Revision of a course : how to keep the same Manifest ?

Oct 16, 2014

Dear all,

When publishing a new version of a SCORM course, is there a way to keep the same imsmanifest.xml ?

Here is the situation.

We built a course which is already in use on our client's LMS.

They want to change a picture (which is on a layer). We used the "Change Picture" function"

The new SCORM course has a slightly different imsmanifest.xml : the .swf related to the image has changed.

As their LMS requires exactly the same imsmanifest.xml, how can we deal with this requirement ?

Thank you for your help.

45 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

I hope the picture in question is just a plain image with no states involved.

If that's the case, I would try to locate the picture from within the zipped SCORM file, then replace the picture there and re-compress. I realize it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, only this time finding the needle may be your only option (and probably easier than you think).

Hope this helps,

Steve Flowers

Hi Quentin - 

What LMS are you loading the module into? Most LMS's don't do anything with the resource list in the manifest. It's possible that you could use the old manifest and the LMS wouldn't complain or know the difference. It likely wouldn't make any difference to the operation of the module.

Evelyn Hamm

Hello @ All!

we currently have the same problem. The imsmanfest in Storyline 2 change after every publish. We don't change anything, but the resources mixed their positions also.

It is very depressing to change the manifest after publishing with a texteditor. And I don't understand this behavior of Storyline in this point.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Evelyn,

It looks like a colleague of yours may have submitted a case about this issue? It seems Wilbert was able to replicate the issue and reported it to our QA team for review, but it seems that the problem may be specific to the LMS? You may want to reach out to them in regards to any changes in the file and what you could do to allow it to play within the LMS. 

Evelyn Hamm

Hi Ashley,

yes, we will check that with the Maintainer of our LMS.

Otherwise I don't understand the handling in Storyline, especially as it is known, that the manifest is handled very strictly in some kind of LMS.

The shuffling of the resources is unnecessary & not conducive, if you want to upload a new version of the SCORM-Module with only minimal changes.

Ry Landry

Has there been any progress on this issue? I have the same issue with the imsmanifest.xml being completely reorganized after publishing, even if the references stay the same. Unfortunately does handle the manifest file in a strict manner and won't allow the replacement.

I understand if major changes are made, but something as simple as replacing a 4 letter word with another 4 letter word in a textbox that has no states or animation applied to it should not render the content, unreplaceable.  

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dave,

Thanks for confirming, that is the latest update too. It's still an open issue for Storyline 2 and we continue to keep an eye on it to evaluate how many customers are impacted and what impact it has on courses. The number of customers and depth of impact are two of the elements that help us prioritize bugs and fixes. 

Here's some more detail about how we tackle bugs. I'm really sorry that I can't say if this issue will be fixed but you're in the right place to stay updated on this bug's progress. 

Alyssa Gomez

Thanks, Shane. I reached out to our support engineers for more insight on this, and they let me know that we are seeing a bug in Storyline 360 that's causing this problem. 

If this has got you in a bind, we can help you work around it until a fix is in place. Simply open a case by clicking here, and our team will provide you with next steps. 

Nathan Mcilree

I think this is happening in MOODLE as well.  Our content editor has changed some text - but when I look in the manifest a new resource identifier is being generated

<item identifier="Safeguarding_and_child_protection:_the_essentials_(updated_assessment)_SCO" isvisible="true" identifierref="__6JAAHLb8iq0_course_id_RES">

Which is causing MOODLE to generate new SCOIDs.  Should Articulate 360 be generating a new identifier on each SCORM build, or is this because the editor is changing the name or creating a new project.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Nathan,

If you're changing or modifying the original .story file and republishing, that'll be treated as a new copy/version of your course and will change the identifier too. I'd suggest checking in with your Moodle team about how to overwrite a course in the LMS. 

Keep in mind that often when you update (overwrite) existing course files in your LMS or web server, learners who previously started the course won't be able to resume where they left off. They'll start over at the first slide in the updated course. 

Let us know if you need anything else! 

Russell Engoran

The new manifest is generated because it's the safest way to prepare a course for an LMS and not break it. Most, if not all, course tools will do that by default.  The tool doesn't know you are only updating a course already uploaded. It is doing as it is supposed to, generating a unique manifest.

But it doesn't matter in simple cases. An LMS treats the manifest as a packing list and needs it ONLY when you are first uploading a course, or when you are replacing/versioning the course (the exception to this is if you are on an LCMS). If you try to replace the manifest without versioning, an LMS is supposed to block it.

However, for a simple swap out of an asset, that does not impact navigation or logic, I have found the easiest solution is just to drop the asset into the exact directory on the server so it overwrites just that file. This goes for images as well as html (as long as changes to the html are only cosmetic).

As long as you are only changing flat assets, and not disrupting the flow of the course (which would mess up bookmarking), it should be transparent to learners.

The LMS, in this case, doesn't care that you replace a static file. it simply points to it. I have often used this method for simple changes without issue on SumTotal, Oracle, Scorm cloud and others.

Most of the time, I am too lazy to look for the one file in the output, so if I know for a fact that nothing else has changed, I will just drop the whole structure, minus all the xml files, into the directory overwriting everything even though the majority of files have not actually changed.

Mind you, this is not a substitute for versioning a course, changing the navigation/logic in a course or adding/removing pages. For that, you should upload the whole package with new manifest. This shortcut is only for simple asset replacement where there is no impact to the course flow.

I have been at companies where IT (or whoever admins the course server) will push back on dropping a file into a directory. But I can usually get cooperation when I compare it to updating an image or text on a simple webpage.

I hope that helps.


Nathan Mcilree

Hi Russ, thanks for your well thought out answer - some good stuff to think about.  I was hoping to avoid having to ssh into the server directly as using a LMS and authoring tool was supposed to give ownership of content to the content team rather than relying on devops involvement.

For the record we went and uploaded a new SCORM file after the content editor had removed any structural changes to a quizz (leaving just some text updates) and MOODLE seemed to handle this fine without orphaning/deleting the scoid tracking. 

But it was a bit of a tense start to the day and maybe SSHing into the server is preferable to potentially losing 5000 users worth of results :)