Exporting Data Overview
  • 14 Nov 2023
  • 3 minute read
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Exporting Data Overview

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  • PDF

Article Summary

The article describes the methods that Slate provides for exporting data. If your data export is part of an integration with an external system, we strongly encourage you to read the Data and Document Management Overview article first, which provides a birds-eye view of data integrations and outlines our best practices for a successful integration.

Data exports are built using the Query tool. These exports can be cumulative, incremental, or differential. The differential option uses Queues to track records changed since the previous export, returning the full rows each time but only for changed records. This is typically the most appropriate option for exports to an SIS.

Any code and value translations can be configured within Slate but outside of the query, so the query remains stable and immutable even when new entry terms, majors, and other code changes are introduced. This also ensures that the process on the SIS side remains stable year after year.

Best Practice

We recommend scheduling batched file exports to the Technolutions SFTP servers during the Overnight delivery window (2:00 am - 4:00 am Eastern time). There are several reasons to follow this best practice:

  • We can ensure that our SFTP servers remain online and operational during the export.

  • Inherent logging of all exports occurs just by archiving the exported files. This provides a great resource for troubleshooting if necessary.

  • Exports are scheduled to occur within a specified delivery window, but the exact execution time within that window can be changed, based on server maintenance activity and load.

  • We can provide automated email notifications upon successful, late, or failed generation and delivery of scheduled exports.

SFTP Files

The Schedule Export settings allow you to export files from a query to an SFTP server. There are two ways to do this:

  • Using the Technolutions SFTP server. This is the default option, and it's a recommended best practice. This allows us to ensure our servers remain online and operational during the export. Refer to the Scheduling Exports article for details.

  • Using a remote SFTP server. This practice is generally discouraged, since the export process will fail if the remote SFTP server becomes unavailable for any reason, such as with a network connectivity or maintenance issue. For configuration instructions, refer to the Sending scheduled exports to a remote SFTP server article.

Exporting files to the Technolutions SFTP servers is the default option, and it's recommended for the best performance. There are two ways to access these files manually:

  • The SFTP Explorer tool: Users with SFTP access can view and download files in their SFTP folders. To access this tool, go to the Database page, and select SFTP Explorer in the Import section. 

  • Through a client that supports the SFTP protocol: Set up a user account in Slate with the necessary credentials for the SFTP client to connect to the Slate SFTP servers.

For detailed instructions on setting up a user account for SFTP access, refer to the SFTP Access article.

Web Services

Queries can also export data via web services, instead of a batched file. There are two options for web services:

  • You can push data to a remote web service on a schedule. This uses the same Schedule Exports option to send batched data on a consistent schedule. You can define custom headers to enable authentication with the remote service.

  • You can call a Slate query as a web service using XML or JSON. Together with the query Queue settings, you can poll the web service on a frequency that you define and can pull down only the new or changed records each time.

For more detailed information, please refer to our Web Services article.

Document Exports

Slate supports document exports to an external document management system (for example, OnBase, ImageNow, or Docfinity). Exports can be created in the Query tool using Document Export resources available in the Slate Template Library. Documents can be packaged in one of three ways:

  • In a zip archive with an index file

  • In a zip archive with the index keys included in the file name

  • With every document included in a single combined PDF file

For detailed instructions on setting up document exports, refer to the Exporting Documents documentation.

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