Setting up folders on a server

The import folder structure must be visible to the account that is running the Etalus Service on the CoursEval server (usually the Network Service account).  The folder structure may reside anywhere on the CoursEval server (including somewhere within the CoursEval Etalus folder structure) or on any network accessible server.


The rules for requiring folders are as follows:

  • The root folder structure must be visible to the Etalus Service
  • The account running the Etalus Service must have full rights (create, modify) to the import folder structure) to enable deleting imported files, creating the Archive folders, and creating the archive files.
  • Each CoursEval database requires a separate folder structure. Manual imports in CoursEval operate against the currently selected database. The folder structure mimics this behavior. This rule does not apply to installations with no select-able database.
  • Each import file type that will be automated requires a separate folder. See the sample below.


Example of an import folder structure when there is only one database (no select-able database):

C:\Imports

C:\Imports\Department

C:\Imports\Faculty

C:\Imports\Student

C:\Imports\DualRole

C:\Imports\Course

C:\Imports\Enroll_Students

C:\Imports\Enroll_ResponsibleFaculty

C:\Imports\Enroll_ParticipatingFaculty

C:\Imports\Enroll_CourseAdmin

C:\Imports\Enroll_TeachingAssistant

C:\Imports\Block

C:\Imports\TeachingSite

C:\Imports\CourseBlock

C:\Imports\CourseSite


Example of an import folder structure when there is more than one CoursEval database:

C:\Imports

C:\Imports\ Pharmacy\Faculty

C:\Imports\ Pharmacy\Student

C:\Imports\ Pharmacy\Course

C:\Imports\ Pharmacy\Enroll_Students

C:\Imports\ Pharmacy\Enroll_ResponsibleFaculty

C:\Imports\Arts\Faculty

C:\Imports\ Arts \Student

C:\Imports\ Arts \Course

C:\Imports\ Arts \Enroll_Students

C:\Imports\ Arts \Enroll_ResponsibleFaculty


Setting up folders in CoursEval

CoursEval facilitates folder configuration via the Imports -> Import Folders screen. This screen enables the administrator to associate each folder to a CoursEval database, import type, and CoursEval role (for enrollment imports only).


Each folder that is setup can be made active by the CoursEval Administrator by checking the Active box in the detail screen.


The Automated Import process will validate each folder before any imports are attempted. The valid indicator will be checked once the Etalus Service verifies the existence of the folder. This validation process will take effect regardless of whether or not the entry has been activated.


Once the folder has been validated and activated the Etalus Service will begin to look for files that show up in the folder.


Configuring Imports

The Imports -> Settings screen is used to setup how CoursEval will process import files. All options available during the manual import process are configurable in this screen. Additionally, CoursEval provides settings to support automated processes such as:

  • Number of days to preserve archive files
  • Error tolerance threshold
  • Column used to lookup people in the Faculty, Student, and Dual Role imports.
  • Settings to ensure complete files are imported

The settings in this screen are also used for manual imports. Be careful to select settings that will work for both automated and manual imports.


Slowly Arriving files

Large files take time to be delivered in their entirety to the CoursEval import folder. There are two built-in safeguards to help ensure that only complete files are processed. Both of these strategies are optional and they may be used in conjunction:

  • Detecting the presence of a GO file.
    • The administrator can set a file extension in the import settings screen.
    • When a file is detected, it will not be processed until a file with the same base name with the GO file extension is detected. E.g.
      • Department.csv
      • Department.go
      • CourseEnrollmentSpring2011.csv
      • CourseEnrollmentSpring2011.go
    • The programs and systems that deliver the import file must also deliver the empty GO file after sending the import file. This must be done in series.
    • When using this option, if there is an error with file transmission the file will never be imported.
    • The GO file is automatically deleted by the import system after the import has completed.
    • Files with the GO extension are never processed as import files regardless of whether or not there is a matching import file.
  • Waiting a number of seconds before attempting the import.
    • The administrator can set the number of seconds to wait past the import file date/time in the import settings screen.
    • When a file is detected, it will not be processed until the current date/time is the entered number of seconds past the import file date/time. In other words, the file must have aged the entered number of seconds.


File Archives

All automated imports archive imported files to a sub-folder named Archive that is created under the file drop off folder.  The Import Log will provide the name and location of the source file that was imported as well as the name and location of the archived file.


The CoursEval Administrator can configure CoursEval to remove old archive files after a specified number of days (e.g. 30 days). It is a good idea to keep archived files around to assist in troubleshooting issues that may arise.


The import folder structure may not be accessible for web users for security purposes. Therefore, CoursEval has no option to retrieve and/or view archived import files.  If a situation arises where an archived file is needed for troubleshooting purposing, a request must be put in to University IT staff (or CoursEval IT staff if hosted) to retrieve a file for review. It is possible that University IT staff will grant the CoursEval Administrator rights to the import folder structure to make troubleshooting less cumbersome.


Simulate (Test) Mode

Automated Imports can be simulated to verify the required columns and naming convention. Simply include the word SIMULATE in the GO file contents to force the import into simulation mode. To then import live, remove the word simulate from the file.

Import Troubleshooting

CoursEval provides several means for Administrators to troubleshoot and review both manual and automated imports.


All import results are logged in the standard CoursEval Import Log. Filters have been created to help find specific imports.


Imports that are halted for critical errors are identified via filtering and also via a red outlined report icon in the Import Log list. Information about the critical error will be logged at the top of the import report.


Reviewing the import log reports and the original files are an effective way to identify issues. For manual imports, the original files are the responsibility of the CoursEval Administrator and can be saved and retrieved based on internal policies. For automated imports, the file archiving strategy is critical for reviewing imported files.  Please note that archived files are exact replicas of the original file and can be run again either manually or by file drop off if corrections were made.


Related Articles

An Overview of Automated Imports

Import Folders



Guides

Automated Imports Webinar Overview