Section Meeting Scheduling Preference Import

The system supports the import of section meeting scheduling preferences using an Excel spreadsheet.  This import option can be used to populate Astra Schedule with meeting-level preferences that are stored in the student information system.

The system supports the import of these preferences using the existing import job infrastructure.  Supported preference types for import include building, room, feature, region, and room type.


Excel Import Template

An Excel template (SectionMeetingPreferenceTemplate) is provided in the Astra Schedule installation directory location.  The path is *your instance*\Files\ATEConfiguration\Spokes\SIS\Excel\ExampleDataTemplates.

The Excel template import will allow for one or more rows per section meeting with preferences.

Columns in the sheet represent the preference types (building, room, feature, region, room type) and attributes supported, including weight (1-10), mode (Required, Normal, Exclude), and Quantity (if applicable, for features).


The spreadsheet supports the following columns:




SectionMeetingSISKey is required and is the unique identifier for the specific section meeting for which you are importing preferences.  This value may be repeated on a different row to import another preference of the same type for the same meeting.


The SISKey (unique identifier) of the building in Astra Schedule.


A value from 1-10.


Maybe "Required", "Normal", or "Exclude".

This will default to "Normal" if not provided.


This value must be the SISKey (unique identifier) of the room in Astra Schedule.


A value from 1-10.


Maybe "Required", "Normal", or "Exclude".

This will default to "Normal" if not provided.


This must be an exact name match for an existing feature.


A value from 1-10.


This will default to "1" if not provided, or if provided but quantities are not configured for the feature.


Maybe "Required", "Normal", or "Exclude".

This will default to "Normal" if not provided.


This must be an exact name match for an existing region.


A value from 1-10.


May be "Required", "Normal", or "Exclude".

This will default to "Normal" if not provided.


This must be an exact name match for an existing room type.


A value from 1-10.


May be "Required", "Normal", or "Exclude".

This will default to "Normal" if not provided.

The section meeting preference import will not create any new preference master list items during import (e.g. it will not add a new Region to the database if it's included in the spreadsheet but doesn't exist in Astra Schedule).  All values must already exist in the database.  Preference items that do not match or that do not exist will be skipped.


Creating the Import Job

See Import & Export Job Overview for general information and Adding Jobs about setting up jobs.

When setting up the new job, you will select the ExcelSectionMeetingPreferenceImport.xml configuration spoke file.


This file includes several settings that are specific to the section meeting preference import.  These settings define how the system should perform updates (Import Filters), error conditions (Duplicate Preference Handling), and the import file location (Excel Settings).


Import Filters  

Once you have selected the correct configuration spoke file and clicked Continue, the system will display the job form with import-specific job settings.  The Import Filters section of the form allows you to determine, on a preference type basis, how you want to handle the record updating process.

For each preference type, your options are:

  • Import new, update existing, and delete missing: will add new preferences to meetings when found in your file, update any existing preferences, and delete any existing preferences that are not included for that meeting in your file.
    If using the delete option, then blank preference entries for a meeting will blank out any existing preferences.  Otherwise, blanks are ignored.
  • Import new and update existing: will only add new and update existing preferences, but will not delete missing preferences.
  • Only import new: will only add new preferences and will not do anything to existing preferences.
  • Do Not Import: ignores the preference import for the applicable type.



Duplicate Preference Handling

Job settings are provided per preference type to define the behavior when duplicate preferences are encountered.

  • Halt with Error: if duplicate preferences are encountered, the job will stop and write an error to the log.
  • Ignore: if duplicate preferences are encountered, the job will skip the record and continue.



Excel Settings 

To specify the location of your Excel import template for the job, click Browse and select your copy of the SectionMeetingPreferenceTemplate.xlsx.


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