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anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

15 October 2009, 6:41 PM

Hi everyone,

Given that we now have a beta release out with full LEAP2A support, I thought I'd explain how it all works and what's left to do.


You can grab an export from the Export tab under My Portfolio. Any user can do this. You'll be able to choose between HTML and LEAP export formats (you obviously want the latter). Then you will get a screen with a progress bar, before being asked where to save the LEAP2A file.

Note that currently, if your server has mod_gzip on, then you won't see the progress bar. I have made a patch for that which will be in the next release.

With your export, you will now be able to import it into any other Mahara system running the beta release. However, note that you won't necessarily be able to import it into a Mahara running the final 1.2 release, as we might change the format or the importer a little bit between now and then. After 1.2, we will ensure that you can import the files no matter which stable version they were made on. 


To do an import, you go to the site administration section, and choose Add User. You will be able to choose a LEAP2A file with which to create the account with, though you'll still have to pick a username for them and choose whether they're a site admin, etc. Note that there's no progress bar for the importing yet, and it can be slow, so please be patient while the data is imported.

I plan to add the ability to upload a LEAP2A file to the registration screen too (with this being configurable by the site admin). This will allow people to migrate around Maharas at their own choosing.

Once the import is done, you can use "Login as" to check out the new user account. You should see that everything is imported perfectly Wink. There are currently two exceptions:

  • The profile view will show up in My Views entitled Profile View - and the user will have a new profile view. I haven't yet implemented it becoming their new Profile View, but that will be done before 1.2
  • They will have an extra blog, which is generated in Mahara 1.2 by default for all new users. I'll implement some code to prevent that happening, as an imported user won't need one.

Try it out! 

If you want to try this all out, but can't/don't want to set up a Mahara beta installation, I have upgrade both and to the new Beta. You can try exporting data from one system and importing to the other. "But wait!" I hear you cry - "I need admin rights to do importing!" Fear not, there is an account on called "piopuser" that has admin rights. Visit to get the password. So you should be able to make an account on, export it from there, and import to Cool


Don't abuse the piopuser account, or we'll take the site down. Simple really Tongue out
And feel free to import/export from your own beta installations to those sites to test.
You can even try importing LEAP2A exports from other systems. However, it seems that interoperability is very poor in general.. Frown I have documented the results of my trials with several systems here:
If you find bugs, please report them to the Tracker Smile
Happy hunting! 


Edits to this post:
anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

15 December 2009, 9:44 AM

Hi Nigel and all,

I'm interested in looking into building LEAP2A into another application - would you be able to  give an idea of how long the implementation of it took and how complex it was to get to grips with?



anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

15 December 2009, 3:56 PM

It does take a while to get a grip on it, and to work out how the data should map from your system to leap and back again.

The implementation of export was easiest, import definitely took some thinking about. I think I left some documentation on the wiki about how it works. I'd say it would take on the order of 2-3 months to do again if it was being done for an app the size of Mahara.

You need to spend a lot of time on the LEAP2A wiki, reading it through until you understand how it all works. And also a lot of time fighting with whatever XML library you're using Wink. SimpleXML for PHP is OK, except for its namespace support which is terrible. I had to kludge around that many times. 

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

16 December 2009, 5:42 AM

That's really helpful Nigel, thanks.

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