9.2 Communications: Generate an Online Preview

Purpose: Use this document as a reference to generate a communication online preview to see how the emails will be sent in ctcLink.

Audience: College staff responsible for running the Communication Generation process.

Communication Generation

Once the 3C Engine process has been run (which creates the communication record for the selected population), the Communication Generation process can be set up and run.

Alternatively, you can assign the communication to one of your college's test IDs that starts with XX, provided they have the necessary variable data for the administrative function. 

Each institution has been provided with three approved accounts:  XX###CS01, XX###CS02, XX###CS03 *(replace ### with your college's three-digit WA### code). Using unapproved accounts can severely impact several critical systems, including data, reporting, FTEs, and Financial Aid. If you are or become aware of any testing (fake, not real, duplicate) accounts, please bring it to our attention with a ticket. Pro Tip! Set up student login credentials for your approved Testing Accounts.

Communication Generation is used for extracting data, including recipient IDs for which data is to be extracted, the Letter Code, the Report Definition name, and the method for generating the email. With this in mind, users can enter an email address to see how emails will be sent. Ideally, this would be useful when testing updating a letter template and merging fields.

You must have at least one of these local college managed security roles:

  • ZC CC 3Cs User
  • ZD CC 3Cs User
  • ZZ CC 3Cs User

If you need assistance with the above security roles, please contact your local college supervisor or IT Admin to request role access.

Navigation:  NavBar > Navigator > Campus Community > Communications > Communication Generation

Run Control ID
  1. The Communication Generation runs control ID search page displays.
  2. Select the Add a New Value tab to create a new Run Control ID and select AddIt  is important to note that Run Control IDs cannot be deleted; therefore,  we encourage them to be reused. Because of this, including your institution code and a short process description in the Run Control ID  is recommended--e.g., WA220_COMMGEN. This only has to be done once.
The image highlights the adding a new value tab and Add button
  1. To use an existing Run Control ID, click on the Find an Existing Value tab and select Search.
  2. Existing Run Control ID(s) displays below.
  3. Click on the appropriate Run Control ID.
The image highlights reusing an existing Comm Gen Run Control ID
Selection Parameters
  1. The Selection Parameters tab displays.
  2. ID Selection:  Select the appropriate communication recipients.
    1. All IDs: All person and organization IDs system wide. (Rarely used)
    2. All Org IDs: This will select all organization IDs system-wide. (Rarely used)
    3. All Person IDs: All person and organization IDs system wide. (Common)
    4. One Org ID: Opens a box to input a single Organization ID. (Rarely used)
    5. One Person ID: Opens a box to input a single Person ID. (Common)
    6. Population Selection: Selects a Population using a query, equation engine, or external file load (Common)
      1. Equation Engine:(Rarely used).
        1. Equations are set up at the system level; contact a ctcLink system administrator for assistance.
        2. The lookup menu for the Equation Name displays available equation engine names.
      2. External File:(Common).
        1. Create a CSV file using Excel:
          1. Open an Excel Spreadsheet.
          2. Enter ctcLink student IDs with one ID per cell in a single column.
          3. Save the Excel file as a CSV.
    7. Select Upload File and browse for the file created in the previous steps.
    8. Select the Create File Mapping link to map the uploaded file.
      1. Enter the name of the mapping criteria in the File Mapping field.
      2. If the file has no Header Row, leave the checkbox and Header Row Number field blank.
  1. Select the Create File Mapping link to map the uploaded file.
    1. Enter the field number of the column containing the student IDs to allow the process to read the data only from that column.
  2. Select OK.
    1. PS Query: (Common)
      1. Look up the appropriate query name (only queries valid for the specific process are available).
      2. If Prompt values are required in the query, select the Edit Prompts link and input the required prompt values.
The image highlights the ID Selection
  1. Letter Code.
    1. Only letter codes for the Communication Generation process and currently assigned to the specified IDs are available in the Letter Code field. Letter Codes are set up at the system level; contact a ctcLink system administrator for assistance.
    2. Enter the Letter code and tab out of the field.
      • Based on the letter code selected, the Template selection will display the details for the communication to be generated.
  2. No Matching Template Found.
    1. If there is no template in the selected language, the selection made in this field determines how the system will handle this communication generation. For example, suppose the chosen language is German, and no template is written in German. In that case, the system will either not produce the communication (it will show as an error) or use the default template, which is likely in English, dependent upon the selection made.
  3. Communication Language Usage.
    1. Specified (default)
    2. Language: English (default)
  4. Communication Method Usage.
    1. Specified (default)
    2. Method: Activate the drop-down list and choose E-Mail
The image highlights the Letter Code Selection and Communication Method Usage of E-Mail.
Process Parameters
  1. Select the Process Parameters tab.
  2. The Process Parameters tab displays.
  3. Usage Tables
    1. Person Communication Usage:  These selections are connected to Name/Address Usage rules.
      1. Select the Address, Address Name, Salutation, and Extra Name usage for the communication sent.
      2. Joint Salutation Usage:  Not used
      3. Org Communication Usage:  Needed in cases where an organization ID could be included in the selection. Select based on Org and Name usage.  

