About Web and Database Services for Instruction (WebDB)

On this page:


Overview

The Web and Database Services for Instruction tool (WebDB) provides students and faculty with personalized Microsoft SQL Server database development environments for the purposes of teaching and learning database concepts and SQL programming. The WebDB service is only accessible through Canvas, and must be activated at the course level by an instructor before students can use it.

Once WebDB is activated, students can log into their Canvas course and launch the WebDB tool, which will provision their Microsoft SQL Server account and database in real time.

If you're off campus and you wish to access a Microsoft SQL Server account via SQL Server Management Studio, you'll need to connect to the IU VPN.

UITS will retire and remove WebDB SQL Server accounts six months after the last day of class.

Policy considerations

Because WebDB environments are provisioned using Indiana University technology resources, they are subject to the policies and guidelines outlined by the University Information Security Office (UISO) and University Information Policy Office (UIPO).

Naming conventions

WebDB databases and account usernames follow the naming convention username_canvasCourseId, where username is the individual's IU username (or sequence ID for guest accounts), and canvasCourseId is the Canvas course identifier. For example, if user "jdoe" is a student in a course with the Canvas course ID "12345", both the database name and the account username will be jdoe_12345.

About the provisioning process

The following steps make up the WebDB provisioning process:

  1. Create the user's SQL Server database, using the above naming convention.
    • If a database with the same name already exists, a new database will not be created, and the user will instead be given access to the existing database.
  2. Create the user's SQL Server account, using the above naming convention.
    • If an account with the same username already exists, a new account will not be created, and the existing account will be given access to the user's database.
  3. Give the user owner rights to their database.
  4. Give all course instructors database owner rights to the user's database.
    • If a course instructor has not yet created their own SQL Server account, they will not be given access to the user's database, and will need to manually update access once their account has been created.

For instructors

As an instructor, you'll need to add WebDB to your Canvas course navigation menu and activate the tool before your students can use it.

Add WebDB to your Canvas course navigation menu

In Canvas, the WebDB tool is hidden by default.

To add a hidden tool to your course navigation menu:

  1. In your course navigation menu, click Settings.
  2. On the Navigation tab, in the list of hidden tools (under "Drag items here to hide them from students"), find the desired tool, and then click the corresponding Settings (gear) icon.

    To add the desired tool, click the corresponding gear icon, select 'Enable', and then click 'Save'.

  3. Select Enable and, if desired, drag and drop the enabled tool to change its position in the tool list.
  4. Click Save.

Activate WebDB for your course

Once you've added WebDB to your course navigation menu, to activate WebDB:

  1. In the Canvas course navigation menu, click WebDB.
  2. Read and acknowledge the acceptable use service agreement, and then click Activate WebDB. A Microsoft SQL Server account and database will immediately be created for your use in the course.
  3. After the creation process is finished, click Continue to view your database connection details.

Consult the Student Database Roster

Once you've activated WebDB, you'll see a list of all of the students in the course, along with details regarding the status of each student's database:

Immediately after activation, all student database statuses will show as "Database Not Yet Created". Once a student launches WebDB and their environment is created, their status in the Student Database Roster will be updated accordingly.

Student Database Roster showing each student's name, username, role, and status

Access a student's database

When any user (student or instructor) launches WebDB for the first time, one step in the environment creation process is to give all course instructors access to that user's database. An instructor can only be given access to another user's database if the instructor has already created their own environment, which usually happens when the instructor activates WebDB for the course. However, occasionally an instructor may not create their own environment until after WebDB has been activated (for example, if the instructor is a teaching assistant or another instructor in the course). In that case, the instructor will not be given access to any databases created prior to their own environment's creation.

If you are an instructor in a course and do not have access to another user's database, click Update Access to gain access to all existing databases for your course. You'll only have this option if you're an instructor and you've already created your own SQL Server environment.

For students

Important:
UITS no longer offers WebDB accounts for individuals outside of a course environment. If you are an independent study student, contact the instructor for your course and ask them to activate WebDB.

If you are enrolled in a class that uses the WebDB service, your instructor will need to activate WebDB for the course before you can use it. If WebDB is not an option in your course's navigation menu in Canvas, or if you click WebDB in the navigation menu and see a message that it has not yet been activated, check with your course instructor to make sure WebDB has been activated correctly.

Once WebDB has been activated and appears in your course navigation menu, to create your Microsoft SQL Server database environment:

  1. In the course navigation menu, click WebDB.
  2. Read and acknowledge the acceptable use service agreement, and then click Continue. A Microsoft SQL Server account and database will immediately be created for your use in the course.
  3. After the creation process is finished, click Continue to view your database connection details.

Reset your SQL Server account password

Once your course database environment has been created, to reset the password for your SQL Server account at any time, return to the WebDB tool and click Reset Password. This will only change the password for the account associated with the current course, and it will only be displayed once. UITS recommends that you store the password in a safe location to avoid resetting it unnecessarily.

Microsoft SQL Server

WebDB provisions Microsoft SQL Server accounts for class instruction.

Microsoft now provides a free download of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS); to access your SQL Server account via SSMS from off campus, you'll need to connect to the IU VPN. Alternatively, you can access SSMS and SQL Developer within IUanyWare.

This is document azzz in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-11-28 12:11:40.

Contact us

For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.