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Initial Teacher Training In-Year Record 2009/10

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Initial Teacher Training In-Year Record 2009/10

Validation


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Version 1.1 Produced 2009-08-21

HESA has developed extensive quality assurance procedures and runs a range of validation checks against all submissions. The nature of some of these checks changes with the move to XML. This document describes the validation checks and the stages at which they take place.

Validation checkStage
Schema checksINSERT (included in Validation kit)
Business rulesINSERT (included in Validation kit)

XML files must be encoded with UTF-8 if they contain characters beyond the standard ASCII character set. Institutions are advised to specify the encoding used in their XML files (i.e. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>) and to ensure that their files are actually saved with that encoding. Files with an explicit encoding declaration other than UTF-8 will be rejected. Files with undeclared encoding will be assumed to be UTF-8. If encoding is not specified or does not match the actual file encoding, institutions are warned that there is a risk that data contained in the files may be changed on submission to HESA.

INSERT-Stage validation

Validation kit checks

HESA provide downloadable validation kits to assist institutions in the preparation of their data. The validation kits provide some basic structural and 'sense' checks prior to data submission with the aim of reducing the number of errors encountered when submitting data to the live system. With the change in structure for the student data, a new type of the student validation kit is required.

The new validation kit will perform two different types of checks:

Schema checks

Checks that the XML is 'well formed' and that it conforms to the rules of the schema definition (the XSD files)

Examples:

  • Every element in the file must have the correct opening and closing tags
  • Elements must be correctly nested
  • Elements must contain the correct type of data (strings, dates, valid entries etc.)
  • Elements must be submitted in the sequence defined in the XSD

Business rules

A set of rules to check the business logic of the submission.

Examples:

  • Consistency between pairs or groups of elements
  • Elements that are compulsory under certain circumstances
  • Range checks

Business rules can only be carried out when all structural errors have been resolved. The individual business rules are listed in the specification document for each element.

Validation kit software

The validation kit is now available for download as an MSI installation file. To install the software you simply need to run the MSI file on a Windows PC. If you do not have access to a Windows PC, please contact Institutional Liaison ([email protected]) for further instructions.

When the validation program is opened it automatically checks the HESA web server for the latest set of rules and updates the package if appropriate. Business rules for C09053 will follow.

A quick start guide is included in the application.

The kit utilises the Microsoft .NET framework. This is likely to already be installed on many computers as it is required by much of Microsoft's own software. You can download the .Net framework from Microsoft's website.

If you have any queries with regard to the validation kit then please contact Institutional Liaison ([email protected]).

Contact Liaison by email or on 01242 211144.