Off-feed utility

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The goal of a data integration is to synchronize the information between Finalsite and a source system. In the case of student information systems (SIS), this means adding new constituents to the feed as they are created. However, it also requires removing constituents when they are no longer associated with your organization, such as when a faculty member retires or a student transfers to a new school. 

Finalsite developed the off-feed utility to bridge the gap and ensure that deleted data is handled appropriately. It can be used to manage constituent data, as well as athletic events.

How it works

The off-feed utility works by reviewing the last time we saw a constituent or athletic event on the integration feed. 

To determine what is no longer “on the feed,” a scheduled full refresh for all feeds runs once a day and pulls all data from that feed. We store a “last seen” value for every record, which is not updated if a constituent or  event is not present. When the last-seen value is 48 hours old, we determine that the record is off the feed.

The 48-hour cushion helps prevent inaccurate results in the tool when something prevents the full refresh from running, such as a maintenance window in the source system, an internet outage of some kind, etc.

You may also have Ignored records in your integration, an additional layer of filtering to prevent unwanted records from the source system from getting into Finalsite. An Ignored record in the utility indicates that this constituent was imported into Finalsite, but at some point met your site’s criteria for being “Ignored.”

Compare feeds

To use the Off-Feed Utility to check a feed:

  1. Go to Integrated Services Manager > Utilities > Off-Feed Utility

  2. Select the source system from the Service dropdown and the feed you want to compare from the Feed dropdown. 

  3. Click Check Feed

Off-Feed Utility interface in Integrated Services Manager

If you don't see one of your feeds in the tool, please reach out to Support, as there are a couple of configurations that need to be set on our end.

Deactivate constituents

When you choose a constituent feed to check, the results table lists anyone who: 

  • Is not on the selected feed, but is in the role(s) the feed is configured to populate.

  • Has an importID set from that feed. 

Constituents who were manually added to a role do not show up in the results when using the tool because their importID doesn’t match. Any ignored constituents are displayed with a checkmark in the Ignored column.

Select all or some of the records using the checkbox column, then click Deactivate selected constituents or Export selected constituents. 

Off-Feed Utility constituent feed check with one result showing in table

Deactivating a constituent causes one of two things to happen:

  • If the constituent is only in the role(s) that the Off-Feed Utility is comparing for the feed, they are removed from that role (or roles) and added to an “Inactive” role. Additionally, their ClassOf, CurrentGrade, and any relationship data are deleted in Finalsite to prevent them from continuing to be filtered into groups and mailing lists despite being deactivated.

  • If the constituent is in roles other than the ones being compared by the utility, that constituent is removed from all roles set to be populated by the feed and left in any others. No data will be deleted from these constituents.

By removing the relevant roles, the constituent loses access to portals and is removed from filters or lists that target specific roles. Deactivation does not delete the constituent, so if they show back up on the feed, they will be added back to the appropriate roles and removed from the Inactive role.

For best results, ensure that mailing lists, page permissions, and group filters are all qualified with a role. For example, if you have a group dynamically populated with students in Grade 12, include a Membership in Group Student filter as well as the grade filter.

If you wish to have Inactive constituents purged from the system, please submit a Support ticket with this request. Note that deleting constituents causes a permanent loss of some Finalsite-specific data, including personal files, Messages history, login history, etc.

Automated deactivation

Upon request, a Finalsite Support Specialist can configure a feed to automatically check for off-feed constituents and deactivate them daily. 

Important Note

Automation is not an option if you have multiple feeds populating the same role.

When enabled, the feed will be checked once per day and off-feed users will automatically be deactivated. 

We set a limit for the maximum number of users the tool will automatically deactivate, in case something is amiss in the integration.

An email alert may also be sent to the appropriate person(s) at your school to notify them of an automatic deactivation, or if there was some issue with the automatic deactivation.

Delete athletic events

As with constituent feeds, the results table when checking an athletics data feed only includes events that have a feedID associated with the feed being compared. This way, you can manage specific teams outside of the sync (or have multiple syncs) without cluttering up the results in the utility. 

The utility only searches within the time frame set in your feed, which is typically 1 month back and 6 months forward, but is uniquely configurable per site.

Rather than deactivating or archiving events, the off-Feed Utility gives you the option to delete them. Deleting an event is less risky than deleting constituents. Select the records you wish to delete using the checkboxes, and click Delete selected events.

Off-Feed Utility athletics event check with one event showing in results table

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