This article is intended for IT professionals at schools using Stile.
It provides technical details on how Stile works to assist in network configuration and troubleshooting. While the majority of school IT systems do not require any configuration to use Stile, some firewalls or proxies will require tweaking. We encourage you to look through the checklist below and make any configuration changes you believe are necessary.
The following information is covered below:
- What is Stile?
- Whitelisting quick list;
- Supported browsers and settings;
- Traffic profile;
- Firewall/proxy considerations;
- Large file uploads;
- SSL (HTTPS);
- Non-standard HTTP headers;
- HTTP verbs;
- Idle TCP Connections;
- Usernames and email addresses;
- Configuration and integration;
- Security and privacy;
What is Stile?
Stile is a modern web app for teachers and students, intended for use both within the classroom and at home. It can be accessed via any modern web browser on any computer or tablet device. Stile provides teachers with tools to quickly design and deliver interactive lessons to their students. Students individually log in and complete those lessons. All work they complete is stored against their username for later access.
We’re based in Melbourne, Australia and technical staff are available on the phone (+613 8539 3289 or NZ 0800 000 252) should you have any questions.
Whitelisting quick list:
- Approve stileapp.com, *.stileapp.com, stileeducation.com and *.stileeducation.com through your firewall.
- Approve *@stileeducation.com, *@stileapp.com, @stile.intercom-mail.com, @xero.com, and @post.xero.com domains on your email server and any associated third-party spam filters. Intercom is our customer support platform and Xero is used for sending invoices to your school's financial decision maker.
- Approve medium.com/stileeducation - the Stile blog where we post important updates for teachers
- Approve some domains from Intercom - our live support platform. These are intercom.io, *.intercom.io, intercomcdn.com, *.intercomcdn.com, intercomassets.com and *.intercomassets.com.
- Exclude stileapp.com from any traffic shaping or student download limits.
- Ensure your staff and students have the latest versions of Edge, Safari, Chrome or Firefox.
- Ensure your students are allowed to send outbound email to u-au.stileapp.com and u.stileapp.com.
- Ensure large file uploads (preferably up to at least 500 MB) are allowed at your proxy/firewall for stileapp.com and *.stileapp.com.
Supported Browsers and Settings
Stile leverages the latest web technologies to deliver its user experience. As such, some older browsers cannot be used to access the app.
Warning: Internet Explorer is no longer supported. Consider switching to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 devices.
iOS 10 and under are no longer supported. Consider updating your iPad to the latest compatible operating system or upgrading your device.
An un-cached fresh hit to stileapp.com will download approximately 1.1 MB of data, however, most of this data is cached, and so subsequent page loads should be less than 10 KB.
In addition to basic website and API traffic, user uploads and downloads of large files, including images, video, documents also occur on stileapp.com. If you have implemented any form of bandwidth throttling on your network, please keep in mind that our servers will disconnect IDLE TCP connections after 60 seconds, thereby interrupting downloads or uploads that have been artificially delayed (by throttle) without keep-alive.
Where available, we recommend adding stileapp.com and stileeducation.com to your firewall or proxy whitelist. Most schools find this to be the most simple and effective way to ensure their users have a consistent and reliable experience.
If your firewall doesn’t allow wildcard whitelists, be sure to include domains both with and without the ‘www’:
- www[0-9].stileapp.com (i.e. www0.stileapp.com, www1.stileapp.com, etc)
We’ve gone to considerable effort to ensure all resources required to run stileapp.com are available from that single domain. This includes all images, videos and other documents your users embed in or upload to Stile. The exception to this is YouTube and Vimeo videos, which when embedded into Stile lessons will access their respective domains as needed:
- all Intercom domains (our live chat support client) listed here
Large file uploads
Stile supports the upload of large files (we’ve tested up to 2 GB) and encourages users to do so within the interface. Note that even when users upload large movie or image files, we automatically transcode them to a much more reasonable size for consumption on the site by other Stile users.
Firewalls/proxies must allow SSL on stileapp.com and stileeducation.com on port 443 (standard SSL port). It is not possible to connect to Stile without SSL.
Non-standard HTTP headers
Firewalls/proxies must allow non-standard HTTP headers as per RFC6648. Presently, all non-standard headers are prefixed with “X-“.
Firewalls and proxies must allow all standard HTTP verbs (GET, HEAD, POST, OPTIONS, PUT, DELETE).
Idle TCP Connections
As discussed above, please exclude *.stileapp.com if you have throttling or other systems that may cause a user’s legitimate upload to idle for more than 60 seconds.
From time to time, Stile will send emails to your staff and students with notifications, or to respond to their support enquiries. Email from Stile will only ever come from @stileeducation.com or @stileapp.com addresses. To ensure users receive these emails, we strongly recommend both of these domains be whitelisted in your email server. Don’t forget to also add the whitelist to any spam filters you have running against your email server.
Note we occasionally send many similar-looking emails to a broad number of your users, particularly when teachers sign up a whole class of students for the first time. Occasionally, email servers think this is spam and start limiting us in some way. This will result in either delayed or non-delivery of our emails, which is obviously frustrating for users. If you are aware of your server doing this sort of shaping, again consider white-listing our domains from this process.
In addition, students using iPads or iPhones must be able to send outbound email to u-au.stileapp.com and u.stileapp.com. We use these domains to allow students to email us files for automatic upload into Stile on devices and operating systems where there is no other upload option.
Usernames and email addresses
Stile requires that usernames be in the form of an email address. If it isn’t possible for your students to have email addresses at this time, we do have some workarounds. Please get in touch with us to discuss further.
We also offer Single Sign-on (SSO) integration. Find out how to set up SSO for your school here.
Configuration and integration
Stile is configured by Stile staff prior to deployment at a school. General administrative tasks such as adding new students or staff are done inside the Stile interface by providing their email addresses. Typically, teachers do this individually on a per-class basis, alleviating the burden on IT staff to have this pre-configured. However, bulk configuration of users and subjects is possible and available to you upon request:
- CSV-based bulk loading.
- Real-time Active Directory integration
We also offer schools direct access to their data via our REST HTTP API, allowing the creation of custom integrations with Stile.
If you would like more information on any of these data loading and integration options, please get in touch.
Security and Privacy
If you have any technical issues or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us – we’re here to help!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +61 3 8539 3289 (NZ 0800 000 252)