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AutoComm Setup

On this page:

Use AutoComm to synchronize the data in PowerSchool with that in another system, such as a mainframe system. To synchronize your data, set up intervals at which PowerSchool automatically imports files of data from the other system.

To use AutoComm, create an AutoComm record where you determine the synchronization parameters for each of the following files:

  • Courses
  • Teachers
  • Sections
  • Students
  • Student schedules

When importing multiple section records, the sections' expressions as defined by your school are required. An expression is the combination of the periods and days in which the section meets. Though PowerSchool creates internal values for periods and days, you should import the actual values that you want to appear when the system displays expressions. An invalid expression causes an error for that record, which results in the record not being imported.

Add an AutoComm Record

PowerSchool uses the parameters that you define for the record on this page to import the appropriate data at the dates and times you specify.

  1. On the start page, choose System under Setup in the main menu.
  2. Under Data Management, click AutoComm Setup.
  3. Click New.
  4. Enter information in the fields:

    Field

    Description

    Name

    Enter the name of this record.

    Table to Import

    Use the pop-up menu to choose the table into which you are importing data with this record:

    • Attendance
    • Students
    • Courses
    • Sections
    • Student schedules
    • Teachers

    The Attendance Recording Methods choices made on the Attendance Preferences page affect the Attendance table options.

    When to Execute

    Use the pop-up menus to determine the hour and minutes at which you want PowerSchool to automatically import data.

    If the minutes are 00, AutoComm will run after the Hourly Process has completed—not specifically on the hour stated, but within that hour.

    Days to Execute

    Enter the days of the week you want the system to import records. Starting with Monday, use the following abbreviations for the days of the week: MTWHFSU.

    Turn Execution Off

    Do one of the following:

    • Select the checkbox to stop the system from automatically importing data.
    • Deselect the checkbox to turn AutoComm on.

    Get Input From

    Indicate the method by which you want to import the records from the other system from the pop-up menu.

    To use a local (or network shared file system) to import the records from the other system:

    1. Choose Local (or network shared) File System.

    To use a managed connection, such as SFTP, to import the records from the other system:

    1. Choose Managed Connection. A second pop-up menu appears.
    2. Choose a managed connection from the pop-up menu.

    Managed Connections only appears in the pop-up if configured and download capability is enabled. See System > System Settings > Plugin Management > Remote Connection Manager.

    The Ad Hoc FTP Server setting is no longer available.

    Path

    Enter the path to the folder of the file on your computer or network.

    If using PowerSchool on a single node, the path needs to be defined as being from the root; if using a server array, only the file name should be used and never the path, since there is only one location for AutoComm files to be located on a server array.

    Field Delimiter

    Use the pop-up menu to choose one of the following to determine how values are separated in the import file:

    • Tab
    • Comma

    Record Delimiter

    Use the pop-up menu to choose how records are separated in the import file. This selection is specific to the operating system where the import file was created:

    • CRLF: Carriage return, line feed (Windows)
    • CR: Carriage return (Mac)
    • LF: Line feed (Unix)

    Character Set

    Use the pop-up menu to choose the character set for the import file. This selection is specific to the operating system where the import file was created:

    • Windows ANSI (Windows)
    • Mac Roman (Mac)
    • ISO 8859-1 (Unix)
    • UTF-8

    Sort Order

    Enter the order that this record appears on the AutoComm Setup page.

    If you do not make a selection, the order will be alphabetical by the name of the AutoComm record.

    Synchronize Mode

    Select Synchronize Mode if your school uses AutoComm to synchronize your data in PowerSchool with data in another system.

    Do not use this option unless you are an advanced PowerSchool SIS user. Check with your PowerSchool administrator before selecting this option.

    Synchronize mode should only be used when PowerSchool SIS data is synced from another student data source. PowerSchool SIS records not included in the import file will be dropped, transferred out, or removed.

    Update existing records with imported data (when applicable)

    Select the checkbox if you want the system to update existing student records with data from each import. The system updates blank fields within records and creates new records for those that do not exist.

    Mark students and their schedules inactive when their exit date is <= today.

    If you want the system to automatically import a student record as inactive if the student's exit date is earlier than today, select the checkbox. Otherwise, deselect the checkbox.

    First record of file is number_of_records=

    The system does not import the file if the number of records in it does not match the number given in the first record of the file. It is recommended that you select the checkbox.

    E-Mail completion report to

    Enter the email addresses of the people you want the system to send a completion report to each time it imports this file. Separate multiple addresses with commas.

    PowerSchool fields to import into

    Enter the PowerSchool fields in which the system saves each value in the import file. After you enter each field code, press RETURN (Mac) or ENTER (Windows).

    To insert a PowerSchool field into this field:

    1. Click Student Field List to view a list of PowerSchool student fields. The Student Field List pop-up appears.
    2. To narrow the list of fields, enter one of more search terms in the Filter field. Otherwise, leave blank.
    3. Click the field you want to add. The Student Field List pop-up closes and the selected field appears.

    Importing to the Attendance table requires some specific field names: Daily Attendance

    • Student_Number
    • Att_Date
    • Schoolid
    • Attendance_CodeID

    Meeting Attendance

    • Student_Number
    • Att_Date
    • Course_Number
    • Section_Number
    • Schoolid
    • Attendance_CodeID

    When creating the import file, remove the column headings; only record data should be in the file. Create the file in Excel and save it as a tab-delimited file. The data in the file should be in the same order as the field names listed in the AutoComm Record.

    If you are adding database extension fields, enter the extension field name using the format [extension name].[fieldname].

    Duplicate this AutoComm record to all schools on this server

    If you are creating this record for the first time, select the checkbox to make the record available to all schools that use your PowerSchool system. Otherwise, deselect the checkbox.

    If working in the District mode, you can modify only the Students and Teachers tables.

  5. Click Submit.

Edit or Delete an AutoComm Record

  1. On the start page, choose System under Setup in the main menu.
  2. Under Data Management, click AutoComm Setup.
  3. Click the name of the AutoComm record you want to edit, or click Delete.

Manually Run an AutoComm Record

Manually run an AutoComm record to avoid waiting for the process to automatically run on the specified day and time.

  1. On the start page, choose System under Setup in the main menu.
  2. Under Data Management, click AutoComm Setup.
  3. Click Run Now. If an email address is specified in the "E-Mail completion report to" field, the system emails the recipient the status of the AutoComm process.
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