It finally happened. After five years of working in Blackbaud schools, I have taken the plunge. It took a web application to do it, of course. Over the last few weeks, I have migrated the admission inquiry form from my previous school to this one, except this time I set up all the data import routines. The script collects basic applicant details and allows them to schedule a parent tour and school visit. It produces a set of import files that you may then use to get the web data into Education Edge. It’s pretty slick once we work out all the intricacies of our process and import exceptions.
Many of the error messages in Education Edge are pretty nondescript, but I am finally beginning to get familiar with the conventions. I realized today that “Action for Import ID” meant that I should find the Import ID for the applicant, an automatically generated string of numbers and dashes that ensures that the tour/visit action ends up in the correct applicant record. This was easy to pick up with “select import id from ea7records where userdefinedid = [applicant id].” “Wrong field type” means that whatever Education Edge shows in the user input screen for a field does not necessarily match the format it uses during an import! Some guesswork may be required. For example, “Faculty/Staff Member” just becomes “Faculty/Staff” for the purposes of import. I am still searching for the correct format of the “send reminder to” field. In the UI, it’s simply the logon username for that individual. However, that fails the import as “invalid.”
I didn’t think I would ever say this, but some aspects of Blackbaud are beginning to look extremely powerful, and dare I say … elegant? … at least until it breaks the next time!