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Educational Software Thread, AQA DTT (DeskTop Tool) in Technical; In case anyone here is faced with using the AQA DTT for their MFL speaking exams and it won't work, ...
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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    AQA DTT (DeskTop Tool)

    In case anyone here is faced with using the AQA DTT for their MFL speaking exams and it won't work, here is my quick guide based on a support call and some fettling:

    Extract the zip into a suitable folder under c:\program files\

    Give users modify access on the folder and its contents.

    The part of the DTT which detects if you have an Internet connection is not capable of understanding proxies, so you can't tell it where your proxy server is or feed it credentials - it just tries to access the sites directly via HTTPS. If your proxy server set up is similar to ours that may mean adding an additional rule to allow computers on your LAN to access:

    aqa.maps-ict.com
    78.136.38.131
    aqademo.maps-ict.com
    131.227.202.55

    ... via HTTPS (port 443).

    I then tried logging on to the live version with the exams officer's AQA credentials.

    First time I got the message:

    There are no candidates registered to this centre so the application will now quit.
    On subsequent attempts I get the message:

    -----------------
    Unspecified error.

    |OK|
    -----------------
    Clicking OK doesn't drop you out of the software, but instead leaves you at a screen saying:
    Loading Data

    Please wait..
    As you may have guessed it never makes any progress and sits there forever if you leave it.

    It turns out that this part of the DTT does understand proxy servers, so you need to tell it an account to use and where you proxy server is. The dialogue which allows you to make those config changes is only available once you have logged in to the desktop tool and downloaded your school's data... which you can't do until you have entered the proxy settings. Chicken and egg.

    Luckily (I think?) AQA aren't too bothered about security, so they store those proxy settings in plain text in side an XML file:

    c:\pathtoAQAsoftware\config.xml

    Initially it will look like this:

    Code:
    <config>
    	<serviceAddress>https://aqa.maps-ict.com/services/</serviceAddress>
    	<dataFolderPath>Data</dataFolderPath>
    	<useProxy></useProxy>
    	<authenticationType></authenticationType>
    	<configUsername></configUsername>
    	<configPassword></configPassword>
    	<configPort></configPort>
    	<configIP></configIP>
    	<testMode>false</testMode>
    </config>
    It needs to look more like this:

    Code:
    <config>
    	<serviceAddress>https://aqademo.maps-ict.com/services/</serviceAddress>
    	<dataFolderPath>Data</dataFolderPath>
    	<useProxy>true</useProxy>
    	<authenticationType>0</authenticationType>
    	<configUsername>AQAACCOUNT</configUsername>
    	<configPassword>AQAACCOUNTPASSWORD</configPassword>
    	<configPort>PROXYPORT</configPort>
    	<configIP>PROXYNAME</configIP>
    </config>
    Authentication type 0 worked for us, but you it might not work for you so maybe a little trial and error is in order. Because passwords are stored in plaintext it might be worth creating an account purely for the AQA software with a password you don't use regularly and then disabling the account when it's not in use.

    If you deviate from the instructions above, it will likely cause the "unspecified error". In that case, simply move/delete the contents of:

    c:\pathtoAQAsoftware\Data\

    and try again. If that doesn't work, just move/delete the entire software folder and make one from scratch from the zip.
    Last edited by sahmeepee; 25th March 2009 at 02:54 PM. Reason: additional information

  2. Thanks to sahmeepee from:

    gill (11th November 2009)

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    gill's Avatar
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    AQA DTT

    I did all this and got it all working however when the examiner turned up she didn't know how to use it so I set up a cassette recorder! All that work for nothing!

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