HESA Staff record 2013/14
Version 1.0 Produced 2013-11-20
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.
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.
|UKPRN validation at INSERT||INSERT|
|Schema checks||INSERT (included in Validation kit)|
|Business rules||INSERT (included in Validation kit)|
The check to ensure that Institution.UKPRN is valid, is now carried out at INSERT rather than COMMIT.
If an invalid UKPRN is submitted, only this error will be displayed. Institution.UKPRN must be the same as that for the submitting institution.
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 staff data, a new type of the staff validation kit is required.
The new validation kit will perform two different types of checks:
Checks that the XML is 'well formed' and that it conforms to the rules of the schema definition (the XSD files)
A set of rules to check the business logic of the submission.
Business rules can only be carried out when all structural errors (schema checks) have been resolved. The individual business rules are listed in the specification document for each element.
Business rules can be switched off when running data through the validation kit, both locally and at HESA. Schema checks can never be switched off.
A further stage of validation will continue to run as a part of the COMMIT transaction in the data collection system. COMMIT validation includes checks that require comparison with data across an entire return.
The COMMIT-stage validation checks are listed in a separate document.
Validation kit software
A schema-only validation kit is 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.
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 using the details below.
Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.