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ViPLab 3.0

Virtual programming laboratory for education and teaching at universities as well as executing docker images in the context of research data management. Clients (frontends) use the websocket-api to communicate to several backends (computation clients) working in a cluster.

A computation client instance supports one or more language environments (e.g. 'C', 'Matlab').

This documentation describes the json-messages used by the different ViPLab components to fulfill all the various features of ViPLab.

Terms (ViPLab specific)

  • ViPLab virtual programming laboratory (for programming this term is more generic than NumLab (outdated))
  • NumLab legacy term for ViPLab (don't use it for new documentation)
  • ViP
    • ViPLab shortcut
    • "Virtuelles Programmierlabor" (German project shortcut)
  • CC computation client, also backend
  • FC frontend client; has different views:
    • teacher view or view of a researcher creating a new computation template
    • student view or view of a researcher executing an existing computation
  • client a system component interacting with the websocket-api, e.g. backends, frontends
  • frontend launcher entrypoints for the user, that start the frontend, e.g. viplab-question-plugin-for-ilias or dataverse-viplab-extension
  • computation a CC computes a Result of a Computation Task complementing a Computation Template (Computation Task and - referenced - Computation Template being input, Result output of computation).

Flow of information

ViPLab Sequence Diagram

ViPLab Sequence Diagram

After establishing a connection to the Websocket API, a JWT is sent for authentication. This JWT is then verified by the Websocket API. If it is valid, the Requestor can send a createComputation message to the Websocket API. The message contains the Computaton Template and a Computation Task. Receiving the message, the Websocket API verifies the Computation Template and combines the Template and the Task into a Computation. Subsequently, a message is sent to ActiveMQ, to request the Result. Additionally, the Computation is returned to the Requestor.
This message gets pushed to the Computation-Backend, which in turn computes a Result, that is sent to the Websocket API via ActiveMQ. Before returning the Result to the initial Requestor, the Websocket API gets the Computation and stored the Result from/in its temporary Datastore.

Development Help

For further developing ViPLab or related services, you can use the local development environment based on Docker.

Versioning rules

Versioning rules

Long living JSON messages


Message Types