Language Tags from Dev to Production

It is always recommended that you implement any changes on a development environment before making them live on production. This means you will need to copy those changes to your production version of Training Partner Online. This is a relatively straight-forward task.

First, make sure you have updated all your language tags and tested them on development. If you are multilingual, do not forget to update all additional languages.

To save your language tags on your development environment:

  1. Open the Online DesignerOnline Designer
  2. Click on the Language Tab iconLanguageTagButton 
  3. The Language Tags window will open. In Page: dropdown, select [All Tags]. It is the first selection and you may use the A key to jump to it.LanguageTagWindow 
  4. Clicking the down arrow beside the Language, select Save Language TagsSaveLanguageTags 
  5. Save the language tags using an appropriate name such as a prefix plus the language.SavingLanguageTags
  6. Your English language tags are now saved in the English.tpl file in the example above.

To restore them on the production environment:

  1. Copy the language tag file (English.tpl) from your development to your production environment. You can use your macro folder as a destination but it can be any folder that is accessible from the production server.
  2. Open the Online Designer and click on the Language Tab icon as above
  3. The Language Tags window will open. In Page: dropdown, select [All Tags]. It is the first selection and you may use the A key to jump to it. Same as above.
  4. Clicking the down arrow beside the Language, select Load Language TagsLoadLanguageTags
  5. Select the language tag file for the language such as English.tpl and click the Open buttonLoadingLanguageTags
  6. The updated language tags will now be loaded.

For additional languages, follow the instructions above but select the appropriate language from the Language dropdown before saving or loading the tags.

SelectLanguage

 

OSG Consulting Inc. is available for Training Partner customization and implementation.

Contact us at rfage@osgconsulting.net.

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Training Partner Online – Restore/Update Single TP Online Page

Occasionally, you will need to restore or update a single Training Partner Online page rather than replacing the complete site. The Training Partner Online Designer givers a a very easy way to do this.

It is assumed in the following steps, you already have the tpi file associated with the page. In this example, I am using the Student Learning Plan.tpi file to restore the Student Learning Plan page.

  1. Open the Online Designer
  2. Scroll down and select the page to restore. Student Learning Plan in this example.
  3. Right-click the page and select Restore page from the menu
  4. Click OK on the warning.
  5. Select the TPI file you wish to use to restore the page. Student Learning Plan.tpi in this example.
  6. Click on Open to restore the page

The page will be updated to any changes you have made in the file. This may or may not be the default values.  It is a quick way to get a minor update.

Note: you will need to stop and start the TP Online service if you are using it.

OSG Consulting Inc. is available for Training Partner customization and implementation.

Contact us at rfage@osgconsulting.net.

 

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Training Partner Online – Missing Tag: Term

So you have added a new Learning Plan or Enrollment Status and you are getting a missing Language Tag message like the following:

Missing Tag: Term
Removed course names for client confidentiality.

The [Tag: Term: ….] is showing that the Learning Plan status of Recommended/Requested or Not Supported is missing for the Language Tags.

This is an easy fix. To add new status or other missing list items such as locations on classes:

  1. Open the Online Designer
    TP Online Designer
  2. Click on the Language Tag icon Language Tag Icon to open the Language Tags
  3. Use the Page dropdown to select [All Tags]. Hint: You can just type the letter A to jump to it.
    TP Online Language Tags [All Tags]
  4. Right-click in the Tag column and select Add Custom Tags
    Add Custom Tags
  5. Your new statuses will be added to the Term: Tags
    New Term
  6. Stop and Start the TP Online services if appropriate since the Language Tags are often cached by TP Online.
  7. Refresh the page
    New Term Tag

The above applies to any [Tag: Term: ….] that appears only TP Online pages.

OSG Consulting Inc. is available for Training Partner customization and implementation.

Contact us at rfage@osgconsulting.net.

 

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code school – CSS Cross-Country Course Review

I just finished up my first code school course. CSS Cross-Country. I was very excited to try it since I have funded their Try iOS course on Kickstarter. I am also a corporate trainer so I was very curious on how they would present the material and how effective it would be.

The CSS Cross-Country course to quote from code school is to “Master the fundamentals and core foundations of CSS”. The question is obviously is: did I achieve mastery of the foundations of CSS? I would have to say no as I will explain below.

Does it give you a good foundation to build upon? Absolutely!

The course is broken down into levels. Each level  includes a short video presentation of the subject matter ranging from 4 to 8 minutes followed by 4 to 7 review exercises.  Most levels include supplementary links which can either help you with the exercises or provide you more in depth information on the level’s topics.

