Text File Interface Overview

Text file imports and exports are available as an interface solution for institutions using a Student Information System (SIS) for which Ad Astra does not have a database interface.

  • The text file import into Ad Astra requires that a data extract from your institution’s SIS be created that will generate a text file with the appropriate academic section data in a specified format.  This file can be generated manually and used for occasional batch data imports into Ad Astra, or scheduled to run automatically and used for more frequent updates of Section data within Ad Astra.
  • The text file export from Ad Astra will generate a text file with room scheduling and/or other section data as desired.  The generation of import/update files and the utilization of Ad Astra exported data are the responsibility of the institution configuring the interface.
  • Ad Astra imports from delimited source text files (tab is the default; CSV is not supported), and can export a data file to Ad Astra's SFTP specified location.
  • Import jobs can be configured to run on a schedule or can be executed manually. Export jobs would need to be scheduled; however, ad hoc exports can be coordinated with Ad Astra Software Support on a limited basis by submitting a case through the client portal.
  • Automated text file imports and exports in the cloud are managed through the use of a SFTP server (sftp2.aaiscloud.com).
  • Institutions will upload their import files, and download their export files, by connecting to this server. When setting up the connection, a user name will be sent to the institution through a secure mechanism.
  • A public SSH key will be used for authentication, please provide necessary certificates to Ad Astra Technical Support.
  • Import and Export folders will be made accessible to the institution.
  • Files to be imported into Astra Schedule are placed in the Import folder by the institution to be picked up by scheduled import jobs.
  • Files exported from Astra Schedule are written to the Export folder for retrieval by the institution. To set up automation in the cloud, Ad Astra Technical Support will work with you to validate the file and map, and to run a manual import to create the required folder structure.
  • Supported automated text file interface options in the cloud environment include: Scheduled Batch Imports

 

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Scheduled Batch Import Files

  • Batch import files should include every section in all active terms. The files can be multiple megabytes and include thousands of sections.
  • Scheduled batch imports are supported up to four times per day. The schedule can be determined by the institution, in coordination with Ad Astra support staff (to establish the file transfer from the SFTP server to the application server).
  • Manual batch imports can be run at any time by the institution and do not require access to the SFTP server or any configuration via the Ad Astra staff.
  • It is highly recommended that a batch import is executed at least once daily.

 

Scheduled Realtime Imports

  • These differential imports allow for a pseudo real time import. The text file can be created with only the changes from the last x minutes. These files should be small and only include a very small subset of section data.
  • Scheduled realtime imports can be executed as often as every 15 minutes during active business hours. The schedule can be determined by the institution, in coordination with Ad Astra support staff (to establish the file transfer from the SFTP server to the application server).

 

Scheduled Batch Exports

  • Batch exports from Astra Schedule will include every section in the term(s) selected in the export job. There are options on these exports to include information down to the Instance level.
  • Scheduled batch exports are supported up to four times per day. The schedule can be determined by the institution, in coordination with Ad Astra support staff (to establish the file transfer from the application server to the SFTP server).
  • The export file can be output in multiple formats: delimited text (default tab), XML, or Excel.

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