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Person Profiles: Create & update profiles using an ILS data sync

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What is an ILS data sync?

LibConnect's ILS Data Sync allows you to transfer your ILS record information to your person profiles very easily. After connecting your ILS (Alma, Symphony, Sierra, Koha) with LibApps you can start synchronizing patron information with LibConnect profiles -- creating new profiles in LibConnect or updating existing profiles with the latest information from your ILS without having the duplicate your workload.

You can create one-time syncs, or you can schedule a sync to run automatically on a recurring basis. Additionally, data syncs can be configured to only include subsets of patron records (e.g. by patron type), or you can choose to sync data from all patron records in your ILS. For each sync, you also have control over what and how the information is transferred from the ILS into LibConnect -- selecting only the ILS fields you want to include in the sync, and mapping those fields to the person profile fields of your choosing.

Before you can create a data sync, a LibApps admin must first set up the integration with your ILS under LibApps > Admin > ILS Integration.


Getting there

After the ILS integration has been enabled in LibApps, you can proceed with configuring the data sync with LibConnect.

  1. Go to Admin > ILS Data Sync.
  2. Click on the Get Started button.
    • If you have previously set up a data sync, you'll land directly on the ILS Data Sync page where you can click the + Data Sync button to set up a new sync.
starting a data sync for the first time
  1. After reading the instructions for setting up a sync, click Next.
starting a data sync for the first time

Step 1: Name & Setup

The synchronization process starts with configuring the import. Give the import a name, then select the sync type (create, update, or both); frequency (single or recurring); and strategies for handling sync conflicts & errors.

  1. Name: Used to identify your data sync in LibConnect.
  2. Type: choose what kind of sync this will be.
    • Update: when the sync runs, it will update LibConnect profiles that match the filtered patron records from your ILS. If a patron does not have a profile in LibConnect, one will not be created.
    • Create: when the sync runs, it will create LibConnect profiles for matching patrons that do not yet have one. It will not update data in existing LibConnect profiles.
    • Create & Update: when the sync runs, if a matching LibConnect profile exists, it will be updated. Otherwise, one will be created for that patron.
  3. Frequency: select Single if this is will is a one-time sync or select Recurring to have this sync run automatically on a schedule.
    • The recurrence pattern will be set after step 4: Review & Execute.
  4. Empty Fields Strategy: set the behavior for the data sync when LibConnect encounters a patron record field that is empty.
    •  Replace: LibConnect will clear out the mapped person profile field for empty field values coming from your ILS.
    • Skip: LibConnect will keep the existing values in the mapped person profile field.
  5. Incorrect Value Strategy: set the behavior for the data sync when LibConnect encounters an unexpected value in a patron record field.
    • Report Error: will include an error in the post-sync report for any unexpected values.
    • Skip: no record of unexpected values will be recorded.
  6. Non-Critical Errors Strategy: set the behavior for the data sync when LibConnect encounters an error during the sync process.
    • Continue & Report: sync will continue and will include details of the error in the post-sync report.
    • Stop Sync: will end the sync immediately after encountering an error.
  7. Click Next to move on to step 2.
    1. To save your data sync as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
the name and setup process for a data sync

Step 2: Filter

On the Filter step of the setup, you can configure your sync to only include subsets of patron records in your ILS. LibConnect will only sync patron records that match the filter conditions you provide -- all non-matching records will be excluded from the sync. For example, you could create a filter that only includes records with a patron type of "Student" or set a filter to only sync patron records whose accounts have a created date within the last 6 months.

If you wish to sync all patron records in your ILS, you can skip this step.

  1. In the Conditions section, select the Field Name to use for the filter.
  2. After selecting a field to use, set the Operator and Value fields to match the needs of your filter.
    1. To reset the filter, click the Clear link.
    2. When more than one filter is configured, click the Delete icon to remove a condition if it isn't needed.
  3. To add additional filters, click the + New Condition link.
  4. Click Next to move on to step 3.
    1. To save your data sync as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
setting the optional filters for the data sync

Step 3: Map

For LibConnect to know where patron data from your ILS should go, you will map the patron record fields of your choosing from your ILS to person profile fields. To map a field, first select the patron record field from your ILS that you want to sync, then select a corresponding person profile field to receive that data.