Below is a quick summary of the course content:

  1. Frost-Proof Fundamentals (video 5:52, 6 exercises)
    Adding style, selectors, the cascade, and floats
  2. Clear Carving (video 7:33, 5 exercises)
    Clearing floats, inheritance, and specificity
  3. Box Bindings (video 7:32, 5 exercises)
    The box model, positioning, and z-index
  4. Grooming Your Code (video 7:22, 6 exercises)
    DRY, display types, and centering
  5. CSS Safety (video 4:00, 4 exercises)
    Protecting your layout and specificity problems
  6. Image Issues (video 3:55, 5 exercises)
    Image use and image cropping
  7. Sprightly Slaloms (video 5:49, 5 exercises)
    Image replacement and sprites
  8. Pseudo Sitzmark (video 5:55, 7 exercises)
    Pseudo classes and pseudo elements

The video presentations are very well done. Both presenters were articulate and clear examples were shown. They were very easy to follow.

The exercises were the highlight of the learning experience.  You are given an objective based upon the level’s subject matter such as “Refactor the <head> tag so that all CSS is instead found on an external stylesheet.” Code school has implemented a split screen where you update HTML sources, CSS stylesheets or both on the left side and your results are immediately rendered on the right as you do the updates. The right side may also include addition information you need to complete the exercise.  In addition, code school has provided a hint system if you are stuck. Doing the exercises are never an exercise in frustration (pun intended). They also provide excellent feedback when you submit your code to be “marked”. Errors are clearly stated for you to fix your code.

With each completed level, you get an achievement badge on your account.  I imagine this will appeal to some but I can take or leave the badges. There is a final video review of the course with more helpful links to continue your education on CSS.

So overall, my only issue with the course is the subtitle “Master the fundamentals and core foundations of CSS”. I do not feel that 24 minutes of video and 43 short exercises will give me mastery of anything. What it did give me is the confidence to delve deeper into CSS on my own.

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TP Online Access Getting Set to Never

A client and I recently imported a bunch of Learners and their enrollments into various classes. In preparation for the Learners accessing Training Partner Online, we assigned them online access and gave them temporary passwords.

Shortly after going live with Training Partner Online, random Learners were calling in unable to access their accounts online. We checked their Online Access and everything was in order. See a sample below:

Training Partner Learner Online Properties

Training Partner Learner Online Properties

We tested the Learner but we still got no access. When we opened the Learner Online Properties, to our surprise it was set to Never. We reset it back to Always clicked OK on the Learner Properties and opened the Learner Online Properties again. Still set to Never.

Training Partner Learner Online Properties

Training Partner Learner Online Properties

Upon investigation of comparing two separate Learner accounts, I discovered the ISACTIVE was set to 0 during the import. I wrote an SQL script to update all 195 Learners but you can access it from the Learner Properties.

Once the affected Learner is open, go to the Employment tab. Check off the Active checkbox and then update the Learner Online Properties as appropriate.

For those who are importing Learners with online access below are the required fields. I am assuming you are going to give Always access but you can modify them as appropriate.

ONLINEUSERNAME user@test.com
ONLINEPASSWORD temp1
ONLINEHASACCESS 1
ONLINEACCESS Student
ONLINEACCESSDAYS 0
ISACTIVE 1

Good luck! Maybe I will do a detailed import entry in the future.

 

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Training Partner Online–Modifying Portal Settings

In Training Partner Online, the Portal Settings keep both the embedded style sheets and global settings used in the online pages. Below is how you update them:

  1. Open the Training Partner Online Designer
  2. Click on the portal icon. Circled in red below.

    TrainingPartnerOnlineDesigner

  3. This will give you access to the Portal Settings

    PortalSettings

  4. From this screen you can access the Training Partner Online embedded styles.  Make sure you click apply
  5. To access Portal settings, you the Type dropdown and select Setting

    ModifyPortalSettings

  6. Scroll down to the setting you wish to update and select it. You will be updating it on the right hand side. Some settings are text fields while others are dropdowns.
  7. Again, click Apply when done.

Note:

As with all Training Partner Online updates, make sure that Training Partner Online is stopped and started. Do not use the Restart button in the services as it does not give Training Partner Online enough time to exit and you will get an error.

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Training Partner Graphic Report–Conditional Field

A common requirement in a report is to have a conditional field. What is a conditional field? Display one value if a condition is true, else display another.

An example would be Payment Method in an invoice. If the Payment Method is a credit card, then display the credit card type, otherwise display the payment method such as Cash or Check. This will be the example used below.

  1. Open the Graphic Report you wish to edit.

    OpenReport

  2. Click on the Report Designer icon ReportDesignerIcon
  3. This opens the Editing Report window

    EditReport

  4. To have a conditional field on the report, we must use a variable. Click the Variable icon variableicon
  5. Click on the report where you would like the variable field to appear.

    variablefield

  6. You can choose what type of date (data type) the variable will display by using the String dropdown.

    variabledatatype

    Note that String is the most common data type. We will be using String in our example.

