A Quick Script to Help Update Your Current Student Photos in Destiny from Aeries

At my district we use Aeries, our Student Information System from Eagle Software.  We also use Destiny, our district-wide library system from Follett Software.  Both are great products and, better yet, both are housed on our Microsoft SQL Servers.  This allows us another level of integration since we can get to the raw database for various needs.

One way we take advantage of this is how we load our student photos into Destiny.  Destiny takes a zip file, which contains jpeg files of the students as well as a idlink.txt file, which is an index file that ties the jpeg to the student’s record.

I’m subscribed to the Follett Talk list serve, which is an email list that several Follett Destiny administrators are a part of and every day there are great discussions and help from various users around the country.

When I mentioned that we had a script to help out when updating student photos in Destiny, several were interested .  I’ve been trying to write up a formal blog post on this with great screenshots and directions but, alas, I haven’t had the time.

Anyway, one of our neighboring libraries politely called me about it this morning and I thought I should just put it out there as is for anyone who can use it.

The SQL script file and a quick documentation document are attached to this post.  Get them below.

What it does is grab all the photos (from the school sites you designate) from the server you store your Aeries photos on (this used to be our ABI server but is now our Aeries.Net server), generates the idlink.txt file and puts them all in a zip file for you.  Since it pulls the photos straight from the information in Aeries and also generates the idlink.txt automatically I always get the latest photos (such as from a picture makeup day or newly enrolled students) and also any corrections that may have been put into Aeries.

The script runs in less than a minute for our entire district and then I have a nice easy zip file to upload to Destiny.

There is a little documentation attached but whomever will do this procedure at your site will need some foundational knowledge of Aeries and SQL.  This is not for a librarian at a site that does not have knowledge/access to the Aeries server.

This does not write to any data in the Aeries database so there is no harm in running it.  If there is an error in the script (for instance, you forgot to add your proper school sites and server name) it will simply give you an error but will not cause any changes to data, so don’t worry. 

I hope this helps!

P.S. For those of you who also use BlueBear I had two extra lines of code on the script.  We use BlueBear as our ASB accounting system for our high schools.  It takes photos in the same way but needs them unzipped, all just stored in a single folder.  The last line in my script would unzip the results from above into a folder per school site for our high schools.  This way I would just run the Student Photo Update process in BlueBear and point it at the folder for the correct site.

If you have BlueBear here are the two extra lines I use:
print ‘ECHO Extracting photos for Blue Bear…’
select distinct ‘”c:Program Files7-Zip7z.exe” e c:pics’ + cast(stu.sc as varchar) + ‘Pics.zip -oc:pics’ + cast(stu.sc as varchar) + ‘  >nul 2>&1’
from stu
join #pics on (stu.sc = #pics.sc and stu.bm = #pics.shortname)
where del = ” and tg = ” and bm <> ”
and stu.sc in (310, 320, 410, 430)

Destiny Student Photo Import Quick Documentation

Student Photo Queries.sql

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Matt Penner

3 thoughts on “A Quick Script to Help Update Your Current Student Photos in Destiny from Aeries

  1. This is interesting. I ended up creating a separate database that keeps track of all picture files in my DFS share. VBScripts update that database when new files are added, copy the files to the ABI locations and Destiny server, then they update the Destiny “Patron” table directly with the new filenames.

  2. Hey James,

    That’s a great idea, and removes the manual update part. I love it! 🙂

    I dabble a lot in the Destiny database but I try and stick to the UI process when I haven’t gotten comfortable enough with what my db changes would impact since we are sidestepping any business rules.

    If you could share the fields in the Patron (or SitePatron?) table that you update I’d appreciate it. I’d like to implement this as well!

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