As a simple example, you could map the First Name and Last Name fields from your ILS with system fields in LibConnect for First Name and Last name.

  1. Select the ILS Field to map  -- the fields listed are those that are available for patron records in your ILS.
    1. To help you remember what patron records will be included in the sync, any filters that have been set will be listed on the screen.
  2. Select the Person Profile Field Type where the LibConnect field to map resides: System Field, All Types Field, or Type Specific Field.
    1. When selecting a Type Specific Field, you must then select the profile Type for the field to be mapped.
  3. Select the Field Name that will be mapped with the ILS field.
  4. To add additional fields for mapping, click the +New Row link.
    1. To reset the selected values for a row, click the Clear link.
    2. When more than one row is configured, click the Delete icon to remove the row if it isn't needed.
  5. Click Next to move on to step 4.
    1. To save your data sync as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
setting the field mappings the data sync

Step 4: Review & Execute

Before scheduling and executing the sync, take the time to review your settings carefully.

  1. When you’re ready to proceed, click the Execute button to run the sync immediately, or the Schedule button if you want the sync to run at a specific date & time.
    • For data syncs set with a recurring frequency, the only option is to Schedule the sync.
    • This process can take several minutes, and it will vary depending on the number of records to sync. You can run this process in the background for your convenience.
Reviewing the details of the data sync
  1. For data syncs that are being scheduled, set the Date the sync will run ready to proceed on the Schedule ILS Data Sync modal
    • For recurring data syncs, the date selected will be the first day the sync is run.
  2. Set the Time of day that the data sync should be run.
  3. For recurring data syncs, use the Repeats Every field to set how often the sync should be run.
  4. For recurring data syncs, set the date for the Last Execution of the sync.
  5. Click Schedule.
Scheduling the data sync

Step 5: Results

Once the sync has been completed, you can view a report of the results. This allows you to review which records were created, which were updated, and where errors were encountered.

  1. Click on the View Results link for the data sync on the ILS Data Sync page.
view the results for a completed sync
  1. On the Results report you can:
    1. See the total New Profiles Created when the sync was set to Create or Create & Update.
      • Click the number for the profiles created or the View Profiles link to see a list of the newly created profiles.
    2. See the total Existing Profiles Created when the sync was set to Update or Create & Update.
      • Click the number for the profiles created or the View Profiles link to see a list of the newly updated profiles.
    3. In the event that there were any Errors with the sync (and errors were set to be reported), the total will be listed.
      • Click the number for the errors or the View Errors link to review the error log.
view the results report for a completed sync

Manage ILS data syncs

Each data sync will have one of the following statuses:

  • Draft: the data sync has been saved, but not yet scheduled or executed.
  • Scheduled: the data sync is scheduled to be run at a later date -- you can edit, reschedule, or cancel the data sync until the scheduled time.
  • Complete: the data sync has been completed.

All data syncs, regardless of status, can be viewed on the ILS Data Sync page.

  1. Click on a Sync Name to view general details about the selected data sync.
    • For Completed data syncs campaigns, you can see the general details of the sync including totals for the number of created profiles, updated profiles, and errors.
    • For Scheduled and Draft data syncs, you can see the general details of the data sync's settings and links to edit the data sync, if needed.
  2. See the date of the Next Sync for any recurring data syncs.
  3. See totals for the Profiles Created / Updated / Errors for any completed data syncs.
  4. Use the Actions () icon for a data sync for links to:
    • View: available for all data syncs to see its general details.
    • View Results: available for Completed data syncs and recurring, scheduled data syncs that have been run at least once to see the results on the success of the sync.
    • Edit: available for Scheduled and Draft data syncs to make edits prior to running.
    • Delete: available for all data syncs to delete all record of the data sync from LibConnect.
      • Deleting a data sync will not delete any person profiles that were created by the sync.
managing ILS data syncs