Jul 19, 2012

Hi - Just published a course in Storyline and uploaded to our LMS (ISOTrain).

Getting the message "Unable to acquire LMS API - content may not play properly."

I noticed a lot of postings about this error with Articulate Presenter -- but I wonder if you could please clarify something for me.

  • What does this mean (I don't know what an LMS API is - what is it exactly?)
  • What can be done?


15 Replies
Peter Anderson

Hi Mary, 

The API is basically the communicating mechanism between the LMS and your content. If you receive an "Unable to acquire LMS API" error when launching Articulate content in your LMS, it may be caused by the version of Java that you have installed.

Some LMSes use a Java API object to load content. Since content created in Articulate does not require Java, please do the following:

*  Contact your LMS provider and ensure that your installed version of Java is compatible with the version of the LMS you are using.
*  Ensure that you have published your content properly as described in this article.

If you're still having issues, let us know, and we'll be happy to help

Peter Anderson

Hey Paul!

Would you mind testing your course in SCORM Cloud to help us determine if the issue is Articulate-related or if it's on your LMS's side? If it appears in SCORM Cloud as well, we'd be happy to take a closer look at what might be going on. If you can't replicate the issue in SCORM Cloud, it's probably an issue that you'd want to take to your LMS team. The articles here and here may also help clear up common LMS issues.

Wendy Bouchard

Hello Peter,

I actually work with Paul and I am having trouble with the exact same course as Paul was having difficulties with and I have upgraded my Java to the most recent version and I published them in Articulate Studio. I also republished another course at the same time and it works fine so I am not sure if there is something wrong with this particular course as others are working just fine.

Christine Hendrickson

Welcome to E-Learning Heroes, Wendy!

 Ensure that you have published your content properly as described in the following article:
Articulate > Word of Mouth > Publish to LMS with Studio '09

If this issue persists, make the following modification to your player template, and test your content again:

1)  Open your presentation in PowerPoint.

2)  Go to Articulate > Player Templates.
3)  Select the "Other" tab.
4)  Deselect (uncheck) "Launch presentation in new window".
5)  Close the Player Template manager, and save the change when prompted.
6)  Publish your presentation for LMS using the newly saved player template, and test the content in your LMS.
If you're still seeing this message, please go ahead and submit the file to our support team, so we can try to pinpoint the issue.

Please create an Articulate Presenter package by following the steps in the following article:

Send to Articulate Presenter Package

Attach the .ZIP file to the second page of the following form: 

Submit a Support Case

Please be sure to include a description of your issue and also include the URL for this thread in the case. Also, if possible, please share the case number with me, so I can follow up with you in this thread. You're welcome to share the case number in this thread, or send it to me in a private message.


Steven Clay

I use Storyline version 3:1305.2012

This LMS API issue has appeared on my courses when I try to run them using Internet Explorer and Firefox.

If I use Google or the iPad there is no problem the courses load fine has anyone found the reason why it happens?

I read earlier in this string, that Java may be the problem, the PC I work on has Java 6.0.260 running does this need updating?

Jasmine Francois

Hi Dan,

Thank you for responding,

I did a bit of poking around and found similar issues within the past 14 days by other users who may have identified the problem.  How would I be able to tell if this was an approach we might be able to test?  Here is the group response:


Normal 0 false false false oNotPromoteQF /> EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ontGrowAutofit /> MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

It sounds like the issue you are experiencing is due tocommon limitation inherent with all SCORM content. SCORM relies on the use ofJavaScript within the browser as the means of sending and receiving SCO andlearner data. It's also critical to point out this is JavaScript and not Java -they are two completely different and unrelated technologies despite the factthe name contains the word Java.

All modern web browsers limit what JavaScript can and can not do in the browsersession, and one of these limitations is known as cross-domain scripting. In anut shell, what this means is if the browser calls web content from abc.com(web content such as html, JavaScript, images, CSS, etc.), but the JavaScript inthat session wants to communicate with xyz.com, the browser will prevent thisfrom occurring. This is a basic security measure to prevent session hijackingand the injection of malicious content. The web browser can't make thedistinction between what is good or bad, so all cross-domain scripting isblock.

What this means for SCORM content is the content must reside within the samedomain as ELM. The easiest solution is to simply place the the SCO content onthe WebLogic or IIS server running the ELM web server. That method howeverdoesn't scale well in large implementations and can be difficult to managelarge amounts of content. There are a number of different ways to work aroundthe cross-domain scripting restriction and ADL, the governing body for SCORM,publishes a document with a number of different options depending on yourneeds. The most common method is the use of a reverse proxy.

When dealing with SCORM content hosted by (multiple) external vendors, yourbest option with the least amount of effort is to ask the vendor if they alsosupport AICC. AICC, since it uses standard HTTP GET and POST calls, notJavaScript, for communication is unaffected by the cross-domain scriptingrestriction in SCORM. Unless you have a specific need to use SCORM 2004 content(available in ELM 9.1 B7) the common feature functionality between AICC andSCORM 1.2 is identical.



This thread looks really helpful, but I am receiving a LMSAPI Error with an Articulate course(SCORM) and my content and ELM are in thesame domain.

The strange thing is that a SCORM content from toolbook works fine. I am notsure what are other causes to get an LMS API error.



When you say the "SCORM content from toolbook works fine", do you mean you are loading pre-built content from athird-party provider and it works without issue? If so, can I correctly assumethe SCORM content throwing the error was produced in-house?



I was able to solve it, it was a cross-functional domainissue with articulate course, the content and domain was on different domain.Strangely the toolbook content was working fine. I opted for a articulatecourse with debug ON. I studied the log and came to know that the status andscore was not getting through. Then carefully studies the domain names, it wasslightly different. Eg:- LMS was on dev.us.lms.com and content ondev.ssc.lms.com. I made the change and it worked fine.




Dan how could I check to see if this was happening on my end.  Is this on the LMS side? or one of my files?  Hope I'm not overwhelming.



Thanks again.

Dan Marsden

Hi Jasmine - if your SCORM package is all self-contained in a Zip package and then uploaded to Moodle as a zip package then that post is not relevant. What is relevant is that you are running a really old unsupported version of Moodle. You should upgrade it asap. Moodle 2.0 contains both known SCORM issues and security related issues that could allow a malicious user to compromise your site.

Jessica Feltman

I am now having users experience this issue but I cannot replicate it on my end. Can anyone help me with this? Do I have to republish and re-upload the courses? Is that error for sure a Java error? It just started this week with a handful of people and I'm trying to find the best solution for them. 

Thanks for all your help! 


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