Hierarchy - upload full process

It is recommended that you read Hierarchy data format before reading this article.

This article details the 4 stages of the hierarchy upload process.

This information is useful for both new implementations and users new to the hierarchy upload processes.


As part of implementing the basic Talis Aspire tenancy, you will be guided through getting the data for your hierarchy upload, usually from your Learning Management System or Student registry, wherever you deem the modules or unit information to be a true reflection of your current offerings. If your hierarchy is established but the process is new to you simply raise a support ticket and we can arrange a call to discuss the process with you.

What does the Hierarchy file look like?

The Talis Aspire Support Consultant managing your project can check your files and provide guidance on errors.  We often find a call with you, the team managing your source data and our Technical Consultant can usually help answer any queries about locating data and formatting the file.

Top Tip

Prepare a file for each level in your hierarchy, starting from the top down e.g. Top Level - Faculty, Middle Level - School or Department and then Bottom Level - Modules or Units, this is so the parents can be linked to correctly. 

You must complete the full upload of each level before staring on the next.

Process Overview

Stage 1: Prepare your file(s)

Prepare one or more hierarchy files inline with the specifications found in the Hierarchy data format support article. Save the file(s) somewhere that is easy to locate.

Stage 2: Upload the file for a dry run

Once you have ironed out any issues with your files you are now ready to upload them for a dry run. This will review and report on changes that you are wanting to make, but will not actually make the changes at this stage.

  1. Open the Admin menu (available to those holding the System Administrator role) and select 'Hierarchy Upload'.
  2. Click 'Choose file',  locate and select your CSV file from your saved location then click 'Upload'. The first thing the Hierarchy Upload does is to check for mandatory columns, correct column names, and file format.
  3. If this is successful it will go to a dry run, and display the following message:Hierarchy_Upload___Customer_Services_test.pngThis is a background job, so you can carry on with other tasks while waiting for this to complete. Please note: We would not advise further hierarchy uploads to be completed whilst a dry run is in progress as the files are validated against the data which is in the system at the time of the upload.
  4. You can view the progress of the upload on the Review jobs screen, accessible from the Admin tab, or simply wait for email confirmation that the job has completed.

Stage 3: Review the dry run

Once the dry run is complete the Status will show as COMPLETE - SUCCESS or FAILED. If you get a FAILED status, don’t panic! Your Support Consultant can help you identify the issue and provide further guidance on what amendments will need to be made to your file. Your first upload is a learning tool to give you confidence to update yourself when needed. If you do ever come across any issues, you can always let us know by raising a support ticket.

  1. Review the dry run job, or to check any errors from your hierarchy upload, by clicking `Admin` and selecting 'Review jobs'. This will display past hierarchy upload jobs and their outcomes, as well as other jobs includeing metadata refresh, rollover, etc. The failures from the reports will also be shown.
  2. The outcomes of the report can be exported as a report for you to identify the errors. Do this by selecting the 'Actions' option circled below and selecting 'Export exemption report'.  Review_Jobs___Customer_Services_test.png
    This report will help you identify the amendments needed to successfully upload your hierarchy.

Stage 4: Initiate the hierarchy update

  1. When you are at the stage of COMPLETE - SUCCESS the next step is to initiate the actual hierarchy update. Select the actions button and then 'initiate hierarchy update'. This will run the same set of checks as the dry run, but then will actually make the changes to the live hierarchy.


  2. A pop-up box will appear advising it is a background job and to confirm this is the action you wish to take, so just click Initiate Hierarchy Update.

As stated this can take up to 48 hours, so again you can carry on with other tasks. You can view progress on the Review jobs screen, accessible from the Admin tab or simply wait for email confirmation that the job has completed. During this time all options for linking to the hierarchy and updating the hierarchy are hidden from view. Once the file upload has completed these options will be visible again.  If these do not reappear, or if you have any concerns or questions, please raise a support ticket.

What’s next

That’s the top level of your hierarchy in, now just upload the next file and follow the process. Remember by utilising the Parents column, they will attach to the hierarchy node above correctly. You can indicate more than one parent in this Parents column, where modules/units are taught across departments/schools.

On your first upload, it’s important to remember that we are here to support you. Please ask for help if you are not sure.

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