Single Record Creation vs. Mass Creation

As brought up in the Application Workflow chapter, the final step of the application process is the creation of the student record on the basis of the application data. Only applicants in state admitted can be turned into students. This is possible at various application section levels:

  1. Officers can create student records from single applicant records. A link button appears on the display page of each admitted applicant which directly triggers the creation process:
  1. The ApplicantsContainerManageFormPage provides a form button which allows to create student records from above selected applicants (maximum of 10):


Only admitted applicants will be processed. Other selected applicants will be skipped without further notice.

  1. Last but not least, the portal managers do see a link button:


on the ApplicantsContainerPage and on the ApplicantsRootPage which creates student records from applicants inside a single applicants container or even portal-wide respectively. A warning message appears before the process is started. After start the portal is immediately switched into maintenance mode to ensure that nobody can enter the portal during record creation except for user ‘admin’. Maintenance mode is switched off as soon as the process has finished.


Batch creation of thousands or even tenthousands of student records is very computation intensive and takes quite a long time, even with powerful computers. Experience has shown that the portal must be switched to maintenance mode (or even disconnected from the Internet) in order to avoid database write conflict errors, which cannot be resolved if also students access the portal. Usually conflict errrors are not serious. Unresolved conflicts just lead to an error message and the database remains unchanged. Unfortunataly, student creation does not only alter the object database. As we will see below, also folders and files in the filesystem are added. These filesystem changes are not being reverted after unresolved conflicts, a fact which can cause serious problems.

The createStudent Method

The Applicant.createStudent method is called for each admitted applicant. The method performs a series of checks before it creates a new student record:

  1. Is the applicant really in the correct state?

  2. Has the registration number not been assigned to another student?

  3. Is a certificate (course_admitted) provided?

  4. Can all required student attributes be copied and set? The following attributes are copied:

    Applicant.applicant_student_mapping = [('firstname', 'firstname'), ('middlename', 'middlename'), ('lastname', 'lastname'), ('sex', 'sex'), ('date_of_birth', 'date_of_birth'), ('email', 'email'), ('phone', 'phone')]
  5. Can the application slip be created? Defective images may cause the adapter method to raise an exception (IOError).

If all these checks are passed, a new student record is created, a password is set, the transitions create and admit are fired and all student study course attributes are set. All this is done in one database transaction.

Furthermore, createStudent also produces an application slip pdf file, creates a new folder for the student in the filesystem and copies the pdf file together with the passport jpeg image file into the newly created folder. The copied application slip ensures, that the original application data do not get lost, when the application section is being purged.

As mentioned above, folder creation and file copying are not part of the transaction and are not being rolled back if the database transactions fails, for example due to write conflict errors. Therefore, batch student creation should only be performed if the portal is offline.