Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC)

Information from CUNY Regarding Blackboard Service

From: CUNY-CMS Admin sublist [mailto:CMS-ADMIN@LISTSERV.CUNY.EDU] On Behalf Of Christopher Caprioglio
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:56 AM
Subject: Workaround for Disappearing Semesters in Blackboard 8.0


Due to a flaw in the design of CUNY's Blackboard 8.0 Snapshot extract process, over the last several weeks some colleges have had all of the information for a semester (e.g., courses, enrollments, institution roles, etc) disabled in Bb 8.0.  Initially we addressed this problem by suspending Snapshot processing for the effected terms.  CIS has now implemented a programmatic workaround that allows updates to resume for all semesters at all colleges.  We are still discussing the best way to resolve this issue going forward.

For those of you who are interested, here's a little more detail: the disappearance of data in Blackboard was caused by a college changing the current term in SIMS, which changed the terms for which eSched extracts ran.  eSched files are used as input to the Snapshot extract process; if those files do not contain information for a term for which Snapshot is running, the resulting output will contain no records.  Empty Snapshot input files result in disabled records in Blackboard.

The workaround is to include additional terms in the eSched extracts.  Not the ideal solution, but effective for the short term.


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Christopher Caprioglio
City University of New York
Office of Computing and Information Services
555 West 57th Street, Room 1652
New York, NY 10019
Telephone: (212) 541-0928
Fax: (212) 541-0379