Alice Borrower Import



  1. Data doesn’t appear to load. There is no change at all to existing borrower details
    1. Borrower import file is empty. This has been reported as happening when exporting directly from SAS to a USB thumb drive. File size is 0 bytes. Workaround is to save to another drive (local C: or network drive) and then copy the file to the thumb drive.
    2. Accidentally loaded last year’s borrower file. Because the data is the same as that already in Alice, nothing will be changed. Check the date of the file you are loading and make sure it has a recent date. You can also open the import file using Notepad and inspect the data. Check that the scholastic year in field 6 is correct for the student name in fields 3 and 4.
    3. Corrupt temporary files in the MARCLOAD directory. Delete all files in the MARCLOAD directory and repeat the import.
    4. Alice Shutdown not done or failed. The borrower data is updated into Alice during the Shutdown.

Note: The shutdown task list should pause perceptibly at the step ‘Load Borrower Data’ and the progress bar at the bottom will move across for every 50 students loaded. If it doesn’t pause but flicks straight through, check for issues a and c.


2.        Borrower details are in the wrong fields

a.          The import file does not have the correct number of fields or the fields are not in the correct order. This can occur if one or more fields were unselected when exporting the data from SAS or MAZE. The number of fields, the data that each contains and their order in the import file must be EXACTLY what Alice expects or the data will be stored in the wrong place. The file format must look like this:

                            "02026",,"Hood","Martin","M","6","6D","",,,19960426,"9","Simpson Place","Simpson","NSW","","2999","99999999","02026","Mr & Mrs Hood",,"","",""


         To correct a bad data load like this:

-              Delete any newly added borrowers who have an invalid Student Code in Alice;

-              Reload the data using the correct file format. Existing borrowers will have their scrambled data replaced with correct data and new borrowers will be added again with correct data.


3.        All existing borrowers have been duplicated

a.          SAS or MAZE Student Codes have not been entered into Alice.

b.         Student Codes in Alice are different to those in SAS or MAZE.

Alice links the imported data to existing borrowers using the Student Code. If a Student Code in the Import File is not found for any borrower in Alice then they will be added as a new borrower in Alice. If no borrowers in Alice have Student Codes, or the student codes don’t match between Alice and the import file, all borrowers will be added again.

To correct this:
- Delete all duplicated students. If there are lots of them it is usually easier to recover to the backup that was made (it was wasn’t it?) before importing.
- Perform STEP 3 – Check Alice Borrowers in the main instructions. This process cross matches by name existing borrowers in Alice with those in the import file and enters their Student Code into Alice.
- Repeat the Borrower import.


4.        Barcodes are wrong for new borrowers

a.          SAS or MAZE student code has been used as the barcode rather than Alice B12345x999 format.

b.         Alice format barcode has been used instead of SAS or MAZE student code.

c.          Incorrect starting barcode entered at import. If you scan the first barcode, ensure that the check letter in the 7th position is removed.

d.         Next Borrower barcode (in System, Parameters, Library, Barcode) is wrong and Barcode Prefix option was selected at import.

e.          Barcode character incrementing position is wrong (System Parameters, Library, Barcode: Should be 5)

f.           SAS or MAZE Student codes are longer than 6 characters and Keep 7th digit has not been ticked. (System, Parameters, Library, Barcode)

To correct this:
- Identify and fix the underlying problem that caused the issue.
- Delete the borrowers with incorrect barcodes. If there are lots of them it will be easiest to recover to the backup made before doing the import.
- Repeat the import
- Where the barcodes are meant to be the Student Code, OASIS Extras has a utility program that can make this change.
- If there are only a small number of bad barcodes and the rest of the borrower record is OK, you could use the Change Barcode button in Circulation, File, Borrower to change the barcode.


5.        Cannot delete borrowers using Circulation, Global Change, Delete

a.          There is more than one instance of a Scholastic Year Description in Circulation, File, Scholastic Year. Merge the Multiple Scholastic Year codes into a single code using the Scissors icon.
Where the Scholastic Year lookup table contains duplicated descriptions only the code associated with the first entry will be used and any borrower records that use the second code will not be matched. Alice does not stop you from creating duplicate descriptions but you should ensure that none exist.


6.        Cannot click the green tick to accept the import file.

a.          One or more of the mandatory selection boxes has not been filled in.
Where Alice creates the borrower barcodes itself , you can either:
- Specify the first barcode it should allocate and leave Barcode Prefix blank; or
- Enter the Barcode Prefix (‘B’) and leave ‘Barcode’ as <<NEXT>>.
Even if the barcodes will be the Student Code, these selection boxes still must contain valid values.


Martin Hood

30 January 2009