General developer forum

 
 
Picture of Lindsay Dragoo
Banner and Moodle
 
Hello-
Our university is currently working on adopting Moodle. We're trying to figure out how to get the files out of our student information system, into Moodle on a automatic basis. I was curious if any other universities are doing this or have tried to do it and what are you thoughts? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Picture of Seth Whitworth
Re: Banner and Moodle
 

Hello,

We creating the courses via a custom made import script. We then use the Moodle Enrollment Plugin (external database) to automatically enroll the users when they login for the first time.

I hope this helps,
Seth

 
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Picture of Lindsay Dragoo
Re: Banner and Moodle
 
can you tell me more about your custom made import script? What kind of databse does it drop the information into?
 
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Picture of Eric Merrill
Re: Banner and Moodle
Group Developers
I'm the maintainer of the Banner/Luminis Message Broker import tool. You can see the latest release post here: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=140266 and the module is listed here: http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=849

You do not need LMB to use the module, it just adds more features. My school, and a decent number of other schools, use the module to import data from Banner.

I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.

-eric
 
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Picture of Lindsay Dragoo
Re: Banner and Moodle
 
Thank you so much. Basically what we have going on here is currently, we do an export from banner to a flat csv file. I guess i need to figure out how to get that file into the mysql database on the server of our hosting company and then I need to figure out how it gets picked up by and used by moodle. Would LMB help us do that?
 
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Picture of Eric Merrill
Re: Banner and Moodle
Group Developers
The Banner/LMB module parses XML files that banner generates, so it wouldn't help with the files you are currently generating. You could either export from banner in the XML format they provide, or there is a flat-file importer for Moodle, but I don't know much about it.

-Eric
 
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Picture of KM Chan
Re: Banner and Moodle
 

Dear Eric and fellow community members,

May you kindly point me to the function name / any resource about the fore-said "banner export to XML" function?

My institute is looking to do the Banner - Moodle integration, without LMB module. When I ask Sungradhe support centre about the function, they say they are unaware of any baseline Banner features that extract banner data into XML format. I was surprised.

Any information/advice is welcomed.

Tony Chan.

 
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Picture of Michael Penney
Re: Banner and Moodle
Group Developers
I've done a few Banner integrations - Eric's tool is very good and the way I usually recommend- we have a good number of clients using it at RL. If you have an existing CSV export from Banner and need to keep using it, you can either tweak it so that it conforms to Moodle's standard flat file format or write a custom import script. We did this when I was at Cal State Humboldt in 2005 - wrote a Moodle importer that took the same CSV output we were using for Blackboard - and it worked well for several years before we migrated to LDAP (for more information on this search the forums here for penney and bannerwink.

Both Moodlerooms and Remote-Learner have standard tools to bring in CSV files from Banner (I know because I designed the MR tool and work extensively with the ones we have at RLwink. A big problem with CSV export is there is often no standard format for the export (unlike the XML format that Eric's tool uses) - so often each campus has their own format and may need to choose either to change their output or to write or adapt a custom importer from another campus.
 
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Picture of Cora Vandendriessche
Re: Banner and Moodle
 

Is anyone moving Moodle grade book results back to Banner grade book or academic history ?

 
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Picture of Eric Merrill
Re: Banner and Moodle
Group Developers
That is in work right now. Hoping to hav the first version out in the next month or so.

-Eric
 
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Picture of Morgan Martin
Re: Banner and Moodle
 
Hi Eric,

Is the plan is to use the existing Banner GradeAdapter functionality (i.e. the UpdateReply topics) in the LMB to create this functionality? Also what is involved in getting this functionality into the Gradebook interface.

We are currently integrating Blackboard 8 using the LMS for elearning but are looking around at our LMS options (It looks like you have done some great work on the Enrolment end of things.)

Thanks
Morgan
 
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Picture of Iain Gray
Re: Banner and Moodle
 

Hello Eric

We are about to embark on implementing moodle and are definitely interested in the owrk you mention. Are there any updates on pushing gradebook data from moodle back into banner?

 
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Picture of Suzanne States
Re: Banner and Moodle
 

Hello Eric!  Any progress on a module to pass grades back to Banner?  Thank you!

Hope all is well.  Suzanne States

 
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Picture of Peter Lai
Re: Banner and Moodle
 
We're sort of unique in that we eschew the use of Self Service and Luminis. We use a set of in-house apps to warehouse our Banner data from Oracle (which is hosted offsite) to a local postgresql db and use the external db enrolment plugin. (We like to keep Banner-related development as in-house as possible). In any case.

We use LDAP for authentication so we sync all of our users from that before syncing enrollments. In LDAP we store the user's Banner PIDM and use that as the primary key for Moodle's userfields.

For enrollments at minimum the tables you will need access to in Oracle (Banner 7) are:

SFRSTCR
SSBSECT
SIRASGN

If you want to use departmental names as course categories you will need the course catalog tables in Oracle as well.

We create a couple of views out of these tables:

We grab the course information from the course catalog table join it with the CRN and TERMCODE in SSBSECT. We concatenate CRN || '-' || TERMCODE and use that as the unique courseid for Moodle. We don't allow any external enrollment so we create 100 var char random string for the course password and we manually set the course enrollable bit to 0.

For the Enrollments, we have 2 views:
1. We grab the relevant fields from SFRSTCR, concatenate CRN || '-' || TERMCODE and hardcode the Moodle Student Role Identifier (3 is the default).

2. We grab the instructor's PIDM from SIRASGN oncatenate CRN || '-' || TERMCODE and hardcode the Moodle Teacher Role Identifier (5 is the default).

From these 2 enrollment views, we create a 3 view that UNIONS them so you get a master view of both students and teachers, and Moodle's External DB Enrollment patch from http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-18144 references this view plus the course view from above to put it all together.

Let me know if you want more indepth stuff. We are still ironing out some semester-to-semester rollover engineering at the moment.
 
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Picture of Lindsay Dragoo
Re: Banner and Moodle
 
Thank you Peter,
Can you tell me how you get your information into the postgresql db?
 
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Picture of Peter Lai
Re: Banner and Moodle
 
How do you get your data out of banner into a flat file? Via sqlplus?

We use perl and ODBC to read from Oracle and perl and the postgresql DBD driver to insert into postgres.

Here is a sanitized example:
http://cesium.hyperfine.info/~cowbert/moodle-extras/warehouse.sfrstcr.pl


 
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