How to Set Up With Banner
If your school uses the Banner system (by Ellucian), then you are in luck. The Banner Integration module for FlightPath is designed to make use of your existing Banner data as effortlessly as possible.
However, even with the Banner Integration module, there are still a handful of manual tasks you will need to complete.
Please note: at the time of this writing, the Banner Integration module is considered in "beta" stage. Please keep this in mind and perform thorough testing before using in a production environment.
Installing and Configuring the Module
The module requires the Oracle API module to first be installed and configured. Download it and install it under your /custom/modules directory, then go to the FlightPath Admin Console to enable the module (on the Modules page) and configure its settings.
- Enter your Banner installation's oracle server location, SID, etc, as well as a username and password which should be used for the connection. It is recommended that you create an Oracle user which has read-only access.
- Next, install the Banner Integration module under /custom/modules, and enable it on the modules page. Remember to visit the settings page for this module to configure it how you want.
The module will load some data live (by a direct Oracle query to Banner's database), but some data is too large or too slow to retrieve live, so it is assumed it will be loaded in a nightly routine.
- The code for which is in banner_integration.routines.inc
There is an included file named sample_routine.php.txt, which demonstrates how to set up a nightly routine.
- Copy this file to /custom/routines and rename it to something like "my_nightly_routines.php"
- Edit the file, and change the $SECRET_PASSCODE value to something unique, containing no spaces or symbols.
- Read through the comments in the file so you understand what is being performmed.
- Some function calls are commented-out by default. Uncomment those lines, if you want those routines to run.
To run the file, on a command line, issue the command:
- php my_nightly_routines.php secretcode12345 (or whatever your passcode is)
- The routines will take a long time to run (perhaps an hour or longer), which is why it's recommended you run them overnight. What is happening is data is being pulled out of the Oracle database Banner uses (which is slow) and placed into FlightPath's much faster MySQL database, in a format FlightPath expects.
Tweaking the Data - Hooks
- Much like other areas of FlightPath, the Banner Integration module offers "hooks" which a programmer can implement in their own custom module, to modify the data coming out of Banner before it gets loaded into FlightPath's database. See the included README.txt file, as well as the source code for the module for more information on that process.