is useless.

It mentions Tin Can. So one point. But the rest of the explanation has no relationship to reality. For example it says all important information is wwritten to the manifest file imsmanifest.xml. But 3 secs of investigation (and dare I say it Adobe, testing?) shows you don’t get that file when publishing to Tin Can.



So essentially Adobe has made a song and dance about giving me a dropdown option that has no actual value or benefit. At this stage I can see no way to define the required TinCan elements and generate a statement that will be successfully sent to my LRS for safe keeping.

As I write this I can categorically say that Captivate 7 does NOT support TinCan. Because nobody bothered to write the documentation that explained how to do it. If it isn’t documented, it does not exist.

Couple this with the disaster that is the subscription system, and really Adobe is becoming that company really only used under extreme duress.

Conclusion 2

Have heard Articulate Storyline supports TinCan. Time to see if any better than Captivate does it.