Many of our instructors are interested in the Section merge tool that is available in SP8. I was testing the tool out on our test server and found that the enrollments in the "parent" or master shell are NOT automatically updated from the child course as the instructions indicate. I tested this using the Snapshot tool and data that I created for the test case. The directions say, "Upon being merged, all enrollments in the child course are replicated in the master course, and any future enrollment changes in the child course are also synchronized automatically with the master course." This only seems to be true if enrollment changes are made through the GUI side and not via Snapshot.
Does anyone know why the enrollments are not "automatically" updated when using the Snapshot process?
Are you using the old command-line snapshot utility or the new Data Integration tools? I haven't really played with course merges and snapshots yet, but I suspect they're more likely to function with the new data integration tools than they are with the old command-line utility. Still, it;s probably worth opening a ticket with Blackboard to be sure they're aware of the problem. Are you seeing any errors in the snapshot log file?
We have opened a ticket with Blackboard board on this.
Yes, I was using the "old" command line utility. I haven't had much time to orient myself on the "new" Data Integration tools. In either case, if Blackboard is going to make a broad general statement like, "...any future enrollment changes in the child course are also synchronized automatically with the master course." Then they need to work as stated. If not, then they should indicate in the directions or description of the tool what the conditions are for it to work "automatically." If the enrollment changes do not work with the command line snapshot tool, then they should indicate that by saying something like: "...enrollment changes made to the child course with the command line snapshot tool will not be automatically updated in the master course. If enrollment changes are made with the Data Integration tool or manually in the child course, then those changes will be automatically updated in the master course."
I don't know if you've heard anything back on your ticket, but I just got word in an integration webinar that Blackboard is still having some trouble with the merge tool, at least with flat file integration updating enrollments. Please keep us up to date if you hear that it's been fixed.
If you have an update on this issue please post it. We are moving to SP 8/9 and will be using the new merge tool and we still use command-line Snapshot to provide enrollments. If that is not working we would like to know before hand so we can pursue a different solution.
University of Kansas
As far as I know, the issue with merged courses applied to enrollments managed through the new webservices-based integration framework, not to command-line snapshots.
I would definitely do tests in your own environment with your own snapshot data to confirm that it's working as expected, though. Do you have a test environment for SP8/9?
Mike - Thanks for the quick answer. We do have SP8 setup on a test server. Right now we are analyzing the pros/cons of using command-line snapshot or SIS Data Integration for getting courses, users, and enrollments into Blackboard. Currently on SP7 we are using command line snapshot only.
We'll be testing this extensively later this month.
I'll be at the Blackboard developer's conference and hope to gain insight into how others are using the course merge tool introduced in SP 8 and any problems with enrollments, course updates for merged courses.
I'm also trying to find out if there is any way to automate the merging of courses instead of a Blackboard administrator manually merging courses.
We are in the same situation, preparing to upgrade from SP7 to SP9 (hopefully) in the fall. We've been using the command-line snapshot forever, but the new integration framework looks really promising so I've been trying to spend some time getting more familiar with it. Fortunately, it looks like you can "mix and match" so we will probably stick with the command-line for now and slowly migrate different feed types over to the new framework.
We have our own merge mechanism in place already that creates merged feeds "upstream" before the data is sent to Blackboard, so I haven't spent much time looking at that yet. However, my understanding from the integration framework handbook (https://blackboard.secure.force.com/btbb_TSGArticleView?Id=50170000000WmqnAAC&RecordType=01270000000Hip5AAC) and from a couple of the integration webinars is that you can automate the merging process using flat-file integration through the new framework, but not through the command-line snapshot. I'm not positive on the syntax, though.
We are experiencing this same issue. Did you get a resolution to your ticket?
© Blackboard, Inc.