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Manual: Operations-Bulk Load

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During normal SiteTerm operations, it is often necessary to load information in Bulk to the database tables (for efficiency reasons) that drive Site functions. In particular, as the Organizations being serviced by a Referee ChapterTerm publish their "schedules", it is absolutely necessary that the Chapter obtain a copy of the Scheduled Matches, determine which Positions it will need to fill, and then post the resulting information onto the Chapter's Interactive SiteTerm. This posting of Match related information can be done with RidgeStar Personnel assistance (we call that an "Assisted Bulk Load") or an "Unassisted Bulk Load" (available in Version 3.0 and higher systems).

Because of its very nature, Unassisted Bulk Load has a couple of advantages over Assisted Bulk Load:

  1. can be done during non-office hours (evenings, weekends, etc.)
  2. is faster (removes Email communication, as well as wait times for service)
  3. is completely under Administrator control

RidgeStar recommends Unassisted Bulk Load to all Chapters and Administrators because of it's advantages, but .... if you are uncomfortable with the concepts embodied by Unassisted Bulk Load, please follow the instructions described at Manual: Operations-Data Preparation.

In order to complete an Unassisted Bulk Load, you (as an Administrator) will have to accomplish 4 primary steps. They are, as follows:

1. Prepare a .CSV file

Preparation of the Source file can be done using a wide variety of tools, programs, and approaches. The key is to select a mechanism that will be capable of creating or saving a file in the standard Comma Separated Value (.CSV) file format. The file itself should contain the identity of the Fields you plan to load in the first record of the file, with the actual data in the second and subsequent records.

A simple example is:

"12/14/2019","23:00:00","Field #1","Youth",2,"Strikers","Sounders"
"12/14/2019","23:00:00","Field #2","Youth",12,"United","Arsenal"
"12/14/2019","23:30:00",45,"Youth",6,"FC Somewhere","Travel Team"
"12/14/2019","23:30:00",14,"Adult",18,"Broken Knees","Too Old"

You can identify the exact Database Field names your database tables contain by using Administrator: Database-Tables and selecting the desired Table. When creating your "title row", the Fields can be in any order (but the sequence must match the subsequent data rows), are not case sensitive, and may contain the RidgeStar Table prefix (but this is not required). Make sure you include any data field that you need to specifically set (where the database default value for new Records is not appropriate for whatever data you are loading).

The data values themselves must adhere to standard .CSV syntax, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Alphabetic values should be delimited by properly matched double quotes. You MUST use the double quotes when the data value contains embedded blanks, commas, or other special characters
  2. If you are loading a Matches table, you may specify the Field identity with EITHER the unique key identifying the Field (from the Fields table) or the Field Name (as defined in the Fields table). Bulk Load will itself translate the Name to the internal Key. The preceding example shows this in the first two data records (Field #1 and Field #2 will be translated because they are specified as alphabetic instead of numeric values). However, the last two data records will have no translation done for the Field value because a numeric value has been specified.
  3. Dates and Times can be specified in any recognizable RidgeStar Date and/or Time format. E.G. Use the common "mm/dd/yy" or "yyyy-mm-dd" format for dates and "hh:mm:ss" for times.
  4. Bits or Flags can be represented in the affirmative by specifying Yes, True, or 1. The negative can be expressed as the null value, No, False, or 0.

2. Upload the .CSV file to the Server

Use Administrator: Database-Upload to transfer the file from your local system to the RidgeStar ServerTerm hosting your Site. The file is stored on the Server in a file that is unique to your User definition, so you can only be processing one Bulk Load at a time. It IS possible to have multiple Users processing different Bulk Loads at the same time, but each User should Upload and complete the Bulk Load for each set of Matches before starting another Bulk Load process.

These files WILL be periodically purged from the Server, but only after they have aged well past their useful time (thus, they also act as a record of exactly what you bulk loaded and when). Appropriate Audit table entries are also created by the Site for tracking purposes.

3. Identify the Destination Table

Click to Administrator: Database-Bulk Load to identify the Destination table. The first record in the Uploaded file will be compared with the Table definitions for the Destination Table you select.

If you specify Fields that don't exist in the Destination table, are misspelled, or data values that are inconsistent with the defined Type, you will be presented with one or more Error indications. You will have to clear up all the error conditions before you can proceed with Bulk Load, which may require that you return to Step 1. Prepare a .CSV file again.

4. Load the data

Once the Site has validated that the Source file is in a valid format and contains reasonable data values, it will offer you a "Load" action. Click it to actually load the data values into the Destination table (NO database changes are made until AFTER you have clicked the "Load" action). The Audit table WILL be updated for each Record you load to create an appropriate history of site actions.

You'll also notice that Administrator: Database-Bulk Load will tell you the Total number of Records and Highest Key in the Destination table both before the Bulk Load and after. Please retain these values for diagnostic purposes. They are critical if you find that you have to contact RidgeStar to help you deal with the results of your Bulk Upload (particularly, if you need to back out all or a portion of the Bulk Load you do.

But, if all goes well, you should be able to immediately turn around and start using the data you have loaded (assigning Referees to Positions, etc.).