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Please Note

  • Bb Learn introduces some cross campus unique data considerations. Details of this can be found here Uniqueness of Data

The Integration Framework available in Bb Learn 9.1 extends the functionality of available to the command line snapshot tool by allowing more data types which in turn allows further automated SIS to Learn functionality.

Uploading Files

The Integration Framework processes files based on where files are posted to rather than a specific command for the various data types. SIS feed files should be uploaded to Bb Learn with a POST to a specific URL.

When uploading to interfaces.umassonline.net your files are processed in a specific order due to dependencies that may exist in subsiquent files. Information on this can be found here.

CSV FORMAT

One file will be created for each type of import record.

Information on the naming conventions that should be used when generating these files can be found on this page. Framework Batch File Naming Conventions

The first record in each file will be a header record, specifying which columns are included in a given CSV file. The headers should be taken from the ‘CSV Header’ entry in the following format descriptions. Headers cannot be delimited with double quotes. 

A summary of CSV formatting:

    • Fields are separated with commas.
    • Fields may always be delimited with double quotes.
    • Fields with leading or trailing spaces must be delimited with double-quote characters.
    • Fields with embedded commas must be surrounded with double-quote characters.
    • Fields that contain double quote characters must be surrounded by double-quotes, and the embedded double-quotes must each be represented by a pair of consecutive double quotes.
    • Leading and trailing space-characters adjacent to comma field separators are ignored.

If any questions exist as to what constitutes a valid CSV file, please contact UMass Online Support by opening a support ticket.

Bb Learn courses can be created or updated by uploading a file formatted with the fields described below. Each record in the file represents a single course. The record format is the same for creating or updating.

All Learning Contexts must have a unique ID. No two courses may duplicate an ID.

A trailing comma in the last column field is not necessary.

CSV Record Types

Header Row

The Header Row in a Feed File contains Field Names, which are the exact names of the fields included in the file. These names are listed in the tables ->HERE<-. The header fields are delimited with the same character as the data records.

Fields can appear in the header row in any order, but fields not recognized by Blackboard Learn cannot be included or errors will occur or the operation will fail completely.

Note feed files work in both Right to Left and Left to Right operating system environments. The order of the fields in the header row is not important, only that it matches the order of the data rows. The delimiter for Snapshot feed files used in a Right to Left environment must be a Tab or Comma. (If you choose to use Tab separated flat files please let UMassOnline know so they can configure Learn accordingly.)

Each Feed File type has a minimum number of required fields that need to be identified in the header row.

Note:  All dates should be in the format of either yyyyMMdd or MM/dd/yyyy.

Specifics on each file type and format can be found on the following pages.

Data types used in the Framework include:

Invalid data

Incorrectly formatted data is handled as follows:

    • Strings that exceed the specified max length for that column will be truncated. Data Source Keys that exceed the specified max length for that column will cause the record to fail.
    • Data types that cannot be converted (such as dates) are ignored. (They are treated as a space or as missing.)
    • Invalid column headers are ignored.

Note Unsupported feed elements will not cause the feed to fail---they are ignored to preserve backward compatibility with older feed generators.

Logging

Logging information can be found here Framework Logging

Data Mapping

To assist with mapping of SIS data to Framework files the attached Excel file should help.

BBLearn-SIS_data_mapping.xlsx