Off Feed Utility (Beta)

This article covers the new version of the Off-Feed Utility built for integrations running on Finalsite’s newer integration platform. This includes:
All Veracross integrations
All Blackbaud On integrations
Schedule Star
All OpenApply integrations
All Raiser’s Edge NXT integrations
All Wonde integrations

This does NOT include:
Finalsite Open and other datasheet integrations (Rediker, Blackbaud Education Edge, Powerschool, InResonance, Proof Group)
Senior Systems

This tool is presently in a beta state, and must be enabled for your site independently. Please reach out to Support if you would like access to this tool so we can grant that permission and ensure your feeds are properly setup to use the tool.

All feedback during this beta period is welcomed as we look to improve this tool to make it useful and reliable for keeping clean data in Finalsite.

General Description


When using a data integration, it is common that a user will be removed from the source system. For example, a faculty member retiring, or a student (and their parents) transferring to a new school. Finalsite now offers a tool to be able to automate the archiving of users via an “Off Feed Utility” in Integrated Services Manager. We’ve offered this in the past, but our new tool uses our new integration platform for better functionality and more reliable results.


How does the tool work?


The Off-Feed utility works by reviewing the last time we saw a user on the feed. As a prerequisite to using the tool, your feed(s) will need to be set for a nightly full refresh and the role(s) that the feed populates. This ensures that our platform should see everybody “on the feed” each 24 hour period. An additional prerequisite is that your feed needs to be set to identify which role (or roles) the feed populates. Either of these prerequisites can be set up for you by a support specialist via a support ticket or during your deployment.

To use the tool, you will want to navigate to Integrated Services Manager > Utilities > ESB Off Feed Utility. Here, you’ll be able to select the feed for comparison and see the results of users who are NOT on that feed, but are in the role(s) set to compare to and who also have an importID set from that feed. This means that users who may have been manually added to a role will not show up in the results when using the tool. 

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To determine who is off the feed, we include users who have NOT been seen on the feed in the last 48 hours. We determined 48 hours as an appropriate window as that would ensure 2 full refreshes have run. If there is an issue with a full refresh (e.g. a maintenance window for the target system, or unexpected outage of some form) the results could be dramatically wrong in the utility, so we wanted to add in a cushion to reduce the likelihood of that. In general, the results of the tool should not be huge (e.g. you should not see all your staff turn up in the results), so if you do notice something like this, please reach out to support to check the feed settings.
What does archiving a user do?
Archiving a user will cause 1 of two things to happen:
If the user is ONLY in the role(s) that the Off Feed Utility is comparing for the feed, they will be removed from that role (or roles) and put in an “Inactive” role
If the user is in other roles OTHER than the ones being compared by the utility, that user will be removed from all roles set to be populated by the feed, and left in any others.

By removing the relevant roles the user should lose access to portals as well as being removed from filters/lists that are targeting specific roles. It does not delete the user, so if they do show back up on the feed, they should be added back to the appropriate roles and removed from the Inactive role. For the BEST results, you want to ensure that mailing lists, page permissions, and group filters are all qualified with a role.

For example, if you intend to have a group dynamically populated with students in Grade 12:

DO qualify it with a “Membership in Group Student” filter:

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DON’T just use the “Grade is ____” filter:

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The first filter-set will exclude users in the Inactive role, the second filter-set will include Inactive role users.

If you wish to have your Inactive constituents purged from the system, please send a support ticket in requesting this. In the future, we may make that functionality available to site admins with the appropriate permissions.


Athletics Events


The tool can also be used to find off-feed athletics events from the Schedule Star integration (we’ll be hoping to add support for this for Blackbaud and Veracross in Q1 2020). The same basic logic applies, where we identify events that have not been “seen” in 48 hours as “off feed”. Again, this will only include events that have a feedid associated with the feed being checked. This is to allow you to manage specific teams outside of the sync (or if you have multiple syncs) without cluttering up the results from this tool. The tool only searches within the time frame set in your feed which is typically 1 month back, 6 months forward, but is uniquely configurable per site.

Rather than archiving or deactivating events, the tool will give you the option to delete them as this is a less risky feature with athletics events than with users.

 

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If you notice any concerning or inaccurate results, please reach out to support so we can investigate.

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