Courses and organizations can be associated to more than one node in the Institutional Hierarchy, but one of these associations must be designated as the "primary" association. The primary association determines which node a course looks to for its tool settings: whether a tool is available, and whether guest and observer access is enabled for the tools.

The node may also specify default values for other course settings such as tabs, modules, and tools. The node's settings apply only to those courses associated with the node itself, not courses in general. Default course settings, such as menus, structures, and themes, can't be controlled through nodes.

Select a primary node association for an object

From new or existing objects

  1. Create or edit an object, such as a course or user.
  2. Select Find Node.
  3. Search for a node and select it.
  4. Select Submit.

If more than one node is associated, select the Primary Node radio button beside the node you want to be primary.

From the hierarchy user interface

When the admin selects objects to add to her node, the system checks to see if each selected object has an existing primary node association.

If an object does not have a primary node association, the system creates a primary association for that object to the selected node.

If an object already has a primary node association, the system creates a secondary association for that object to the selected node.

Missing primary node associations

There are a some situations where a course or organization associated to the hierarchy may find itself without a primary associations. This could happen:

  • After an upgrade from 9.1 SP6 to 9.1 SP8. Primary associations were not available in SP6, so the upgrader needs to create them during the migration to SP8. If any SP6 courses or organizations are associated with multiple nodes, the upgrade tool cannot determine which of them should be marked primary.
  • After the deletion of a primary association. If a primary association is deleted (either directly, or through the deletion of its parent node), and there are two or more other associations for that course/org, then it is the user's responsibility to decide which of those should be the primary association. Until the user does so, they will both remain secondary.

A course or organization lacking a primary association looks to the root-level settings to determine what the settings should be.

The Orphan Detection tool

The Orphan Detection tool examines the Institutional Hierarchy for courses and organizations that are associated to one or more nodes but do not have primary associations to any of those nodes. It generates a report that lists all objects that lack primary associations, along with the nodes they are associated to.

The syntax of the command-line tool is:

[blackboard]/tools/admin/DetectOrphanedHierarchyAssociations [-f file-name]

When run, the tool analyzes the hierarchy and writes a report to a file called orphaned-hierarchy-associations.txt. The optional -f parameter can be used to specify a different file name for the report.

Report format

The report displays a list of orphaned associations, one per line. Each entry consists of the following fields:

Report Format
Field Description
object_kind Whether the association is for a COURSE or an ORGANIZATION.
id The batch identifier of the object.
name The name of the object.
associated_node_ids The batch uids of all the nodes with which the object is associated.

Example report:

object_kind id name associated_node_ids