weblablib: new approach for creating remote laboratories


Remote laboratories are hardware and software tools that enable students to access real equipment through the Internet. Remote Laboratory Management Systems (RLMS) are software tools developed for creating remote laboratories in an easier way, providing some of the transversal features common in most remote labs (such as authentica- tion, authorization, scheduling platforms or administration tools), and some protocols or APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for cre- ating the laboratories. WebLab-Deusto is a popular open source RLMS used in different universities to create or administer their remote labo- ratories; and it offers two approaches for developing remote laboratories: managed (where all the communications go through WebLab-Deusto) and unmanaged (where the communications are managed by the remote lab developer). While originally the managed approach had a number of advantages over the unmanaged, nowadays, with web development tech- nologies fastly changing and increasing productivity, it became important to provide a proper support for the unmanaged by creating a completely new framework called weblablib, developed by LabsLand and also Open Source. This article describes this framework, and the different trade- offs that remote lab developers have to deal with when implementing a remote laboratory.