Beacon offers campuses the ability to update the system with information via an FTP folder file drop process.  This process can be used to construct a regular data update to Beacon without the requirement of a user to log in and upload a file via the Beacon user interface.  

Automated Data Transfer (2).png

 

The FTP folder method is available for the following actions:

 

Create users 

Campuses can create new users in Beacon by providing basic account information in a .csv file and placing the file, along with a manifest file, into the following FTP directory:

/Acounts/AccountImports

The file must contain the following headers with corresponding data:

ExternalID - the ID that Campus Labs will use to tie information together with the user. The ID must match the format that is sent via authentication. Campus Labs staff can advise on the format of this ID

FirstName - the first name of the user

LastName - the last name of the user

Email - the campus-specified email address for the user

The file may also contain other user data fields that are allowed by the account database.

 

Update a user 

From time-to-time it is important to update or refresh data about a user that can be used by staff to filter or understand the user better.  The FTP folder process can be used to periodically update information about a user.  Using the same directory and file format as the creation process new information will be written to the user's record.

A common example of this may be to update the Cumulative GPA and Cumulative Credit Hours of a student each semester after grades are calculated.  To accomplish this task a file with the following headers, along with a manifest file, may be placed in the directory:

ExternalID - the ID that Campus Labs will use to tie information together with the user. The ID must match the format that is sent via authentication. Campus Labs staff can advise on the format of this ID

FirstName - the first name of the user

LastName - the last name of the user

Email - the campus-specified email address for the user

CumulativeGPA - the current cumulative GPA of the user

CumulativeCreditHours - the current number of credits that a user has completed

The file may also contain other user data fields that are allowed by the account database.

 

Add Profile Photos to User Accounts

If your institution captures student, faculty, or staff identification photos you may wish to see these displayed on accounts within Beacon instead of photos uploaded by users themselves. The bulk photo upload allows you to provide a compressed file containing institution photos and a mapping file that assigns those photos to specific users.

Institution-uploaded photos are stored separately from photos uploaded by users. Though importing institution-uploaded photos will not delete user-uploaded photos, Beacon will only show the institution-uploaded photo if it is available.

Requirements

  • Individual photo dimensions must be at least 300 x 300 pixels
  • Photo file types must be .jpg (or .jpeg) or .png (text case of file names/extensions does not matter)
  • Maximum file size per photo is 500 kilobytes (500kb)
  • Compressed file must have the extension .ZIP (or .zip)
  • Mapping file must be named "mapping.csv"
  • Mapping file must be placed INSIDE the compressed file along with the photos
  • Compressed file cannot contain sub-folders (i.e. the photos and mapping file must be in the "root" of the .ZIP file)

The compressed file, along with a manifest file (see section titled "The Manifest File" below), should be placed in the directory:

/Accounts/Photo

The mapping file must contain the following headers with corresponding data:

FileName - the name of the photo file included in the .ZIP file that should be added to the profile of the corresponding ExternalID.

ExternalID - the ID that Campus Labs will use to tie information together with the user. The ID must match the format that is sent via authentication. Campus Labs staff can advise on the format of this ID.

 

Connect/Disconnect Advisors to Students

Beacon can associate Faculty/Staff members to students to generate a Success Network.  These connection allow faculty/staff to review information about a student and create notation about their interactions with the student.  Sometimes, campuses wish to update these connections on a regular or rolling basis based on new information.  Using the FTP folder method allows a campus to update connection associations up to daily. To accomplish this task a file containing the headers and data below, along with a manifest file, can be placed in the following directory:

/Beacon/BeaconImports

AdvisorExternalID - the external ID of the advisor

StudentExternalID - the external ID of the student

Action - "Connect" or "Disconnect"

A summary of the imported file and any errors are available to download from the the Manage Success Network Members section of Beacon:

https://{campus}.campuslabs.com/Beacon/settings/connections/import

 

The Manifest File

For each of the processes above the data file must be placed into the correct FTP folder along with a manifest file.  The manifest file allows the Campus Labs infrastructure to identify the data file and begin the processing of the file.  The manifest should be placed into the appropriate directory AFTER the data file has completely been written to the directory.  If the manifest file is in the folder before the data file then the processor may try to process the data file before it has completed its transfer, resulting in an error.

The manifest file should be saved with .done as it's file extension and must contain the following content: 

Please note: if performing a bulk photo upload, the file name referenced in the manifest file will not be a .CSV as shown in the example above, but rather will be the file name for your .ZIP file containing user photos and the mapping file.

For more information about formatting the data and manifest files correctly please review our Beacon Import Automation documentation.

 

Error Handling

In the event of validation or data errors in the user account creation or updates files that are dropped in the FTP folder a member of the Campus Labs support staff will be notified via email and will contact you. Errors in the connection file will be displayed in the user interface of Beacon.

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