Enhanced Legacy Fields

Moving from legacy fields to database extensions is complicated. There are fields we aren't allowed to move, fields that were already moved, and fields that will be created by core migration 1 and 2. Looking at a list of legacy custom fields doesn't really tell you which ones are available for migration. PDS Enhanced Legacy Fields is a customization that aims to help.

What's new
Added a way to separate vendor fields from district fields so that you can move them to a different part of the page, save from editing. Also added the field type to the extended field name so that you know what kind of field the legacy field was migrated to (obviously only works for fields that have already been migrated). Most importantly, added a way to count how many times a field has been used. More on this below.

What does it do?
It updates the 4 custom field pages (students, faculty, courses, sections) so that the fields are rearranged by status.

  • Fields that have already been migrated will be placed into collapsed regions based on the table name. So for example everyone's activity fields will be put into the Activities section since PowerSchool has already force migrated those.
  • Fields that have not been migrated but are reserved by PowerSchool such as core migration fields and state fields are put into a section separating them from the pack
  • The remaining fields are the ones eligible to be migrated and/or deleted. This region is open by default
  • Fields not eligible to be migrated have the links taken away as you should not be messing with them
  • Fields that have been migrated also list the new field name in case it has been updated in the DB Extension table
  • All fields show the description as an editable box so you can change the descriptions of any/all fields right from this page and submit at the bottom. This makes it easier to add meaningful descriptions such as where you want to move a field or what custom page the field exists on without needing to go into each field separately
  • Each region/table has a count at the top letting you know how many fields are in that section. If you haven't run the core migrations yet you can add up those counts and see how close you are to the 999 limit before deciding on running the migrations
  • The top of the page has a total count for that table letting you know how close to 999 you are (especially important if you haven't run core 1 or core 2 and they will be adding a lot of fields)
  • In the case of faculty the page looks to see if it was migrated to the staff table or the users table as the old teacher fields could be migrated into either one
  • The tables can by copied and pasted into things like excel or DDE to provide a list of fields you want to work with while planning your migration

How to count how many times a field is used
When making decisions on how to handle legacy fields it's good to have as much info as you can. One question that you should always ask is "was this field even used? If so how much?" We've created a way to check on that. There are actually 2 method, a single field method and an group method. The time of day and current usage should be considered when deciding which to do. Since looking up legacy fields via SQL is so expensive on your system we run only one at a time even if you use the group method. Also, any field that has never been counted (the count link was never clicked for that field) will show up in "tomato" so that it stands out and is easier to find. Once it's been counted even 1 time it'll instead match the rest of the row.
Single Field

  1. Find the field you want to count and click on the "Count" or "Recount" link at the end of the row.
  2. Wait until the page refreshes

Group of Fields

  1. Find the "Count/Recount All" link in the header area of a group of fields and click it
  2. Wait for the page to finish completely. You'll get a notification instead of the list until it's done.
  3. The more fields you are counting the longer it will take. It will cycle through them 1 by 1 to reduce the cost of doing a legacy field lookup on the DB and to reduce the effect on your end users.

How to separate vendor fields
Vendor fields shouldn't be touched by you if you want the vendors to be able to eventually migrate their fields to DB Extensions. We've added a way for you to separate out the vendor fields so you can keep them in their own location and out of the Fields Available to be Deleted or Migrated list. This is similar to the delete method of separating but a little more flexible.

  1. Find the field that are "controlled" by the vendor
  2. Edit the comment for that field to start with the word "Vendor". This is not case sensitive so you can write it VENDOR or vendor or even vEnDoR if you wanted.
  3. Unlike the delete option the vendor option allows you to add more info. You only need to start with the word "vendor". You can be more specific for yourself like "Vendor: Level Data" if you wish
  4. Submit to save your changes. The vendor fields will show up in a "VENDORFIELDS" section when the page refreshes

How to use mass delete
While the auto deleting is happening it is necessary to leave that page/tab alone. We recommend opening a new tab at the beginning so you can work there while the other tab continues to run. Or better yet go get coffee and let your computer work without interference on this one.

  1. Mark your fields for deletion. This is done by going through all your fields that are available to be deleted (i.e not reserved by PowerSchool and not already migrated) and clearing out the comment box and replacing it with the phrase "Delete Me". Nothing else can be in that box for this to work so if you put something like "Migrate then delete me" it'll ignore that field for now until you remove the "Migrate then " portion. "Delete me" is not case sensitive.
  2. Once you've marked the comment box for all the fields you don't want as "Delete Me" then save the page.
  3. A new collapsed region will now appear as long as 1 field is marked "Delete Me". It'll be called "ToBeDeleted". Expand this.
  4. Each row will have a "Quick Delete" link at the end. Clicking this will process the deletion of the field as if you were doing it by hand. It will not wait for responses like normal. By previously marking the comment box as "DELETE ME" the page assumes you've already checked this field out and by clicking the link you are telling it to go ahead and process. THIS CAN NOT BE UNDONE. DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE SURE! WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU DELETING FIELDS BY MISTAKE
  5. At the top of that section you'll also notice a "Auto Delete" option. Clicking this will process through all the fields in this section one by one. It's like you are clicking each "Quick Delete" link yourself, but in this case you don't have to keep doing it. Once again: THIS CAN NOT BE UNDONE. DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE SURE! WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU DELETING FIELDS BY MISTAKE

**Special Thanks to Corey Hilliard for pointing me in the right direction for the field exclusions.

How do I install a plugin?
Directions can be found here

Change History
V 1.6.0 - Released 2016-12-14

    V 1.5.0 - Released 2016-04-27

    • Added ability to count how many times the legacy field is used.
    • Added method to separate 3rd party vendor fields.
    • Added extended field type next to extended field name.

    V 1.2.0 - Released 2016-02-11

    • Added quick delete capability.

    V 1.1.0 - Released 2015-12-09

    • Added total count to the top of the page so you knew how close to 999 you were.

    V 1.0.0 - Released 2015-09-11

    • Initial Release


    Jason Treadwell

    PS Verions

    CPM Import Friendly: 


    Can I install and use before going to CPM? We still are using and beginning to move to cpm but not ready yet. I am also on 9.x

    I just installed and activated the plugin but I don't see any change in the custom fields pages. Its still just a list in alpha order of my custom Student fields.

    I needed to select the .zip file instead of the extracted file. This really helped me. Thanks

    I loaded this plugin at the Southeast User Group conference. I don't think it is functioning properly. I am not getting the Red Count like your had on your demonstration. Also, I don't have a place to type in DeleteMe. Let me know if I should reload it or if anyone else is having issues with the Plugin? I can send you a screen shot if you need one. We talked about it at the conference but we never to look at it. Thanks

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