Initializing Data in LYNX

Data initialization is the process by which LYNX syncs large amounts of data from the Student Information System (SIS) database all at once, rather than on the basis of individual changes.

Once data is initialized from the SIS to LYNX's holding zone, it is not transferred from LYNX to 25Live until and unless it falls into an extract set. (See How LYNX Processes Data for more information.)

There are two types of data that LYNX initializes in separate processes:

  • Course section data, including everything related to specific sections in a term
  • Reference data, including campus facilities, subject codes, and other elements which are re-used by many sections

After initialization takes place, further changes (including defining new sections for a term) are automatically synced to LYNX as they occur. Running more initialization processes is usually unnecessary but is useful for troubleshooting as well as maintaining test instances. See "When to Initialize" below for more information.

Exceptions to the Initialization Process

Initialization works a little differently for two SIS types due to the nature of the LYNX integration. Please see the extra sections below for more information and special instructions if you use one of the following:

  • Workday
  • Colleague Unidata
  • Ethos

Image: SIS Data Initialization summary.

When to Initialize

There are four main occasions when data initialization is recommended:

During Implementation

As you are first configuring and setting up LYNX, you may find it necessary to initialize often. CollegeNET technical support staff (email link) can advise you as to the best times for your unique circumstances.

Going Live in a New Environment

When you are ready to start using LYNX in your production environment, perform the following initializations in both test and production:

  • Reference data (initialize this first)
  • Course section data for the current term
  • Course section data for any future terms which already have sections defined in the SIS

You do not need to initialize any previous terms unless you intend to import them through LYNX.

Once this data is initialized, LYNX will automatically detect new sections and changes to existing sections. Further initialization is not necessary under normal circumstances.

Refreshing the SIS Database

When academic data is copied from your production SIS environment into test, the best practice is to initialize the test LYNX environment as if it were going live for the first time, as described above.

Troubleshooting

There may be some cases when CollegeNET technical support recommends that you initialize some or all of your data to address specific circumstances. If you suspect that your environment would benefit from data initialization, contact Support (email link).

How to Initialize

When you initialize data, follow these steps:

  1. Select Utilities > SIS Data Initialization from the main menu. Previous initialization processes are summarized here in a table.
  2. Below the table, click Initialize Course Section Data or Initialize Reference Data.
  3. Provide a name for the initialization process. This label will appear in the summary.
  4. If you are initializing course section data, select the term code(s) you wish to initialize. Click Add New Value to enter additional codes.
    Screenshot of course section initialization window with text fields for process name and term codes
    Image: Initialize Course Section Data window.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. The initialization process is carried out in two steps:
    • First, data is prepared in your SIS database. When this step is complete, the summary will display the status of Running.
    • Next, the prepared data is synced with LYNX. The status changes to Complete when this is finished.
    • Note that if you are working late, the second step may be delayed until the following morning. See "Initialization Hours" below for more information.

Once initialization is complete, you can use extract sets to import data into 25Live. Nothing will update in 25Live unless there is an active extract set with appropriate criteria.

Synchronization Hours 

For all versions of LYNX except Workday, data from an initialization process is synchronized between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm in your local time zone.

For the Workday version of LYNX, data from an initialization process is synchronized between the hours of 3:00 am and 8:00 pm Pacific Time for all Workday customers.

Initialization for Ethos

At the present time, the Ethos API does not support automatic change detection. Thus, in order for data to be loaded from your SIS to LYNX (and then on to 25Live), you must manually initialize data.

You may configure up to three term codes in the LYNX Settings - API Integration area to have their course data automatically initialized every hour. However, any changes to reference data must always be manually initialized.

Initialization for Workday

Due to the nature of the integration between LYNX and Workday's API, initialization works a little differently. Workday does not use database triggers for change detection like other SIS types. The Student Transaction Log Outbound Connector picks up most changes to sections, but some (involving references to other parts of the Workday data structure) are not included.

Keep these in mind if you use a Workday SIS:

  1. Initialize course section data whenever the following changes are made. When you make specific changes to sections that involve the way they are referenced elsewhere, or which define brand new instructors or meeting patterns, these changes are not automatically detected by Workday's connector. You must initialize course section data before these changes will appear in 25Live:
    • Editing the Section Listing
    • Changing the Reference ID
    • Defining a new meeting pattern
    • Creating a new contact for an instructor
    • Co-locating sections
  2. Set up term codes to auto-initialize. Rather than needing to perform this initialization manually every time there is a change, you can specify up to three term codes in API Integration Settings which LYNX will automatically initialize every hour. You can still perform manual initializations whenever you wish.
  3. Initialize reference data whenever there are changes. Similar to course section data, you must manually initialize reference data so that LYNX stays current with any changes or additions to term codes, subject codes, campus codes, facilities, meeting patterns, or other metadata. There is no option to automatically initialize reference data, but we recommend performing a manual initialization at least once per term.
  4. Initialize reference data when new courses are added. While similar to the last item, this is important enough to mention twice. When you define new courses, add a new meeting pattern, or add a meeting day pattern in Workday, initialize reference data so that they are picked up.

Initialization for Colleague Unidata

As part of LYNX installation for Colleague Unidata, it is necessary to run command line arguments prior to initialization. You can perform this step for any term code which already has data in it at the time you install LYNX.

After installation, it should only be necessary to use the command line if sections or meeting patterns are deleted (rather than cancelled). The Colleague Unidata database does not have a way to record when deletion takes place, which interferes with LYNX's ability to send changes to 25Live.

When initializing a term code as described in this article, first run the command line arguments in the following situations:

  1. Sections or meeting patterns are deleted in Colleague but are still showing up in 25Live
  2. CollegeNET Support detects a synchronization issue between Colleague and 25Live

Please refer to the linked page for specific instructions on the necessary command line procedures. A customer resources knowledgebase login is required.