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Integrate SlideRoom With Slate

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2016 04:15PM CST

Moving data from SlideRoom into your Slate instance is easy. This step-by-step guide will show you how to set up manual and automated data transfers between systems.

Both spreadsheet data files (CSV, TSV, Excel, TXT, JSON) and document files can be transferred from SlideRoom into Slate. 

Create an export template in SlideRoom

To run a data export from SlideRoom, you will first need to set up an export template. You can do this through the Export Builder, a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to choose the data fields you want included in your export.

To access the Export Builder, click the gear icon in the top right corner of your Administrator Dashboard, then click Account Settings. In the left-hand menu, select Export Builder. You will then see a page with a list of pre-built export templates: 


You can choose to modify any of these templates, or create a new one by clicking New Custom Export in the top right corner. When you click on that link, you will be asked which data type you want to export. Select your data type (this helps avoid layout conflicts in the system): 



You will then be taken to the builder itself: 




The sidebar of the builder represents all the data in the system, grouped by section. The content area represents the column headers that will be listed across the top of your spreadsheet once you complete an export. You can drag & drop the column order and even rename any column to match your database needs.

Run a data export from SlideRoom

Once you have built your export template, you can run your spreadsheet export. To do so, click on the Applicants tab at the top of your Administrator Dashboard. Select the applicants whose data you would like to export by clicking the checkboxes to the left of their applications, then click Export in the list of blue buttons that appears above the applicant grid. Select Spreadsheet:



Next, select the export format you want from the drop-down menu. You may choose between CSV, TSV, Excel, or TXT). Once you have made your selection, choose the template you'd like to use for your export by clicking the Generate button beside it: 



 You will then be able to save your export to your chosen destination. 

Set up a data import in Slate

Slate allows manual and automated importing of data from an external system into their own. Manual importing of data requires a file in delimited, fixed width, XML, or similar format.

This is exactly how SlideRoom exports your data. If you export to CSV, you'll have no trouble importing into Slate. When you import your file, you will be able to map the fields from the CSV (or other data file type) to the appropriate fields in Slate. 

Each time you upload a new CSV, new records will be created in Slate, or existing records will be updated. Of course, manual uploading is just one option. Later in this guide, you'll find steps for creating an automated export/import into Slate.

Run a document export from SlideRoom

A PDF or Files export is run in a similar fashion to the Spreadsheet data export. Click on the Applicants tab at the top of your Administrator Dashboard. Select the applicants whose data you would like to export by clicking the checkboxes to the left of their applications, then click Export in the list of blue buttons that appears above the applicant grid. Select PDF or Files.

Selecting a PDF export will create individual PDF's of each SlideRoom application you have selected for export. You will have the opportunity to select which data types you want to include in the application PDF's before you run your export:



Selecting a Files export will create a .zip folder for each individual application containing the documents and media items that applicants have submitted. All application forms and evaluator ratings will be delivered as TXT files. You also have the opportunity to select which types of files you want to include in this export: 




Once you have selected the types of data you want to include in your export, you can save the export to your chosen destination.

Set up a document import in Slate

A document import into Slate requires that the document files be uploaded to your Slate SFTP server. This server is part of your Slate account, and the information allowing access to that server is provided by Slate.

Because you must send the data from SlideRoom to your Slate SFTP server, you'll want to set up an SFTP integration in SlideRoom. To do so, click the gear icon in the top-right corner, then click Account Settings. On the left, click Integrations. Select "link SFTP server" and you'll be prompted to provide the information necessary to connect to your server:



When that integration is created, you will see this as an available delivery option when exporting your document (or data) files:



When the files are delivered, Slate will be able to access and import them into your account. Here's Slate's description of the process on their end:

Slate can extract metadata from within a filename, so you could have files with an SIS ID and document code in the filename and obviate the need for an index file. 

This means you can match PDF files to your records in Slate based on the file name generated. SlideRoom provides numerous file naming options, so just reach out to your account manager if you need to customize the file naming structure. They will be able to provide you with all of your options. 

Automate data and document delivery from SlideRoom to Slate

The most efficient process for getting your data or documents from SlideRoom to Slate is through automation. SlideRoom and Slate both allow automation of exporting and importing. 

The first step is making sure you have a delivery location in mind for your data or document files exported from SlideRoom. The most efficient option is going to be your Slate SFTP server. If you have not done so, make sure you set up the SFTP integration in SlideRoom as outlined above

To access the export scheduler, click the gear icon in the top-right corner, then click Account Settings. On the left, click Export Scheduler:




Click New Scheduled Export to get started, and you'll be walked through the entire setup process. 

First, choose what type of export you're running (data or documents). Then, give your export a name and determine the frequency of the export. 


The next step is determining which pool of submissions you'd like to run your export against. You can run this against all current applications, all archived applications, or against a segemented pool of applicants you had saved previously (saved views). From there, you can confirm or change the type of export you're running. If you're running a data export, this is where you will select the export template to run. 



Finally, you'll want to specify your delivery desitnation. Since the goal here is automating the export of data from SlideRoom and the import of data into Slate, you'll want to choose the SFTP server you had previously set up. 




When you save your scheduled export, it will continue to run on the schedule you specified. Once the data is delivered to Slate, that data can then be imported into your Slate account automatically. Here's what Slate has to say about this process: 

Most frequently, the school delivers files to import to an /incoming/ directory on our SFTP server, which we poll frequently (at least once every 15 minutes) and load any files matching a specified filename mask. We can poll a remote SFTP server, too, but to the point of SFTP server availability, since we can ensure that our servers remain highly available, the experience is usually most reliable when using our infrastructure. These files can be delimited, fixed width, XML, etc., and we typically recommend that delimited files with column headers be used, since you can add/remove columns at any time without breaking the import process within Slate. This allows for asynchronous changes to the data feed specifications. The files are routed into our Upload Dataset tool, where the format can be predefined to handle all value and code translations, ensuring that the year-over-year changes to accommodate new fields or values is straightforward and can be handled within admissions.


Additional Resources

We hope this helps get you started, but there are plenty of additional resources available for you. These include: 

  1. SlideRoom Help Center
  2. Slate Technical Support
  3. SlideRoom Blog

Want a copy of this guide as a PDF so you can take it anywhere? Download it here.

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