Scouting Forums

Sample IA2 TXT File (for import)

I’ve started a new girls troop and we’re going to use IA2 because it’s what our District & Council want us to use. I’m coding our own website (Coldfusion, mySQL, Bootstrap… nothing special) and need to see what a properly formatted text file looks like so I can setup an export from our application. Is there a sample developer TXT file or can someone provide a sample for me to use as reference, so the export from our application is what the IA2 import wants?

Thanks in advance!

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Why are you building your own website to track advancement when Scoutbook already does it? IA2 uses the same database as Scoutbook. It is just a subset of Scoutbook features with a new interface.

Or just directly access IA2 from its link.

In my experience with Scoutbook in numerous units, it’s overly convoluted and a complete chore to use. I’ve yet to find an advancement chair that has liked using it or was even able to just sit down and figure it out without my own intervention in some additional training. Getting everyone on the same page with the phone app is an even bigger mess. Shared spreadsheets in the cloud have been far more efficient and preferred. It doesn’t matter whether I like it or not anyway, District and Council want me using IA2, so IA2 it shall be. And really I have no problems with IA2; it’s certainly more simple-minded, less clicky and straight forward than Scoutbook. And we’d rather not have to enter advancement twice, ergo the export/import which is a nice, simple, handy feature in IA2 we’d like to use.

I’m not sure what red flags are going up that signal to everyone I’m crazy because I want to create a solution that works more efficiently for us, but I’m scratching my head as to why I’m having to explain and justify myself at all. This should be… “that’s awesome! There’s a sample file here or I’ve attached one. Keep us posted on how it goes”, but whatever. There are already a number of options for advancement tracking out there (Scoutmode is probably the closest to what we’re looking for), I don’t think having our own is going to hurt anyone.

IA2 has the ability to import a TXT file. A sample would be very helpful. Thank you.


So just when did anyone call you crazy… do not get that. The import file is one generated by third party tracking applications like troopmaster. I could certainly try to find one of my old TM files for the concept. I suspect that as it was a csv at the time things may be different.

@Stephen_Hornak That would be very helpful. And thank you!

We know of no council that is mandating the use of Internet Advancement 2.0. We do know some councils are mandating the use of electronic reporting which would be either Scoutbook or Internet Advancement 2.0. Which council are you in?

As far as I know, the BSA is only providing the TXT format to 3rd party tool vendors, possibly with some licensing agreement.

Maybe I misspoke as I didn’t mean to imply IA2 was “mandated” or required. IA2 was highly suggested over any other available tool. The other option suggested was to fill out the PDF provided by national and email or manually take in the advancement, which TBH was the route we were going to take with our spreadsheets in the cloud.

Greater St. Louis

That is unfortunate, particularly since this is such a prominent feature marketed to the end-user with spelled out documentation in the FAQs, but I know my troop will survive if no such thing is available. I thought it might be worth a shot, particularly since it was a CSV file before, I couldn’t imagine it being more than just XML data now, if that.

Thank you for your time.

The advancement report generated by Scoutbook is accepted by all Councils and Scout Shops.

Thats really too bad if that is the case. It seems a simple thing to provide a template so others can have an option for what works best for them. We do use an outside program and hopefully they have contacted BSA to get the “secret” template file so we can keep using them as we have now for years.

As an IT professional as soon as I saw the Import File button I immediately went looking for the template to see how the import needed to be formatted.

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I suspect part of the reason the BSA does not publish the format is they do not want to have to field support calls from anyone other than the vendors with whom the format was released. By restricting the format to the 3rd party vendors, if there is a validation error in the file, the user can be told to contact the tool vendor that produced the file. If the format is released, the BSA would be expected to provide support and help users that try to produce their own txt file fix their problems.

I understand the sales pitch. I’m quite confident we’re not on the same page…

As a web developer of 30+ years, it’s easy to just reject an improper file. No harm, no foul, no support needed, the file was rejected… *yawn. I am most certainly not going to be presumptuous on why or why not the BSA does anything they do, particularly in regards to technology.

If you (or anyone else) should happen to find a sample or developer file somewhere, I would be very grateful if you could point me in that direction. I’ll continue on my hunt for now. Again, thank you for your time.

Except when that file is rejected, many people (maybe not you) will send an e-mail to the BSA asking why the file was rejected and expect someone to explain the reason.

Even if we had it, the SUAC is not permitted to provide this data.

To be honest the original scoutnet advancement files were realm of the original tracking applications. The legacy IA like the new version requires authentication in order to upload the file so it has never been a blind slam a file. The older providers prided themselves as being scoutnet certified. I an not certain how best to work your desire. I get that you want your own solution but indeed you have to work in the window given you.

Trendecide, Read your post and seems you are having to do extra stuff because someone is not interested in learning scoutbook. When I first started using it, I was not sure about it, but just like anything else, one learns it as they use it. It has questions you can ask on how do i do this and get responses. It is even easier to use now than ever. I know my response is not an answer to your post. I just wanted to say they are not giving it a fair chance.

Has anyone here found anything specific to how a third party contacts BSA to get access to the Upload parameters? I am working with the vendor of the system we use and cannot find anywhere how to get the information from BSA.

@AaronStorey what system is that?

We have been using

pretty sure staff has talked to them but I will check

Thanks, from speaking with them it did not seem as though they had any information about dealing with IA 2.0.