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Welcome to the Graasp Get Started with React App! An initial project structure. This Get Started React App has been developed for starters adoption. You can use it as much as you need, add small to big modifications. All links in the sections and this documentation will help you get started.

You can view code examples in the dark area to the right.

This guide is divided into the following sections:


Labs are a special type of application that power the core learning component of Graasp. Labs usually refer to subject-specific simulations or virtual experiments that can be run on the browser or within Graasp's mobile application. Labs usually have pedagogical requirements, which are out of the scope of this guide, that should be clear before one starts developing a lab. For example, if you want to develop a lab to teach students about pH, you should have a good idea about how this is taught in a typical Chemistry class. Technically speaking, however, labs are simple web applications, usually involving only HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. In this section we explain how to get you started developing labs using JavaScript frameworks such as React and Angular. Choose your preferred framework and start developing labs for education with this short guide.


Forking the Starter Repository

This is the quickest way to get started! First, open the graasp/react-get-started-app link in a new tab. On the top right of the repository, click fork. Then clone or download the cloned app from your own account.

You can also just clone using SSH or HTTPS

  git clone

Installing Dependencies

To install the application dependencies

1- Open your Terminal

2- Navigate to the cloned of downloaded project directory or folder

3- Run yarn install. But make sure you already have yarn installed on your development environment for this.

Starting the application

To start your development server, run yarn start when all installations is completed and you're done. This script executes a development server with force reloading enabled. Then your server keeps listening on all your modified files and reload your browser as well to apply changes an asynchronous way running on the port 3000 by default.

Then navigate to localhost:3000 to preview your application running.

Code Style

ESLint is a tool for identifying and reporting on patterns found in ECMAScript/JavaScript code. Normally, it is configured by default (you can see the configuration here). Once you installed it, by restarting your server, you will see all synthax issues rendered in the terminal as well as the browser console.

In case you want to enforce a coding style, you can just use this tho disable eslint controls for a particular section or lines of code.

  // eslint-disable-next-line no-param-reassign <here include the eslint rule you want to disable, e.g. no-param-reassign>


To run tests just execute yarn test. Note that the tests are also asynchronous. Then every time you save a file, the tests are re-run. You can read more about React testing here.


The starter app supports internationalization using the react-i18next library.

To add a new language to your app:

1- Add a language json file under src/langs. For example de.json for German.

2- Add your language translations using a key value pairs format. The key being the expression you use in your source code and the value beings its corresponding translation. For example: "Welcome to the Graasp App Starter Kit": "Willkommen im Graasp App Starter Kit".

3- Import and add you language json to the react-i18next library under src/config/i18n.js by adding your language to the resources.

4- Add a language query string to your links to show the translated version of the app. For example: http://localhost:3000/?mode=student&lang=de.

5- To allow teachers and students to be able to change the language, a select box is available by default in the header.

You could remove this select box or include it in either the student or the teacher components by copying it along with the changeLanguage and colorStyles methods and editing the options array under src/constants/langs to add your new languages.




The user authentication is handled by Graasp's ecosystem in a very transparent and familiar way: using session cookies.

Apps hosted on domain need to use/send the session cookie when calling the API endpoints. It is mandatory for the usage of the API.

There are two types of users to consider in the ecosystem, and each uses its own session cookie for authentication purposes.

 Graasp Users

Graasp users are those authenticated using their email and password via the platform. These are usually the teachers or authors in spaces.

If one opens a Graasp page using the link, Graasp users will be enforced.

Light Users

Light users are those authenticated using a nickname, nickname and password combination, or none (anonymous), when opening a space using the Pages app. Light users usually represent the learners, students or consumers of a space.

If one opens a Graasp page using the link, light users will be enforced.

App Running Context

When an embedded app is loading in an ILS, a set of query parameters is passed down to it to provide the appropriate running context. These parameters can be necessary to call the API.

The most important parameter is appInstanceId. In most calls to the API, this ID needs to be specified.

Other parameters:

Entities: App-Instance

An app-instance is a document that represents, as the name implies, an instance of an app that will run inside a space.

