I'm investigating the Integration Framework Learn 9.1 SP8 to begin utilizing the features it has to offer that the old command line snapshot tool doesn't have. However, maybe it's just me, but I can't find complete documentation on it. Specifically, I can't find complete information on the elements that can be included in csv files.
The help site on blackboard.com has a list of elements for some of the, but comparing that to the Learn Object Types under System Admin > Data Integration > Student Information Systems Integrations > advance Configuration under a Snapshot Flat File Type it would appear incomplete. (Hierarchy Nodes to name just one.)
Also, when looking at the default headers System Admin > Data Integration > Student Information Systems Integrations > advance Configuration > Learn Object Type (Courses) > Custom Headers there are elements listed that are also not in any documentation I can find. (for example Course Headers in the GUI has a term_key, but the documentation doesn't.)
I'm used to using the PDF integration manual, and it's way outdated for the new integration tools! Nothing about terms, institutional hierachy, or course merges there!
Unfortunately, there really isn't a lot of documentation out there on the new Integration Framework, beyond what's listed in the online help under the GUI (which links back to library.blackboard.com). Much of the new integration seems to be built on XML format files that can be extracted directly from PeopleSoft and other SIS systems.
For your specific questions, my understanding is that you want to have correspondence between the Custom Headers and Field Mapping screens. Field Mapping shows the the fields that the integration recognizes for the different record types and allows you to define how they're handled based on data from the feed, and Custom Headers allows you to include new header identifiers that are not defined by default (and would ordinarily be ignored) and make them available to be mapped into the recognized fields.
For some of the new elements in courses (for instance), Term is pretty straightforward, and term_key in the courses feed would be matched to batch_uid in the terms feed.
Hierarchies are more complicated, but courses, users, etc. that are included in the hierarchy must have a primary node, so the course's primary_external_node_key should correspond to the hierarchy node's batch_uid, the way I understand it. If you're creating nodes via the GUI rather than snapshot, I assume that would be the node's "identifier" string. Then, of course, you need to double-check the Field Mappings to see what behavior is defined for "Primary Node Batch UID".
If that's what you're doing already, make sure to check the log to see if it's giving any clues about why the primary_external_node_key isn't being updated.
I just got a notice about a couple of webinars on integration that Blackboard's doing which may be of interest to you:
Moving Forward with Data Integration (for Snapshot users)Date: Tuesday, May 1 2012Time: 10:00 a.m. (EST)Description: This webinar will show you the best strategies for integrating your Student Information System with Blackboard Learn. If you are currently using command-line Snapshot for your data integration, this webinar will introduce techniques on how to transition to the new Student Information System Integration Framework for your integration.Registration URL: https://blackboard.webex.com/blackboard/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=659239382 The Student Information System Integration Framework RevealedDate: Wednesday, May 2 2012Time: 12:00 p.m. (EST)Description: Blackboard Learn technical experts will explain the best strategies for integrating your Student Information System with Blackboard Learn using the new SIS Integration Framework.Registration URL: https://blackboard.webex.com/blackboard/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=655013965
It looks like Blackboard has just published an SIS Data Integration
Handbook, which is linked at the bottom of KB article on the snapshot
client being deprecated (https://blackboard.secure.force.com/btbb_TSGArticleView?Id=50170000000WmqnAAC&RecordType=01270000000Hip5AAC). The handbook is a Word document, which may mean that it's still a work in progress, but the direct link is https://blackboard.secure.force.com/AttachmentRedirect?bname=Kb-Attachments&fname=SIS+Integration+Framework+handbook-2012-4-30-15-46-50.docx&aws=AKIAJ7CS4QGS2DUC7WIA&sec=9kj8vt7mrLqMEn6Tfx3NCB/jWJkawjKmoUcXpwAS&uval=article
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