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Batch Processing Using the Graphical User Interface

Data in the form of batch files may be uploaded to Blackboard Learn using the Administrator Panel for all types of batch data, or from within a context such as a Unit to batch load data specific to that entity. A unique identifier is necessary for every record affected by a batch operation. The unique identifier Attribute Name is batchUid.

The batchUid can be created by a user or automatically generated by the system on forms for creating entities. Blackboard does not recommend using automatically-generated batchUids because they are not user friendly and do not follow any naming conventions or numerical order. After it has been created, this unique identifier cannot be changed after the record ID is created. The identifier is used for simple record keeping.

The batchUid field is required only for Memberships.

Using Batch Processes

Data batch uploaded using the graphical user interface follows certain rules that rules include:

  • Batch Add adds records only when the unique identifier does not match a record that already exists.
  • Batch Edit modifies records only when the unique identifier matches a record that already exists. Batch edit overwrites any data in the existing record with data from the batch file. If an attribute is blank in a specific record or if the entire attribute column is not included in the batch file, data in the existing record(s) is not overwritten by blanks.
  • Batch Delete removes records only when the unique identifier matches a record that already exists. Delete operations occur in real time. Disabling of records is not possible using the Batch tool. Records must be disabled using the Student Information Systems (SIS) integration tools. Batch Delete will not remove disabled records. Disabled records may be purged (deleted) using the Data Sources UI under Data Integration (System Admin > Data Integration > Data Sources). Integration tools, whether Snapshot or SIS, can also be used to purge records.
  • Any enumerated attribute must have acceptable values provided in the graphical user interface.
  • Blanks within records are ignored.

Note:  Attribute data that uses the Text Editor (Formatted Text) cannot be batch loaded. Institutions that plan to batch load Units or other Places with a vision or mission statement that relies on the Text Editor should instead create attributes for those forms into which those values can be batch loaded and displayed, such as a value type of Long Text String.

Dependencies Among Outcomes Assessment Entities

The following table specifies which entities must exist before a new record can be added:

Entities Which Must Exist
Type of Record Required Parent or Associated Records
Unit Affiliation Record Person and Unit
Program Affiliation Record Person and Program
Section Affiliation Record Person and Section
Improvement Initiative Membership Improvement Initiative and User
Improvement Project Membership Improvement Project and User
Course Membership Course and User
Course Unit
Educational Experience Membership Educational Experience and User
Educational Experiences Unit
Goal or Objective Unit or Course or Educational Experience or Program
Person Record None
Program Membership Program and User
Program Unit
Section Course or Educational Experience
Standard Categories Optional parent: the Standard Category above this one in the hierarchy.
Standards (note that this is standards goals, not standards categories) Standard Category
Unit Membership Unit and User and Unit Role
Unit Parent Unit. If the parent Unit is included in the same batch add file in a row prior to the Sub-Unit (child), the parent Unit will already exist and the Sub-Unit will be added successfully.

Batch Processes Errors

Batch processes that are successful return a receipt page that includes the number of records that were processed, the number of records that were processed successfully, and the number of records that failed processing. When an error is encountered with a record, batch processing skips the record and moves to the next record. Any errors displayed in the graphical user interface are captured in the log file. Success messages are not captured in the log file.

Individual records will fail during a batch process under any of these conditions:

  • In Batch Add, a unique identifier matches a unique identifier that already exists.
  • In Batch Edit, a unique identifier does not match a unique identifier that already exists.
  • In Batch Delete, a unique identifier does not match a unique identifier that already exists.

The entire batch process will fail under any of these conditions:

  • Any of the attributes in the header row do not match attributes for the entity type.
  • Any attribute in the header row is repeated.
  • A batch required attribute is not provided.
  • A dependency requirement is not met (see the Dependencies table above).
  • An Outcomes Assessment required attribute is not provided.
  • An attribute data does not comply with the type or size data requirements for that attribute (too long, not an integer, incorrect date format, and so on).
  • An enumerated value is not valid.