The main property of an app-instance is the settings. This property's purpose is to store app configuration data. As an app developer, you should only care about modifying or reading this property.

Each app-instance is also linked to a Graasp item where the app's url is stored along with other metadata related to Graasp.


Example of returned app-instance JSON object:

  "_id" : "<app-instance id>",
  "settings" : "<valid JSON - object/array/string/value/number>",
  "item" : "<graasp item id>",
  "createdAt" : "2018-12-06T10:00:00.000Z",
  "updatedAt" : "2018-12-06T10:00:00.000Z"

In order to read an app-instance one needs to make a GET request to /app-instances/<id>.

A JSON structure similar to the one on the right will be returned.


Example of a PATCH request body:

  "settings": { "min": 1, "max": 10, "step": 0.5 }

In order to update an app-instance one needs to make a PATCH request to /app-instances/<id>.

The request's body should contain a JSON object with the settings property defined. An app-instance update can only change the settings property - any other properties will be discarded.

The resulting updated app-instance JSON object will be returned after a successful update request.


The creation and deletion of this type of entity is not available in the API - app-instances are created/deleted when the corresponding item/app is created/deleted in Graasp.

Entities: App-Instance-Resource

An app-instance-resource is a document that holds data linked to a specific app and user pair. It can be anything, be it some user input or some metadata generated by the app and related to that user.

For the same user and app pair there can be any number of app-instance-resources.

app-instance-resources can be potentially accessed by other users with more permissions.

Both Graasp Users and Light Users can use the API endpoints for this entitiy.


Example of a POST request body:

  "appInstance": "5bd072b3532c3e058807decb",
  "data": {
    "offset": -34,
    "progress": 43
  "type": "user-input",
  "format": "my-format-v1",
  "visibility": "public"

In order to create an app-instance-resource one needs to make a POST request to /app-instance-resources.

The request's body should contain a JSON object similar to the one provided in the example.

JSON object's properties:

The resulting app-instance-resource JSON object will be returned after a successful create request.


To fetch app-instance-resources one needs to make a GET request to /app-instance-resources, and there's two options:

GET /app-instance-resources/<id>

Fetching a single app-instance-resource, by appending its ID in the endpoint's path:


GET /app-instance-resources?
  appInstanceId=<app-instance id>
  [&userId=<user id>]
  [&type=<type string>]
  [&format=<format string>]

Fetching multiple app-instance-resources, matching a specific filter passed as a query string:

Query parameters:


To update an app-instance-resource one should issue a PATCH request to /app-instance-resources/<id>

  "data": {
    "offset": -34,
    "progress": 73

The request's body should contain a JSON object with a data property defined (see the example). Any other properties will be discarded.

The resulting updated app-instance-resource JSON object will be returned after a successful update request.


To delete an app-instance-resource, one can send a DELETE request to /app-instance-resources/<id>, passing in the path the ID of the app-instance-resourceto be delete.

The deleted app-instance-resource JSON object will be returned after a successful delete request.

Entities: User


Example of a returned user JSON object:

  "id" : "<user id>",
  "name": "<user's name>",
  "email": "<user's email>"

In order to get the current user (linked to the current cookie session) one needs to make a GET request to /users/current.

In order to get some user one needs to make a GET request to /users/<id>. In this case the email information will be ommitted.

Entities: Spaces

An space document represents a Graasp space.

Both Graasp Users and Light Users can use the API endpoints for this entitiy, except if signaled otherwise.

Get light-users

Example of a list of light-users belonging to a space:

    "id" : "<user1 id>",
    "name": "<user1's name>"
    "id" : "<user2 id>",
    "name": "<user2's name>"

To get the light-users that belong to a space, only the ones with authentication schemes based on a username, or username with password, one should make a GET request to /spaces/<id>/light-users.


You can test your apps' connection to our API locally using our development server. In order to do this, you need to configure your localhost to point to

On most Linux and macOS machines you would have to edit the /etc/hosts file. On Windows machines this is achieved you edit the hosts file inside C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc.

In both cases, simply add the following line to the respective file: