Interface Configuration Overview

Before using the interface, the SIS connection information must be specified and the interface business rules must be verified. The connection to the SIS is defined during installation using the installation control panel. These parameters are automatically stored in a separate configuration file. The interface business rules are contained in xml configuration files on the application server and dictate which data is transferred and under what circumstances.

Configurations

Many of the configuration settings for the interface along with the SIS-specific data queries are contained within xml "spoke" files in an application directory labeled ATEConfig.  In a standard installation, the path to this directory might look something like the following:

C:\Ad Astra\%YourInstance%\Files\ATEConfiguration\Spokes\SIS

If the Task Agent is installed on a separate server, the spoke files must be included on both the application server and the Task Agent server.  This happens automatically in a standard installation but keep this in mind in case any customizations are made.  Updated spokes must be copied to both servers.

Default import and export files are provided with standard settings and field mapping defined. The section import configuration file includes true/false settings for the available interface options, the queries used when selecting data from the SIS in both batch and on-demand processes, and field format validators.

The queries in the import file map SIS fields to specific fields recognized by the data transform engine. Likewise, the export configuration file includes the update statement used when updating room assignments in the SIS. Multiple versions of these files may be created with slight changes as needed. The appropriate import or export file is selected when creating SIS jobs.

It is possible to customize the xml configuration files to modify the behavior of the interface, including making changes to the SIS fields being queried. While the source fields can be changed, the destination fields and field names cannot be modified. It is advisable to make advanced changes to these files only with the assistance of an Ad Astra technician. Inappropriate changes to these files can result in data corruption or failure of the interface.

The xml configuration files in this directory can be easily viewed by opening them with an internet browser. The xml is automatically interpreted and formatted for presentation. Note that this is also a good way to check any changes made to these files for proper xml formatting. 

Import Options

The default settings related to the import and update of records from the SIS are contained in the “Hub Configuration Options” section near the top of the file labeled *YourSIS*SectionImport.xml.

DeleteAstraSectionsNotInImportSet

(Default value = "true" except for text file interface)

Config file entry = <JobParameter name="DeleteAstraSectionsNotInImportSet" caption="" hidden="true" expr="true" type="bool"/>

If this value is set to "true", then section records that exist in Astra Schedule that are not found in the import dataset will be deleted.  If "false", section records are not deleted on import.

DeleteAstraMeetingsNotInImportSet

(Default value = "true" except for text file interface)

Config file entry =  <JobParameter name="DeleteAstraMeetingsNotInImportSet" caption="" hidden="true" expr="DeleteAstraSectionsNotInImportSet" type="bool"/>

If this value is set to "true", then section meetings (of sections) that exist in Astra Schedule that are not found in the import dataset will be deleted. If "false", section meetings are not deleted on import.

ImportIncompleteSections

(Default value = "true")

Config file entry = <JobParameter name="ImportIncompleteSections" caption="" hidden="true" expr="true" type="bool"/>

If this option is set to “true”, then sections will be imported from the SIS even if their meeting patterns are still incomplete (missing days, times, or dates).  Sections are inserted and incomplete meetings are flagged as "RequiresAttention" in the Astra Schedule database.

If this option is set to "false", then sections with incomplete meeting patterns are skipped during import and not inserted into the Astra Schedule database.

This option has no effect on existing records that may already be in the Astra Schedule database with incomplete meeting patterns.

The import process does not automatically set an "Arranged" section flag unless the import configuration specifically maps an "Arranged" value in the SIS to the corresponding flag in Astra Schedule.  If sections are being flagged as "Arranged" on import then they are imported whether or not they have a complete meeting pattern.

DeleteCanceledSections

(Default value = "true")

Config file entry = <JobParameter name="DeleteCanceledSections" caption="" hidden="true" expr="true" type="bool"/>

If this value is set to "true", then section records in the import data that are flagged as canceled be deleted.  If "false", canceled section records are not deleted on import and will appear in Astra Schedule along with others.

Additionally, a System Setting is available to prevent the import process from overwriting room assignments on existing, matching sections if the room assignments were modified in Astra Schedule.  This will prevent scheduling work from being overwritten if the room assignments have not yet been exported back to the SIS.

This new system setting (DoNotOverwriteAstraRoomAssignments) is included in the import configuration files as follows:

<SystemParameter name="DoNotOverwriteAstraRoomAssignments" settingKey="DoNotOverwriteAstraRoomAssignments" default="true"/>

Note that the default setting is "true".  If the setting is not otherwise configured in system settings, the spoke will behave as if were set to "true", meaning that modified room assignments will be preserved during imports.

Once the room assignment data is exported back to the SIS, the import will once again update room assignments during import until a user makes a subsequent room assignment change in Astra Schedule.

This setting is visible, but read-only, in the Data Options section of the job details screen as shown below.  To edit this value, an entry for DoNotOverwriteAstraRoomAssignments must be added to the System Settings in the Settings area of the application.


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