Usage selection for address is connected to the method being sent. For example: If the communication method is E-mail, an email usage like Student Email should be selected from the drop-down menu.

  1. Communication Processing Dates:
    1. Communication Date Range Selection: The process will only pick up Communications assigned to ID during the date range specified.
    2. Update Communication Generation Date With: This selection updates the date the communication was assigned with the selection specified.
    3. Update Communication Completion Date With: This selection updates the date the communication was sent with the selection specified.
    4. Date Options Defined
      1. Communication Date: Select the date the communication was assigned in the system.
      2. System Date: The current date.
      3. User Supplied Date: Opens a box to enter a custom date.
Output Settings
  1. Sort Option: Default value Country, Postal.
  2. Select the Online Preview checkbox.
  3. The Email Address page appears. Enter an email address you can access. The online preview functionality extracts data only for the first 10 IDs when generating communications for multiple IDs.
  4. Missing Critical Data check box for the process to produce and/or complete the communication even if critical data is missing.
    1. For example, if the method is email, but the student is missing an email address, it will Produce the communication, which attaches as a PDF on the Communication Management page. This PDF can then be printed and mailed to the student.
  5. Select the Email Parameters tab.
Image highlights fields on the Process Parameters tab
Email Parameters
  1. The Email Parameters tab displays.
  2. They are only used when E-Mail is selected on the Selection Parameters tab.
    1. From:  Enter the email address of the person or entity sending the email. (e.g., [email protected]).
    2. Subject: Email topic.
    3. Reply to: If the student replies, this is the email address that will receive the response email.
    4. Sender: Enter the email address of the person or entity sending the email. (e.g., [email protected]).
    5. Bounce to: If the email is undeliverable, this is the email address that will receive the email.
    6. In the Importance and Sensitivity group boxes, select the appropriate options.
The image points out the From and Subject fields
Checklist Parameters
  1. The Checklist Parameters tab displays.
  2. They are only used when checklist items are extracted as a part of the communication being sent.
    1. Administrative Function: Select one or more checklist types by selecting the Add a New Row [+] icon.
    2. Checklist Context:
      1. Checklist Type: Enter the types of checklists from which the process should extract data for this letter or email.
      2. Tracking Group: Enter the tracking group codes with checklist item data that should be extracted for this letter or email.
      3. Checklist Code: Enter the specific checklist codes with checklist item data that should be extracted for this letter or email.
    3. Checklist Item Status: Select an appropriate value (e.g., Active). Multiple statuses can be selected by selecting the Add a New Row [+] icon.
  3. Select Run. Please refer to the Process Scheduling QRG for instructions.
The image highlights the Checklist Parameters tab and the Run button
Received Email(s)
  1. Once the process runs to Success and Posted, access the email entered in the Output Settings panel. Confirm if email(s) were received.
The image displays the 10 emails
The image displays a received email
  1. The communication will not be marked as Completed, and no information will be entered into the Communication Management component for the person or organization. The remaining emails will be marked as Complete, and the link to View Generated Communications will be available.
The image displays the Person Communication tab highlighting the Communication Outcome section


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