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Migrating data when you edit your schema

If you have made changes to the choices available in a custom attribute, or are planning to replace one custom attribute with another, you may need to migrate data using bulk operations. Both examples below represent a safe method that will work for any situation; specific situations may have simpler solutions.

Updating attribute data using the modify details action

  1. Add the new value or attribute via the schema editor and save. Do not remove the old value or attribute at this point or you will not be able to search for it.
  2. Use advanced search to find all the accounts with the old value. 
  3. Select all using the button
  4. From the actions menu select the modify details option
  5. Set the new value on the relevant field
  6. Click update and confirm in the dialog box
  7. Once the job is complete you can check the values have changed using advanced search and then remove the old value or attribute in the schema editor

Moving data from one custom attribute to another using file upload

  1. Add the new attribute or value in the schema editor and save.
  2. Download all of your accounts (Accounts > List > Select all > Actions button > Download accounts). If you have more than 50 thousand accounts you may need to split this into sections.
  3. For a new attribute: Copy the heading that represents the new attribute over the heading that represents the old attribute. Remove all other columns apart from the username column and the data column with the new heading (and the administrator column if your results covered multiple organisations)
  4. For a new value of an existing attribute: Paste the new value over the old value
  5. Save the file as CSV and upload it back to us (Accounts > Bulk upload > Submit) and wait for the success acknowledgement. If the file is 5000 lines or more, you will need to split it into several smaller uploads.
  6. When you are sure all the data is where it needs to be, you can delete the old attribute or value.

This assumes both old and new are the same type of attribute; if they are different types you will need to conform to any restrictions or validation the new type has - e.g. if moving from a text attribute to a choice attribute you will need to either modify the data to match the choices you have set up, set up choices that cover all the data, or more likely a combination of both.

Anything to watch out for?

Disabling an attribute does not remove the data, but does prevent access to it. Deleting an attribute removes both the attribute and the data. In both cases if you need to keep that data available you must create the new attribute and migrate the data before you disable or delete the old attribute.

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