Best practice forum (Archived)

Totara Sync - Externaly initiated

Bodo Hoenen
Totara Sync - Externaly initiated
by Bodo Hoenen - Monday, 4 February 2013, 2:38 PM


Question regarding Totara Sync on latest version of Totara: Version 2.2.13 (Build: 20130118.00)

I have a client that is training some external vendors using Totara, The external vendors (9 of them) have vendor managers who are required to upload their teams of users so that they can obtain the required training (Each vendor will be updating/uploading hundreds of users every month). These external vendor managers should not have access to the admin settings of the site but only provided some type of mechanism to update/upload users. To add some complexity, we are using the organization, position and manager hierarchies, custom user profile fields and dynamic audiences (for enrollment).

My initial thoughts were to use Totara Sync, and require the external Vendor managers to send the client a CSV file containing the user data on a weekly basis, and then for the client to upload into the Sync folder for import into Totara. 

My questions are:

  • Is using Totara Sync the best option for this?
  • How would you recommend we open the folder for the client to drop the sync files into, and how would it work if the client had 9 separate files to upload every week?
  • Is there a mechanism that can be used to provide the external vendors the ability to drop in the files for upload?
  • Is there a mechanism to initiate the Totara Sync cron, and dynamic audience enrollment cron from a URL so that they do not need to wait until the end of the day for the main cron to run?
I appreciate any assistance/advice anyone could offer. 

Re: Totara Sync - Externaly initiated
by George Angus - Monday, 4 February 2013, 4:37 PM
Group Totara

Hi Bodo,

Totara Sync would be the best option because you can upload positions etc. You can edit the roles of the managers to allow them permission to upload users via sync (Upload Totara sync user). The ability to run sync from a URL will be available in the next release (Thurs at earliest). Running cron more often is the most effective way to deal with your last point.

hope this is useful,



Bodo Hoenen
Re: Totara Sync - Externaly initiated
by Bodo Hoenen - Wednesday, 6 February 2013, 6:32 AM

How would you suggest we handle the requirement of the ID number field needing to be input and unique?

If there are 9 separate external Vendors submitting users to be added/amended, how would you suggest the idnumber field is handled?

A follow on question: Can the ID number field be left blank and therefore be auto complete by the system providing an incremental number? If this is the case I could limit the external vendors to only be given the option to add users.

Any Advice would be welcome.



? ?
Re: Totara Sync - Externaly initiated
by ? ? - Wednesday, 6 February 2013, 8:01 AM

The "ID number" field is not enforced unique. I've often wondered why and presumably it is for this exact scenario - your data comes from different sources which have their own IDs and you cannot expect them to have a common index of id numbers - they will have their own systems and they may well overlap. 

Withing Moodle/Totara the user records are usually referenced by a unique id field which is not the same as this "ID number". 

The username is also unique and in the CSV file for Totara Sync it is the only unique field. I'd be interested to know what happens when these overlap between your external vendors... in fact I think I'll add that to my list of things to test myself!