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IOM Validation Mode and The Raiser's Edge 7

We have received some feedback and questions regarding new option in Import-O-Matic v 2.0 to Validate Import (Validation Mode). The questions about behavior and functionality have lead us to share with you this technical explanation of how Validation Mode functions, and why it behaves the way it does.

Validation Mode in Import-O-Matic relies on the RE7 API's "Transactor" feature. This feature allows computer code to perform a series of changes and either make the all the changes stick (a "commit") or ignore all the changes and revert the database to make it like those changes never happened (a "roll back"). A good way to think of a transaction is an ATM (cash machine) withdrawal. When you make a withdrawal, the following steps occur:

1) Verify account details
2) Accept withdrawal request
3) Check balance
4) Reduce balance by withdrawal amount
5) Dispense money

If the power went out on the ATM after step 4 but before step 5, you'd be pretty steamed if you got home and found that the bank had reduced your balance even though the money was never issued. Wrapping all those steps into a single "transaction" where they either all "commit" or all "roll back" is what prevents that from happening. 

The transactor works great for us to make sure every import row either commits or, in the event that part of the row fails, rolls back. For instance, if the constituent is created successfully, but the gift on that row causes an error, the entire row is rolled back so we don't have a partial-row import. 

We recently rolled out a "Validation Mode" in IOM that allows a user to roll back an entire import at the end if they are not satisfied with the results. Unfortunately, there is a known issue with the RE7 Transactor such that if a user opens a "full" constituent form during a transaction, it can lock other RE7 workstations until that transaction is committed. So, when we added Validation Mode as an option to IOM imports, we also changed IOM (when running in Validation Mode) to show a more limited constituent form ("ShowOKCancel") which lets you change many things on a constituent, but it does not show the gifts, relationships, action, membership, and events tabs, and it does not allow you to merge the constituent with another constituent.

However, after our release of Validation Mode we discovered another issue with the Transactor... If an import adds a new constituent during an import, even without showing a constituent form, this can also lock other RE7 workstations. So we are leaving the Validation Mode feature intact, but will be beefing up the warning when a user selects Validation Mode to be clear that they may not be very popular in the office unless they're running it at a time when no one else is using RE7.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Thanks,

Tiffany

Hi Jesús,

 

IOM does not behave any differently in Validate Mode than it does when you are not using Validate Mode. You will still get all of the interactive pop-up boxes and selection options when NOT in Validate Mode.

 

Validate Mode was intended for you to use to test a new file, a new profile, or a combination thereof, with just a small number of rows (25 or less is our recommendation). It was intended to be used to discover issues that would cause every row, or most rows, to become an exception. Example: Missing Constituent Codes on new records, a School ID that is incorrect, etc. It was not intended you would use this mode for all imports.

 

Validate Mode can, effectively, lock the entire RE database for all users that are NOT the user running the import in question. It isn't simply a matter of the tables being locked for some things for your users.

 

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

 

Thanks!

 

Tiffany

Hi Tiffany,

I tried to use the Validation Mode, but after some minutes, I canceled because some persons needed to have access to some tables in RE, so importing new records lock RE with validation mode.

What tables RE will lock during the validation mode?

If I very sure about my import I need to use the "Validation Mode" or I can use my Import Processing and the system going to validate/create news records and pop-up me search suggestions with the "duplicate search matching results"?

Thanks,

Jesus
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