One of the processes Blackboard uses is called auto import for data imports.

Importing is the process of taking data from delimited text files and bringing it into your Community Engagement solution. The auto import process is designed to make this as simple and quick as possible. 

To make this happen files must follow the Blackboard Data spec exactly, or be created by the Blackboard extraction/transfer tool called DataLink.

The file name and headers must match the spec exactly. Additionally the tab delimited file MUST replace the .txt extension with .auto for the auto import process to work. If you use Blackboard's file names and headers, create a tab delimited file, and name it with the .auto extension the process works automatically. Any variation from this requires more work and resources to make the data function.

After the file is loaded onto the Blackboard SFTP site, the system recognizes that a new file has been uploaded and based on the file name imports the correct information.

Special attention needs to be taken while creating the files and validating the data to ensure that the above conditions are met. Once the data is in, Blackboard techs can begin additional backend configuration on all products the district will be ready for training.

What do you need to do?

  1. Schedule Kick off call with Blackboard Product Specialist, and Data Integration Specialist (DIS).
  2. Install DataLink on supported systems.

    DataLink contains standard queries that provide the data and headers correctly formatted for each file. 

  3. Use the Bb data spec to create queries for non-supported systems.
    • File data must be in a predefined standard format with exact headers.
    • File data shouldn't require pre-processing or parse functions.
    • Files should be named using the datasource type all lowercase, and the extension .auto.
    • Files should uses existing format (Flex Format) specified in the data spec.
  4. Use the Data Validation guide to verify the data.

    You can verify that your files were imported correctly by logging into the client use portal. Check to make sure everything you provided in the file matches up with what you see in the web pages. If data is missing, double check that all required fields are in the files, and that all IDs match up correctly. Re-upload the file for the missing data.

  5. Assist in correcting data to meet the districts needs.
  6. Attend training, if required by district project sponsor.