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MIS Systems Thread, Batch create Aspects in SIMS? in Technical; Hello folks, I was just wondering (and I have a suspicion this isn't possible) whether you can somehow batch create ...
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    Batch create Aspects in SIMS?

    Hello folks,

    I was just wondering (and I have a suspicion this isn't possible) whether you can somehow batch create Aspects in SIMS.

    It would be a lot easier to create the 100 or so aspects using excel and import them, perhaps as a CTF? I'm pretty sure Yellis/MidYIS' CTF files import aspects - so I wonder how to do it?

    Cheers

    Tom

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Hi, and welcome to EduGeek

    @Dancer posted a tool to do this a while ago, it's saved me many hundreds of hours already I'm sure!

    There is a sheet within the workbook called "Notes", if you read them you should be able to figure out how it all works
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    Last edited by LosOjos; 18th May 2011 at 12:56 PM. Reason: credit where credit's due

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    Wow - amazing - this will save me LOADS of time!

    Thanks to you and it's writer!!

    T

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    Just a word of warning - be very careful about choosing ID's!

    If you choose an ID that's already in use, you could end up causing some issues...

    I tend to use "DDMMYYYY_[incrementing number]" each time I do an upload, that way it's going to be a unique ID and you have some sort of auditing possible with the upload date attached

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    Good call.

    At the moment I'm just testing it to ensure it updates the relevant text file(s) but it doesn't seem to be doing anything... is there a particular version of Excel where this works best? Didn't work with 2010 or 2003...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tben2505 View Post
    Good call.

    At the moment I'm just testing it to ensure it updates the relevant text file(s) but it doesn't seem to be doing anything... is there a particular version of Excel where this works best? Didn't work with 2010 or 2003...
    Have you read through all of the notes? Also, have you made sure you have enabled macros in Excel?

    There are two text files that have to be in the same folder as the spreadsheet (it's an XLS so should work fine with any version of Excel). In the "OrigAspect.txt" file, you have to have copied and pasted the XML code for an existing aspect you have exported from your SIMS system. What this spreadsheet actually does is then replace the relevant parts of that original aspect to create the XML for new aspects you've specified, creating a new XML file in "NewAspects.txt", ready to be uploaded in to SIMS (you'll need to make a copy of the file and change the extension to ".xml" to be able to upload it)

    Let me know if you're still having problems and I'll see if I can help you out.

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    Aaaah - I did read the notes but I didn't fully understand that it required me to do that - I thought it was already (or should already) hve been there.

    Will try this now, then!

    On a side not, is it possible to attach grade sets to these aspects during this process, do you know, or do we have to append them to each aspect in SIMS?

    Cheers!

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    Ah it'll already be there in the export. I'm catching on, sorry!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tben2505 View Post
    Ah it'll already be there in the export. I'm catching on, sorry!
    Yep, it all depends on the original aspect you're basing your batch creation on, so you do have to be careful that the original is the same type and gradeset as all those you want to create based on it, but it's still much quicker than doing it all manually I think!

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    Unfortunately seems to be an error with my generated file now!

    I can generate the file OK but it seems the header information is slightly wrong? Can you see?!!

    Thanks,

    Tom
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    (error on import to SIMS) "file contains invalid data. select another file"

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    I believe that person may have been Dancer - a.k.a. Ralph on SupportNet. At least it was him that did the routine for marksheets.
    Was just thinking that you can import aspects, especially, as mentioned when sent from some third party. When you do this, doesn't it create it's own ID on import?
    To maintain integrity a bit more, why not batch create your aspects on a test server. Then export them for reimport to the live server, this way it can handle the IDs or am i talking rubbish?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    I believe that person may have been Dancer - a.k.a. Ralph on SupportNet. At least it was him that did the routine for marksheets.
    Was just thinking that you can import aspects, especially, as mentioned when sent from some third party. When you do this, doesn't it create it's own ID on import?
    To maintain integrity a bit more, why not batch create your aspects on a test server. Then export them for reimport to the live server, this way it can handle the IDs or am i talking rubbish?
    I'd never accuse you of talking rubbish Vik lol, but I think you're wrong here.

    The ID appears to have to be manually created (unless you create an aspect in SIMS, where it automatically creates one). If you provide no ID in the XML, it won't import, and if you were to run a quick report on your SIMS system and look at some of the external ID's for aspects relating to exam results (you may need "Third Party Reporting" privileges on your login to report on that), you'll see just how bizarre and obfuscated they can get in an attempt to remain unique!

    I have (only once fortunately) forgotten to change my ID's and imported them to SIMS; the result was that although the correct aspect name appeared in SIMS, upon export, it showed the aspect name I'd accidentally uploaded over the top! That was a painful couple of hours to put right...

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    @tben2005: that XML is in a right mess! Did you copy the entire XML exported from SIMS in to "OrigAspect.txt"? If as I suspect you have, that's your problem; you only need the aspect part of the XML, that's everything between (and including) the "<Aspect></Aspect>" tags.

    You'll also want to delete everything after "<AspectNode>" at the start of "NewAspect.txt", and you'll need to do that before each time you run it, as Excel will append to this file, not replace it.

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    OK, firstly, could you just see if my OrigAspect.txt file looks OK...?


    <Aspect><GradesetModule>CES Assessment Services</GradesetModule><GradesetSupplier>318 6078 The Harrodian School</GradesetSupplier><GradesetExternalId>114</GradesetExternalId><Module>CES Assessment Services</Module><Supplier>318 6078 The Harrodian School</Supplier><ExternalId>3391</ExternalId><Name>KS4R_Ar</Name><ColumnHeading>KS4R_Ar</ColumnHeading><Description /><CreateDate>18/05/2011</CreateDate><EditDate>18/05/2011</EditDate><Type>G</Type><KeyStage1>F</KeyStage1><KeyStage2>F</KeyStage2><KeyStage3>F</KeyStage3><Version5>F</Version5><Markset><StartDate /><EndDate /><MinValue /><MaxValue /></Markset></Aspect>

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