Q. How is the new Importer different from the old Importer?
A. In many ways, the new Importer is the same as the old Importer: it still takes a .zip file of CSVs that's either uploaded manually or via an automatic integration, then applies the contents of that .zip file to your domain. It's also still compatible with the old import file formats.
Beyond that, though, the new Importer includes a lot of exciting improvements. If you're familiar with the old Importer, some of these may take a bit of getting used to, but in the end they should save you lots of time and cut down on errors.
Here's a quick overview of what makes the new Importer "new":
The Manage Domain menu now has separate listings for Imports and Exports.
API Imports & Exports have been moved to Manage Domain > Settings > Import API (read more about the Import API).
The new Importer checks your data before for errors and other issues before it is processed and changes are applied to your domain. This gives you a chance to review and approve an import you've uploaded before it takes effect.
The new Importer also includes improved error messages that help you identify and solve issues with your import files.
With the new Importer, you can choose to receive notifications when an import is submitted, approved, or canceled. You can also set rules for when an automatic import requires approval. This helps you catch import files that have lots of errors or that will change more than a certain percentage of the records in your domain.
With the new Importer, you can use different Import Specifications whenever you'd like, without needing to contact the PowerSchool Learning team to switch your Import Type for you. The new Importer recognizes Full Import and Partial Import files that follow either the Version 1 or the Version 2 specifications.
In the new Importer, refreshing your Export File no longer affects the behavior of your next Import. Instead of comparing each import with your Export File, the new Importer compares it with the current state of the imported data in your domain and applies any changes accordingly.
In addition to the old Version 1 Import Specifications, the new Importer supports two new Specifications:
You can continue to use the Version 1 specifications, but going forward development and support will focus on Version 2 and Version 1 will be retired at some point in the future.
Here is a summary of what's different in the Version 2 specifications:
All Version 2 imports require a manifest.json file that tells the Importer how to interpret the file. This is a simple text file with the .json extension that's described in both Version 2 Import Specifications and included in all Version 2 sample files.
The columns in Version 2 import files are interpreted based on the header row (that is, the first row in the file). The order of the columns in the file no longer matters and you can omit non-required columns as you see fit. However, the column names in the header row must match the specification exactly for the import file to work.
For Version 2 import files, Import ID fields no longer use the generic import_id name. Instead, they use a column name specific to the type of record they identify. For example, a user's Import ID is in the user_id column and a class's Import ID is in the class_id column.
Several other fields have new names in the Version 2 specifications.
Import files listed above have not changed in Version 2.