Moodle logoIt’s been a bit of a ‘big news week’ in the Moodle community this week. On Monday, it was announced that Blackboard had bought two of the world’s top 5 Moodle partners – MoodleRooms and NetSpot. NetSpot is Australia’s largest Moodle partner, and has been the partner of choice for many of the Australian universities who have chosen to stop using Blackboard and instead switch to using Moodle. So the acquisition news was a bit of a surprise to many. Hence why hosting Moodle in the Cloud is a interesting topic right now.

I’ve written about Moodle quite a few times on this blog (you can see all the Moodle-related blog posts here), but a colleague was asked by a customer this week about other hosting options for Moodle – and asked me for a summary of the Microsoft integration with Moodle. After I’d written it for him, I thought it might actually be something everybody might be interested in. So here’s my short summary of options for integrating a Moodle LMS to the cloud with Microsoft, and existing integration between Moodle and Microsoft technologies:

  • Integrate Moodle to Microsoft’s cloud email services
  • Integrate Moodle with SharePoint
  • Save files directly to Moodle from Office
  • Host Moodle on Windows Server
  • Host Moodle on Microsoft’s Cloud servers, in Windows Azure

And here’s the ‘How To’ info…


    Integrate Moodle to Microsoft’s cloud email services

    This can be done with Live@edu on Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.x 
    In the last few months, about a third of new Moodle installs have been 2.x, whereas over half of the installed base is Moodle 1.9

    There's more info here on this option

    Integrate Moodle with SharePoint

    This can be done with Moodle 1.9 currently, although I know some work is being done in the Moodle & SharePoint community to release the code for this on Moodle 2.x

    There’s more detail why in the article, ‘Why Moodle is better on SharePoint’, but the key reasons are:

    • Users can edit files directly within Moodle – rather than having to download, edit and re-upload
    • Document versions are possible – so you can work on drafts and ‘release’ courses and materials
    • You can search your Moodle and SharePoint datastores at the same time
    • Users can use Office Web Apps to edit, view and save files
    • Documents can be checked in and out by users
    • Using SharePoint Workspaces gives you offline access
    • SharePoint adds workflows to Moodle

    There's more info here on this

    Save files directly to Moodle from Microsoft Office

    If, like the majority of users, you are using Moodle 1.9 or before, you can use the Office Add-in for Moodle to allow your students and staff to open and save files directly into your Moodle system – rather than having to save to their local hard disk and then upload afterwards. You can find out more about the Office Add-in for Moodle here

    Host Moodle on Windows Server

    This can be done with both Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.x – and there’s a simple download pack that’s been created as part of the Microsoft Web App Gallery project. There's more info here on this

    Host Moodle on Microsoft’s Cloud servers, in Windows Azure

    The reason to do this is to allow you to setup and run a Moodle LMS without having to run your own servers (or commit any capital budget). It also means that you can scale up your project as required, rather than having to over-specify a system when you don’t know how much take-up to expect. It can be done for Moodle 1.9 and 2.x

    There’s more info on hosting Moodle in the cloud on Windows Azure here


    Learn MoreFind all Moodle posts on this blog