People records in Astra Schedule have many responsibilities they can hold: user, customer contact, instructor, student, and institutional contact. A user always has a people record, but a people record isn’t always a user. One people record can also have multiple responsibilities! In order to keep you on the right track while managing people in the application, we’ve created this FAQ to help!
Q: Can you define the different people responsibilities and their uses in Astra Schedule?
A: Absolutely, we can! Please see a description, uses in the application, and creation options for each of the 5 people responsibilities below.
Users can sign in to Astra Schedule and are given role permissions to allow different levels of application access. A user is created either manually by a system administrator or automatically via our auto-provisioning through LDAP or Single Sign-On authentication. You can only create users from the Users List or via auto-provisioning. A user cannot be created from the People List.
Instructors are associated to sections in Astra Schedule, and they can be used to filter and sort on the section list, optimization results, and in reports. Scheduling preferences can also be created for instructors. Lastly, instructor optimization is a license available for clients to bulk assign instructors to sections. An instructor is most commonly created via import from your Student Information System, whether the institution has a direct integration with their SIS or through a text file. This import will always bring in the first and last name, but it does not always bring in the email address.
Customer contacts are assigned to events along with a customer. Customer contacts can be used to filter and sort on the event list, calendars, and in reports. Customer contacts are created manually by event administrators, either through the create buttons on the Create Event Modal or by updating an existing people record.
Institutional Contacts and Students
Institutional Contacts and Students do not have uses in Astra Schedule other than as an option for a Primary Responsibility. Therefore, clients use these responsibilities to create additional homepages for users. These responsibilities can only be added manually in the people record by a user.
Q: What is the difference between a role and a people responsibility?
A: A user’s role defines their access and permissions in the application. A role can only be assigned to a user. A responsibility allows a person record to be used in different parts of the application, such as a customer contact for an event and an instructor for a section.
Q: What is the Primary Responsibility used for?
A: The primary responsibility is the responsibility shown on the people list page and determines which homepage the person will see, if they are a user. For example, if they are a user with a primary responsibility of institution contact, they will see the homepage that is setup for the responsibility of institutional contact.
Q: Can a people record have multiple responsibilities?
A: Yes, they can, and it is very common! Users are often setup as customer contacts as well so that when they sign in to create an event, their customer and contact information populates on the event request form. Instructors can be users in the system, even though they original were created in Astra Schedule as an instructor upon section import. We will even see one people record with the responsibility of instructor, user, and customer contact, like the screenshot below!
Q: I have two records for one person: how did this happen and how do I resolve this?
A: This is common for our clients using auto-provisioning with LDAP or Single Sign-On. Whether a people record is first created upon section import (instructor) or manually created by an event administrator (customer contact), when a user signs in for the first time, a new people record is created. The system does not merge customer contacts or instructors with users upon auto-provisioning. To resolve this, the two people records can be merged using our Duplicate Records tool.
Q: When should I merge my duplicate records? What are the benefits?
A: The most common and most important time to merge your duplicate records are users and customer contacts. This is to allow your event requesting process to run smoothly, as the customer and contact information for a user automatically populates in the event request form if they are associated correctly.
Many clients do not merge their users with instructors, as the user and instructor records do not have any impact on each other in Astra Schedule. Instructor records are used only within sections in the different capacities mentioned above.
If you would to have a clean people list and an empty duplicate records tool, it is best practice to monitor the duplicate records tool on a monthly basis to clean up any new duplicate records caused by auto-provisioning.
Q: I am trying to create a customer contact for a new user who submitted an event request form for the first time, but it’s saying the email address is not unique. What do I do?
A: The email address is the unique identifier for people records. If a user has signed in, we know they have a people record with their email address attached. When using the Create button for the customer contact either on the Create Event Modal or in the event form, the system is creating a brand new people record. Therefore, the existing people record would need to be updated to include the responsibility of customer contact rather than being created new.
The same can be said for trying to create a customer contact for an instructor already in the system. If the instructor was first created upon section import, the user will need to update the existing people record to include the responsibility of customer contact.
Q: I no longer wish for a specific customer contact to be available to select when creating an event, but I cannot delete their people record. What do I do?
A: Once a people record, and specifically a customer contact, has been associated to an event, you cannot delete the record due to the connections in the database. Therefore, you’ll need to inactive the customer contact! This means you’ll still see all older events associated to this people record, but future events cannot have this record as the contact.
Q: Do I need to delete or inactivate a user if someone leaves the institution?
A: For institutions with either LDAP, CAS, or Single Sign-On authentication setup, you do not need to inactivate old users in Astra Schedule. As long as they are no longer active in your internal active directory, they will not be able to sign in to Astra Schedule. If you are managing users locally in Astra Schedule, meaning you do not have an authentication method setup, then you will need to uncheck the Active box on user record. You cannot delete a user who has interacted with the application due to connections in the database.