This article provides brief information on what Sloopy is, how it functions, and the process for installing and configuring it.
Sloopy is a simple custom Java program that sends data extracted from the SIS database to School Loop. All the data is compressed and encrypted before sending via SMTP.
Sloopy should be set to run nightly between 12 am and 6 am (the exact time is up to the customer) and typically takes less than 1 minute per school to transfer all the data.
Data for teachers, students, courses, sections, attendance, and call alerts are required for School Loop Plus.
The installation and configuration instructions for Sloopy involves 6 sections:
- Download Sloopy
- System Requirements Verification
- Data Extraction from the SIS Database
- Creating the Configuration File
- Editing the Batch File
- Process Automation
- Download Sloopy.
- Unzip the file.
- There is a folder for each SIS in the Sloopy folder. Delete the folders that do not apply.
- If your SIS is not listed, use the Generic Folder.
- You may install the Sloopy folder and its contents on either a server or on any computer with access to the Student Information System.
System Requirements Verification
Sloopy should work on any system that supports Java 1.6 or greater.
- Open a command-line interface for Windows
- Check your version of Java by running the
- If you need the latest version of Java, you can download the version you need from the Java website.
Data Extraction from the SIS Database
What Data to Extract
The required data for School Loop Plus is organized into seven or eight tab-delimited data files, shown in the table below. There are two attendance files, and you can choose to send either one or both.
|Courses||Course ID, Title|
|Teachers||Teacher ID, Last Name, First Name|
|Students||Local ID, Permanent ID, Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Grade|
|Sections||Section ID, Term Code, Period, Course ID, Teacher ID|
|Student Sections||Local ID, Section ID|
|Attendance Day||Permanent ID, Date, Value|
|Attendance Period||Permanent ID, Date, Value, Section ID|
|Call Alert||Permanent ID, Phone, Language|
How to Extract Data
In most cases, it is the district’s responsibility to write a script that extracts the necessary data, turns them into plain text and tab-delimited files, and places them in the
Creating the Configuration File
- Create one plain text configuration file for each school.
- Using the config.txt file (located in the Sloopy directory) as your template, change the following properties:
mail.from=[SCHOOL LOOP URL]@schoolloop.com
data.extension=[SIS SCHOOL CODE]
- Remove the text within the brackets (including the brackets) and replace it with the values for each school.
- Enter the name of your data files after the equal signs for the following lines in the config files to match the file names used in the Data Extraction from the SIS Database section.
data.course=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_COURSE.TAB
data.section=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_SECTION.TAB
data.student=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_STUDENT.TAB
data.teacher=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_TEACHER.TAB
data.ss=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_SS.TAB
data.as=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_PERIOD.TAB
data.ad=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_DAY.TAB
data.callalert= SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_CALLALERT.TAB
- We recommend that you include a school identifier in the file names – such as SIS code or school name.
- For example, SCH_12_COURSE.TAB or VMHS_COURSE.TXT.
- For those cases where it is not required to send both attendance files, such as for elementary schools that do not have period attendance, please leave the file name after the equal sign blank.
data.ad=SCH_[SIS SCHOOL CODE]_DAY.TAB
- Place all the school data folders inside the
sloopy>datafolder, if you choose to organize the data files for each school into separate folders.
- Include the folder path in the directory.data line. If the folder for a school is named “school_123”, for example, then the directory.data line would be:
- Save all your config files in the Sloopy directory and give each one a unique name.
Editing the Batch File
The sloopy.bat batch file (included in the Sloopy folder) executes the command line that runs the Sloopy JAR file. A simplified batch file consists of the following command lines:
REM The line below changes the directory to the folder containing the .bat file.
REM Change "config.txt" to match the name of your config files
REM You must include one instance of this command for each school
java -mx256M -jar SchoolLoop.jar --config config.txt
The last command in the above sample launches the Sloopy program and transfers data to School Loop for the school listed in config.txt.
Your final batch file is likely to be much longer if it includes commands for copying data from multiple schools.
If you do not save your batch file inside the Sloopy directory, modify the cd command to specify the Sloopy directory. For example:
When Sloopy does not run, the data for your schools is not updated in School Loop. So, it is very important to ensure that Sloopy is running on a nightly basis.
Create a task (e.g., Windows Task) that will run the batch file that is created in Editing the Batch File section, between 12 AM and 6 AM every day. Please follow the instructions below for creating the automated task in Windows 10:
- Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrator Tools > Task Scheduler
- From the Action menu, select Create Task.
- On the General tab, name the task “Sloopy” and check “Run whether user is logged on or not” and “Run with Highest Privileges”.
- On the Triggers tab, select New.
- From the Begin the task drop-down, select “On a Schedule”.
- Set the task to run “Daily”, then click OK.
- On the Actions tab, select New.
- Select the Action “Start a Program”
- Click Browse.
- Go to the sloopy.bat file in the Sloopy folder on your computer.
- Copy the path to the Sloopy folder in the “Start In” field, then click OK.
Warning! Do not use quotes and do not include sloopy.bat in the path.
- Click OK to create the task.