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Import Advancement from 3rd party confusion

Our unit has switched to using TroopWebHost for advancement tracking among other things. We are trying to go through the process of uploading our file in order to update Council/BSA. The instructions to do so are confusing.

  1. The only import option for advancement I can find in Scoutbook is the Roster Import. There is a link to go through before uploading the files. This takes me to here: Scoutbook CSV Data Import (SB) | Scoutbook Knowledge Base
  2. That page references generic CSV templates (which I can’t find anywhere so that I can verify the upload is formatted correctly). It also says to please use Internet Advancement to upload both initially as well as monthly. This links to: Getting Started With Internet Advancement Archives | Scoutbook Knowledge Base
  3. This has several possible links to follow. There is one titled “Upload File & Print Report for Scout Shop in Internet Advancement (IA)”. Following this link gets me here: Upload File & Print Report for Scout Shop in Internet Advancement (IA) | Scoutbook Knowledge Base
  4. On this page, the following note is listed:

NOTE: If you are using Scoutbook for your unit’s advancement, you do not need to use Internet Advancement. Scoutbook users should not use Internet Advancement

This leads me to several questions that don’t really get answered anywhere.

  1. Are we a Scoutbook or Internet Advancement user?
  2. Is there a page where we can view the CSV templates so that I can verify they are correct before uploading them?
  3. How often can we upload advancement? Are we limited to once a month?
  4. When we upload advancement, does it overwrite anything in Scoutbook/IA? For example, if a merit badge has been marked completed in SB/IA because Scoutbook was how the MBC wanted to work with the scout, when we upload the next advancement report, will the upload or what is in SB/IA take priority? (In theory they will be the same date, but human error does happen too).

@JosephThayne to answer a few of your questions

  1. Your Roster is already in Scoutbook/Internet Advancement of those officially registered.
  2. The first place to start is to have a Key 3 login to Scoutbook.scouting.org and make a registered user an admin (they will already be an admin as they are key 3). - How do I give other adults Admin rights? | Scoutbook Knowledge Base
  3. TroopWebHost has an Export feature for advancements - I would suggest Exporting EVERYTHING and uploading it to Internet Advancement - TroopWebHost User Guide: Export Advancement To Internet Advancement 2.0
    Upload File & Print Report for Scout Shop in Internet Advancement (IA) | Scoutbook Knowledge Base

Scoutbook is like TWH is that every advancement is granular (down to the requirement level) - Internet Advancement is just the completion date and nothing else.

Uploads are not limited

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@DonovanMcNeil I appreciate the response.

  1. I understand that the roster is already in SB/IA. There are several forum posts that reference that as the only way to upload advancement data into SB. I am not trying to upload the roster, only advancement.
  2. I am Key 3. Specifically, the Committee Chair. I am also the one with the most SB experience in the Troop.
  3. I have looked at the export from TWH and have been trying to determine A: What the required format is and B: How to upload it into the BSA system (since there are apparently two and neither are very clear on what I am supposed to do).

Still not clear on the following:

  1. Are we a Scoutbook or Internet Advancement user? The process for uploading advancement appears to be different in each case.
  2. Is there a page where we can view the CSV templates so that I can verify they are correct before uploading them?
  3. When we upload advancement, does it overwrite anything in Scoutbook/IA? For example, if a merit badge has been marked completed in SB/IA because Scoutbook was how the MBC wanted to work with the scout, when we upload the next advancement report, will the upload or what is in SB/IA take priority? (In theory they will be the same date, but human error does happen too).

@JosephThayne the TWH link I sent is for IA - that is where I would start to get all your advancements in
2. Do not open TXT file as you could corrupt it
3. It does not overwrite dates

@DonovanMcNeil The TWH link you sent was actually where I started but doesn’t say anything about importing into the BSA system, only exporting from TWH.

I am a programmer, so will definitely be opening the TXT file every time to verify the data. I would like to know the format so that if/when there are issues, I can identify them and either correct the problem or give useful information to TWH to help them resolve the issue more quickly.

Just to make sure I understand the last point correctly, if a date already exists in SB/IA, that date will not get overwritten during an import?

There appear to be issues where opening the file in question prior to import has generated issues. It is likely related to the programs used to open the file modifying it in some manner upon opening. If you are going to review it manually, it’s likely a reasonable precaution to review a copy of the file, but leave the original unopened so that it can be uploaded without any “invisible” formatting issues being disturbed (e.g CR-LF converted to CR or vice versa).

Since you are using TWH to track your progress, DO NOT upload anything to Scoutbook, only use the upload process in Internet Advancement.

The BSA does not make the format of the TXT file public. It is up to the vendor to make sure the file conforms to the BSA’s requirements.

Thank you. It would be nice if the instructions would actually get updated to reflect any of that. None of it is clear and the links to each other are not helpful.

I actually find this disturbing to be honest. But I also know there is nothing I can do about it.

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I appreciate the comment. I know that none of the programs I use magically change anything. If they did, it would make my life very difficult. On the other hand, I am not familiar with any programs that alter a file when opening it. I would guess it is more likely there is an autosave feature that saves the “updated” file. But most people wouldn’t notice a difference.

Again, I appreciate the heads up.

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Fair point. That was in fact what I was thinking of, but I fumbled the delivery. :^) I’m an emacs guy myself, so I’m not used to text editors that do things I didn’t tell them to do.

Vim here, so pretty much the same. No worries on the delivery. Your description is what most people would see, so applies better generally.

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I am a long time user of Troopmaster. After entering all information for advancements you will need to create the upload file for Internet Advancement. Follow these steps: 1. Go to Reports, Advancements, Court of Honor. 2. Generate the Court of Honor Report (I print 1 copy so I can double-check information transferred to Internet Advancement). 3. Click on Send to Council. A file will be created and saved to your computer. It will say Import with a bunch on numbers. This in the file you will need to upload your advancements. 4. Login to your my.scouting account. From there you can access Internet Advancement. You must be either a Key 3 or Key 3 Delegate to upload the file as it goes thru Scoutbook. Once there you will see a place where you can upload your file. Hope this helps. Reach out to me if you need any other help with Troopmaster.

Scoutbook and Internet Advancement are two separate user interfaces to the same database. I believe internet advancement is being used to upload data because it had that feature and scoutbook did not.

note; my understanding is that if your unit is using scoutbook, internet advancement should only be used for certain functions like uploading 3rd party created data files…

I have always used the method I described to upload only advancements to Internet Advancement. When Scoutbook and Internet Advancement became interlocked the only way I could upload my advancements was to be a Key3 Delegate. When the file is uploaded the screen you see is the Scoutbook Roster and it even states Scoutbook.

If a unit uses Scoutbook as their recordkeeping software, the advancement information is there and you only have to run the Advancement Report in order to purchase Advancement Items. You must still be a Key3, Key 3 Delegate, or now Advancement Chairman in order to do this. These must also be reassigned when your charter is renew.

Our unit chose to continue the use of Troopmaster software because of the many additional features for tracking all kinds of things. It also automatically updates participation time, service hours, conservation hours, camping nights, and troop leadership requirements. Our leaders find it very easy to use after trying to use Scoutbook at the Cub Scout level. Our parents also like it because they can easily see their scouts progress.

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I also use a third party Scouting system and upload to IA2.0. Perhaps it is best to be specific by URL when talking about the systems, advancements.scouting.org is IA2.0 and for users of third party Scouting Software, scoutbook.scouting.org is “Scoutbook” and for units only using BSA online tools to run their unit.

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