I would like to create an xml snapshot file that is run in XML_MANUAL mode that will only contain reference to a users <USERID> and the <X_BB_AVAILABILITY> value, refering to the user by their internal <ID>. i.e. I want to update just these two values but keep all other data stored about the user the same.
What I actually want to do is make expired user accounts unavailable and update the username with a sequence of characters that makes it obvious the account has expired. (Rather than fully deleting the account at this point)
Blackboard seems to insist I provide a <FAMILY> name and <GIVEN> name in the XML, even though these values are not changing, and for reasons to dull to go into it is a pain to resolve these values, once the account has expired on other systems. [ If this *is* the case, by the way, it contravenes the "IMS Global" standard, which BlackBoard claims to support! ]
Would anyone know of a way to achieve this?
I suppose I could resort to making the name "Expired Account" for all these users, but I would prefer to leave their names unchanged.
It looks to me like "Family Name" and "Given Name" are required in the feed, as well. However, remember that you can use the configuration file (snapshot.properties, or a customized version of it) to specify that the snapshot process should not overwrite specific fields in the database such as FIRSTNAME (aka "Given Name") and LASTNAME (aka "Family Name"). To do this, look in the configuration file for the "person.bb.controlled.fields" setting, and make sure that you add FIRSTNAME and LASTNAME to that list. You would still have to include those fields in the feed file, but you would not have to figure out what their current values are.
PS: I've only done this with flat-file feeds, so you definitely want to test it with an XML file to be sure it works the same way.
I can confirm that this technique does also work on the XML snapshot file.
I copied the usual snapshot.properties file and added this line:
Referring to this new file using the "-C" switch on the commandline resulted in the users names being unaffected by the snapshot process.
© Blackboard, Inc.