Construct and Process Copy Feeds

Construct and Process Copy Feeds

This article is designed for IT professionals or those who have a background in running feeds and just want the technical specifications for running copy feeds. If you would like more generalized information on the uses and benefits of Feeds, or you need access to tutorials on constructing and running Feeds, consider visiting the General Information articles and How-Tos for Feeds.

Overview:


Updating live syllabi is hard, particularly when you have to do it click by click. Copy Feeds allow you to select a source syllabus, a syllabus item, and then set a destination syllabus. With this Feed, you can copy existing content from an existing syllabus and drop it into live syllabi after they have been cloned. One row in the feed will update one item, on one syllabus. Is there a mistake in the late policy for all courses in the School of Business? Add those 100 courses to your Feed, set the source, set the item, and run!  While similar in nature, Item Feeds are designed to work with external content, while Copy Feeds are designed to work with internal content.

Before You Begin: Important Feed Terms in Concourse

  • Source: You'll need to select the "source" for the data you wish to migrate. It is highly recommended that the data provided by these feeds be derived directly from their authoritative source (e.g. often the Student Information System). This is critical to easily integrate Concourse with other campus systems because you can potentially cut down on inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • Separators: All feed files need to be a pipe "|" separated text file. Since much of this feed data should be obtained from a report or script within your SIS, IT should have no issue producing this for you. However, if you are to generate the data manually, note that this is different than a comma-separated value (CSV) worksheet that is typical in Excel. 
  • Updates: Making changes to your feed file and processing them again will update all row data with some exceptions, such as the unique identifier(s) for a given feed row. For example, if a new user, course, or section identifier is entered, it will create a new entry and not update the existing one. Feed-specific exceptions are noted in the feed specification.
  • Relationship: Feed files require a degree of coordination and sequencing in order to properly work. You can explore feed coordination for system data feeds below in this article.


Construct a Copy Feed

To actually construct an Item feed within Concourse, you will need:
  1. A plain text file program such as Notepad++
  2. The proper feed specification for copy feeds.
Reminder: At the end of this article, you can download a sample Copy Feed. 

Copy Feed Row Header:  ITEM_CONTENT_TYPE|COPY_FROM_IDENTIFIER|COPY_TO_IDENTIFIER

Row Header definitions for a copy feed:
  1. ITEM_CONTENT_TYPE: The content type (Item Class Name) on a syllabus you are attempting to copy (i.e. ContactInformation, Description, MeetingTime).
  2. COPY_FROM_IDENTIFIER: The external ID that tells the Feed where to get the item content you are copying.
  3. COPY_TO_IDENTIFIER: The external ID that tells the Feed where the item content you are copying is going.

Copy Feeds can take item content from one syllabus ( a template or nontemplate) and update the item content on another syllabus. Each row represents a distinct copy, which means that you can pair many different source syllabi with many different destination syllabi.  When an item is copied from one syllabus to another, the item and its children will be carried over. Additionally, multiple items can be updated using one feed. For example, you may have two rows in your feed. One to update the institutional policies, and another row to update course descriptions. You can see this behavior shown in the sample Copy Feed at the end of this article.

Considerations when using the Copy Feed:

  1. Linked items still need to be updated through the template tree.
  2. Content copied from another syllabus as a new item will adhere to initial permissions,  while content copied over existing items will adhere to permissions set on the destination.



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