Amazingly Simple Load File Imports.
On Monday, January 18, we rolled out the much anticipated second installment of enhancements to the Nextpoint import experience with the introduction of a load file mapper for produced data imports.
This new load file mapper provides the opportunity to easily match fields from your load file to the fields displayed in your Nextpoint database, from within the application. We’ve also included several instances of load file and field validation to ensure your import is successful.
Some notable highlights of this release:
- Both DAT and CSV load files now accepted for produced data imports, removing the need for external modifications prior to import.
- Simplified produced data imports with load file detection and the introduction of a load file mapper.
- Proactive troubleshooting with validations for image, text, and native pathing fields, required user confirmation for skipped fields, and load field data preview within the mapper.
- Effortless field matching with 'exact match' recommendations and the ability to search alternative existing fields or create new fields 'on the fly'.
Importing Produced Data with the Load File Mapper
With the addition of load file mapping capabilities, many steps in the guided import workflow will remain the same, but have been reiterated simply below to paint the fullest picture as to how you will now navigate the import workflow for produced data with a load file.
Note: This functionality is available for Advanced users only.
1 | Upload data to File Room
The existing option for uploading data to the File Room remain the same as they were pre-release.
2 | Select Files for Import
The existing options for selecting files for import remain the same as they were pre-release. It is recommended you upload your production data folder to the File Room unzipped. This will ensure all subdirectories and load files are accessible during the guided import workflow and processing.
3 | Confirm Import Data Settings
Once your files have been selected for import, you will be navigated to the next step of the import sequence, Import Data Settings. Here, you will verify and/or outline settings applicable to your current import.
When a load file is detected from within your data selection, Nextpoint will recognize your data set as Production with Load File import type. When this Import Type is detected, an additional setting will be available to select the load file to be used for mapping in the next step of the guided workflow, and ultimately, during processing.
Nextpoint will use the first load file found, but if there is a particular load file you would like to use, you can change such in the drop-down. As illustrated below, you can now select any DAT or CSV contained within the selected data set.
For Production with Load File imports, common Import Data Settings you will see are as follows:
- Type of Import: Verify Production with Load File is selected. Click the pencil icon to edit, as needed.
- Selected Files for Import: If you initiated your import from the File Room, verify the selected files or modify by clicking the folder icon to access the File Room contents.
- NEW! Load File Selection: Nextpoint will use the first load file found, but if there is a particular load file you would like to use, you can change such in the drop-down.
- Batch Name: Recommended for most efficient tracking once the data has been imported.
- Assign Custodian on Import: For produced data sets with an accompanying load file, Custodian information is typically provided in the load file (and will be mapped in the next step).
- Add to Folder on Import: Search list of existing folders or add new via the folder + icon .
- Deduplication and DeNIST Detection: Deduplication and DeNIST settings are turned OFF as a pre-set recommendation for this type of import to help mitigate risk of deduping any data produced TO you.
4 | Review & Set Load File Mappings
Load File Mapper at a Glance
When Production with Load File Import Type is selected, a new step has been added to the guided workflow in which you can review and set your load file mapping specifications. The load file mapper, if you will.
The key objective of the load file mapper is to ensure the fields from your load file are mapping to the appropriate Nextpoint database fields. If the mapping is not made, Nextpoint will not know where to send the load file information during processing.
Once in the load file mapper, you will be presented with four core columns which provide you with data from your load file, a list of database fields to which load file data can be mapped, and a status indicator of your field mapping. These four columns are described in detail below.
A | The first column, Field from your load file, will be populated with a list of the fields contained in the header row of your selected load file.
B | The second column, Destination field, contains a list of available fields in your Nextpoint database to which corresponding load file field data can be mapped. Nextpoint will attempt to auto-map exact matches. You can also edit the auto-mapped recommendation, create a new destination field 'on the fly', or choose to skip the field within the field drop-down.
C | The third column, Load file preview, contains a three row preview of the data within the load file for each field. This information can provide assurance the appropriate values correspond with a particular field.
D | The fourth column, Field status, provides confirmation if a load file field has been successfully mapped to a destination field or if additional user action is required prior to import.
A Closer Look at the Destination Field Column
Now that you have an overview of four columns within the mapper, let’s take a closer look at the Destination field column and the different opportunities for mapping information from your load file to your Nextpoint database.
The first one or two rows in your Destination field column will be populated with image mapping criteria. Image mapping criteria provides Nextpoint with instructions for locating your production images during processing.
Click on the gear icon to validate the load file field which Nextpoint should use to locate the images for your production.
For each load file field in column 1, Nextpoint will first look for an exact match with an existing Destination field. If an exact match is found, the field match will be auto-mapped.
For example, in the below image, BegAttach and EndAttach were an exact match so they are auto-mapped.
For each load file filed in column 1, if an exact match can’t be made, fields can be user-mapped to existing or new fields.
For example, ProdBeg and ProdEnd were not auto-mapped in the below image because no exact match was present. Therefore, we ask you as the user to select where that information should be mapped to in your Nextpoint database.
If a field needs to be user-mapped, each Destination field input contains a drop-down with a comprehensive list of all the fields which are available for mapping in your current database.
Varying text styles within the drop-down help to distinguish different types of fields.
- Normal (unbolded) field names are default fields which exist in every Nextpoint database. When possible, we recommend mapping to these default fields for streamlined searching later on.
- Grayed out fields are already in use within the current mappings and cannot be used twice. Remove/change the other field mapping in order to utilize a grayed out field.
- Bolded fields are user-created (or custom) fields which can be used in the mapper.
Create a New Field for Mapping
If the field you would like to use for mapping isn't available in the Destination field list drop-down, you are provided with the option to create a new database field on the fly. To create a new field while in the mapper, click the icon to the right of the applicable Destination field list.
Upon clicking the icon, confirm the auto-populated name or set your preferred field title, then click Create.
As soon as you click Create, that field will now be in your database and data can be mapped to that field moving forward.
You can skip a field mapping by selecting Skip Field in the Destination field drop-down, but skipping a field during mapping means skipping data going into your database. Therefore, we do require users explicitly skip a field for mapping via the Skip Field selection.
You can also skip all unmapped fields as a last selection before moving to the next step, processing.
Before finalizing your mapping, the last, but critical decision point concerns validating pathing information for Natives and Text. This validation point ensures your load file is giving Nextpoint the correct instructions to find the different pieces of your data set to create unique documents during processing.
To validate, click the gear icon, and confirm the relative path of the location of the respective. In other words, the top-level folder in which Nextpoint should start looking for text or native files during processing. Most often, this will be the top-level TEXT and NATIVES folders in your production set.
5 | Initiate Your Import
Once all load file mappings are complete, click import and processing will begin. Nextpoint will take your original load file, make a copy and make any necessary conversions on the back-end during processing.
6 | Review Import Results and Family Link
After your import is complete, the converted load file copy will be added to your original folder selected from the File Room for import. Fields used for mapping will be stored as a report in the individual import details page.
The very last step once processing is complete is to Family Link your import batch. Family linking is the process which visually links imported (produced) emails and attachments using a set of two fields: "Unique ID" and "Family ID". This takes place after import processing is complete and via DATA Import and by clicking on the batch name to view Batch Details Family Linking.