  7. Right click the variable field and select Calculations…

    calculations

  8. The Calculations dialog will appear.

    calculationsdialog

    You enter your calculation above. The information on the right-hand side are the fields you selected in the report. They can be dragged and dropped to the left-hand side to create your calculation .

  9. Below is a sample calculation from our example. 

    paymenttypeif

    Notice the semi-colon at the end.

  10. You must compile your formula to ensure it is correct by right clicking in the calculation and selecting Compile.

    compileformula

  11. Click OK on the Calculations dialog to save your change.
  12. Click the Preview tab to verify the calculation works.

    preview

Clearly, there is a lot of functionality and complexity that comes with calculations.

You can check out the System Administrator’s Guide under Graphical Reports. Specifically, look in the Code Environment section.

OSG Consulting Inc. is available for report customization.

Contact us at rfage@osgconsulting.net.

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e-Learning Course Video Does Not Display on IIS

Scenario:

You have an e-learning course that you are testing by double-clicking the launch page (usually index.htm, default.htm, if you are unsure ask your course developer). The course launches fine and all the video displays properly.

You load the course on your IIS web server, the course launches fine but no video is displayed.

Solution:

The issue is that IIS has not be configured to recognize the video format. You must make IIS aware of the video’s mime type.

In the fix below, it is assumed you are using .f4v flash video files.

For IIS 6.0:

  1. Open the Internet Information Services Manager.
  2. Expand the Local Computer Server.
  3. Right-click the local computer server and select Properties.

    IISProperties

  4. Select the MIME Types button.
  5. Click New and enter the following information:
    • Associated Extension box: .F4V
    • MIME Type box: video/mp4

      EnterMIMEType

  6. Click OK on the MIME Type dialog
  7. Click OK on the MIME Types dialog

    MIMETypes

  8. Click OK on the local computer Properties
  9. Restart the World Wide Web Publishing service and any other dependent services like Training Partner Online that would have been stopped with the World Wide Web Publishing service.

    StopWWWService

The above example was for a Flash Video file but it can be applied to other media format types.

For more information on mime types, check out Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_media_type

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Training Partner–Database Primary Key Format

If you have spent any time in the Training Partner database, you probably seen something like the following in the STUDENT_NO, ORG_NO and COURSE_NO fields:

  • STUD2010112613253401751458
  • ORGA2010112613292507201627
  • COUR2010112613241906691320

These are the primary keys (or unique ids) for a student, organization and course respectively.

All primary keys within the Training Partner database have the same format. It is stored in a VARCHAR(30) even though it is always 26 characters long.

First 4 characters are characters representing what table the primary key comes from.

Below are some of the most common:

Abbrev in Primary Key Table
COUR COURSES
FACI FACILITIES
MATE MATERIALS
INST INSTRUCTORS
FEEI FEEITEMS
PROG PROGRAMS
SITE SITES
ORGA ORGANIZATIONS
STUD STUDENTS
USER USERS
GLAC GLACCOUNTS
ENRS ENROLLSTATUS
CSTA CLASSSTATUS
CGRO CGROUPS

The above is far from a complete list.

The next 17 digits are the date and time down to the millisecond that the primary key was created.

yyyymmddhhmissmmm

You can generate this with the following SQL call:

SELECT REPLACE(CONVERT(VARCHAR(20),GETDATE(),102),'.','') 
+ REPLACE(CONVERT(VARCHAR(20),GETDATE(),114),':','') 

The last five digits are a random number to ensure uniqueness. It would be zero filled if it was less than 10000.

In summary:

4 characters: table abbreviation
17 characters: date/time to millisecond
5 characters: random 5 digit number

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Training Partner – Apply Credit Memos as Payments

Once you create a credit memo against an invoice, some users are confused that the amount due on the invoice has not changed. Training Partner accounting allows you to use the credit memo as a payment.

It is highly recommended that you ensure that both the original invoice and the credit memo are posted before you apply the credit memo as a payment.

PostedCreditMemo

If either is not posted, it is possible to make changes to either one.

Once they are posted, open up the invoice can create a payment.

NewPayment

From the Method dropdown, select the Credit Memo.

SelectCreditMemoType

Another dropdown called Credit No is displayed. Select the Credit Memo that you wish to apply as a payment against the invoice.

CreditNo

Apply the payment as normal and post.

AppliedPayment

In the above example, the total credit memo was applied. The invoice will be fully paid.

Alert: Training Partner allows you to create a credit memo for only some of the line items on the invoice. If you do this, the Max amount available to apply will be incorrectly shown as the total amount of the invoice. Be careful not to over apply the credit memo in this case.

Customization of this process is available from OSG Consulting Inc. including a fix for the above issue.

Contact: rfage@osgconsulting.net

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