Tin Can "unable to connect to server" error

I recently added Tin Can support to my company's LMS. Now we can launch Storyline presentations in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on a PC, Safari and Firefox on a Mac, and Safari on an iPad. The LMS receives exams scores perfectly. We are no longer dependent upon Flash, which is great considering the popularity of the iPad.

Now the problem: I consistently get an "Unable to connect to server" error when trying to launch using Tin Can under Internet Explorer. The presentation launches and runs -- which means it did connect to the server -- but I cannot interact with it because of all  the errors in popup windows.

What does IE need that all the other browsers do not?


25 Replies
Robert Taylor

Same domain. Same server. This is true for my development computer as well as the production environment.

I should mention, however, that I am not currently responding to GET calls from Storyline, other than sending back a blank HTML page. Is there something IE needs to know that I'm not telling it?

Robert Taylor


I started thinking more about your original question regarding domains and that led to the fix. Because the content and LMS are on the same domain, I had felt I could get by with using the relative path as the Tin Can endpoint. For example, /tcapi/statements/ instead of https://mydomain.com/tcapi/statements/.  That has worked fine for everything else we put on-line. Apparently IE must have the full URL or error messages will be triggered within Storyline. Another hurdle cleared.



Keith Kemsley

Robert, Adrian, et. al.

We are also getting "unable to connect to server" issues when publishing to Absorb LMS and Docebo LMS. I think it might be related to relative vs. absolute referencing; however, I am just the content developer/author and wouldn't know where to begin to find the absolute path and where to list it. We are evaluating Absorb and Docebo, but we want to make sure the solution will work before we buy.

THANK YOU in advance for any help on what my next step might be.


Robert Taylor


The path that we're talking about is what Tin Can calls the "endpoint". It's the URL that Storyline uses to send data back to the LMS. If the vendor has specified that URL, make sure it starts with "http" or "https". If they did not tell you what to use, then it may be something they are handling internally and you may want to have a discussion with their tech support.


Michael Kaufmann

I am having this same issue with my LMS (Litmos.)  They tell me that the issues lies in the fact that I utilize a custom domain.  So far, no fix for the problem.  Everything else works great as has been the case for many of the above posts (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc, etc.)  Because of this limitation I am unable to publish courses compatible with iOS devices.  The vast majority of users still use IE on their desktop and laptop computers.......


Paul Trainer

Hi Michael, has the suggestion below worked for you. I had a chance to test it on an Windows XP + IE8 and on Windows 7 + IE10 they both worked OK.

Hi Robert, Keith and Adrian, I have used the approach below to get this to work:

We use Blackboard and as it turns out it has a partial implementation of the Tin Can API. While it allows Tin Can content to be uploaded/used it is missing the support for Tin Can API private content authorization in mobile apps.

I managed to find a work around where the content is uploaded into Blackboard but with permissions set to allow guest access i.e. not password protected.

I also had to upload the Tin Can zip file the normal way into the protected learning area but with the Tin Can API  you can specify the launch web address (in Articulate Storyline during export) i.e. point to the story.html in the password free guest area.

If the users try and access the guest area directly without being directed there from the launch file which is in the password protected area they get an error so the files are effectively protected.

I also did a test running the link in Internet Explorer (IE8 and IE10) and it works fine.

Here is the more detailed link regarding the work around.  http://www.articulate.com/support/kb_article.php?product=st1&id=yhy5y6afimyc

Kind regards


Peter Anderson

Hi Paul, 

Which LMS are you hosting with? My understanding is that we've currently disabled the ability for courses hosted in Articulate Online to be viewed offline in the iPad app, but I wasn't aware that it would be disabled for other LMS. 

You've definitely downloaded the course to the Mobile Player prior to trying to view it offline? 

Michael Kaufmann

O.k. - so after 20 months, I am still not able to Launch Storyline (or new AS'13) content in Internet Explorer when published as Tin Can API Output.  Per my above post, I need to deliver my courses on mobile devices (iPad specifically.)  When I publish my storyline content via Scorm 1.2 output, it works great on Safari, FireFox, and Internet Explorer, but obviously does not work on the iPad.  When I change the Storyline output settings to HTML5 and AMP support, it works great on Safari, FireFox, and the iPad, but will not play on Internet Explorer.  I am publishing my content to the Litmos LMS.  They have implemented the Tin Can API (0.9 for sure, not sure about 1.0)  I do not know if they support private content authorization.

After reading this post (many times over) I changed the Launch URL to the FULL address of my content.  Storyline defaults this as story.html, but I changed it to the following:


The course will still not launch in IE.

When I launch the course in Firefox, it of course plays fine.  Pasted here is the full launch URL. 


WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING WRONG?  I am ready to pull my hair out.  I've gotten no help from the folks at Litmos.  I have to be able to deliver these courses in Internet Explorer while still allowing access via the AMP on the iPad.

I am open to suggestions and help.


Robert Taylor


Our course developers publish to HTML5 / AMP and the courses run fine in IE, FireFox, and Chrome on PCs, and Safari on iPad (either as HTML5 or with the Articulate player). So it can work if the stars are all aligned. Apart from the LMS, one key difference is that our host domain and our endpoint domain are the same. But I have also found that IE chokes if the launch host is "http" and the endpoint is "https", or vice versa. Are you able to use https://www.emseducation.net? If so, it's worth a try.

Can your course launch link be hosted on litmos.com? That would probably solve the problem since the launch link and the endpoint would be on the same domain.

Another workaround would be to publish twice and add " (IE version)" to the course title of the SCORM 1.2 version. The HTML5 / AMP version would be used for everything else. Not ideal, but it would at least keep you in the game.

Michael Kaufmann


Thanks so much for the suggestions:

THIS WORKED!!!  I need to do some more testing to make sure that the course completes properly and that quizes work, but I changed the Launch URL when publishing the course in Storyline to the https://  instead of http://


This creates a certificate warning, but THE COURSE LAUNCHES AND PLAYS IN IE..........It is also playing properly in all other desktop browsers AND on my iPad.

More info to come.


Michael Kaufmann

Update:  So, as I posted previously, replacing the http:// with https:// in the Launch URL of my storyline publish file did allow me to access the course on all platforms:  Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.  It also allowed me to access the content on my iPad via the AMP.  HOWEVER, the certificate warning is creating some problems for my test users.  Likewise, it just isn't "tight."  This solution is very crude and causes many "pop-up" warnings and errors.  Many of my users had to close out and re-login several times (particularly when using Google Chrome.)  So, in the end, this isn't really a useful solution.

Here is an official statement from Litmos, "We have been looking for solutions for this issue for a while, however there is no easy solution.  Unfortunately, we are unable to support SSL for custom domains for our customers due to the maintenance that is involved.  Because of this, the solution is more likely to come from solving how we can use a http:// address with Tin Can than it is to support https:// custom domains.  The only way that we can provide a domain with a secure certificate is if it is a subdomain of litmos.com.  Again, I apologize for any inconvenience."

Can anyone suggest another solution?  Can anyone give me a work-around that would allow me to direct iOS users to even an external site or different domain?  At this point, my only option is to simply not offer iOS access to my users, since I have to support Internet Explorer.


Robert Taylor

It doesn't look like we are going to have much success using emseducation.net and litmos.com in the same URL. This is not too surprising given browser security concerns associated with cross-domain scripting. So let's explore another option.

Can Litmos.com host your training content and the course listing page? For example, emseducation.net might provide a link such as Click here to see a complete list of lectures.

When visitors land on that page, they would see  links like: Kaufmann's Epic LMS Journey