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Using IOM to link Sphere (formerly Kintera) and Raiser's Edge

I am in the beginning stages of IOM installation and am having a difficult time extracting a usable datafile from Sphere (Kintera). Specifically, I need a mapping document detailing where the information lives in Sphere compared to where is will ilve in Raiser's Edge, once it's imported. To date, Sphere has not ben able to assist me in that most of the fields I'd like to map are hidden or embedded in the software so that I can not view the data housed there.

Is anyone else using IOM to link Sphere and Raiser's Edge?

Do you not have the sphere connector? I do not use Sphere - I use Convio - but there is a connector which creates a file for me that I can import. I do believe there is a Sphere Connector.
Hi Melissa,

Thanks SO much for your response. Currently, we are using the RE Connector, but IOM will replace that, as the connector has limited flexibility when it come to importing.
I do not know how the Sphere Connector works. With the Convio connector - it simply creates importable files. So for us IOM does not replace the connector, it is used in conjunction.

Hi Corliss,

I do use IOM very successfully to import our Sphere gifts. I will outline the file for you tomorrow. I'm doing budget today but will make time tomorrow.



Thank you SO much, Nora!!
I am in a similar situation as Corliss - my org has Raiser's Edge and we've been using IOM since this past summer, but now we're also beginning to use Sphere (for FAF and eMarketing purposes, as well as using the general/standard registration, donation, and contact forms). We're running into a bunch of growing pains of how to make all of this work together. Raiser's Edge will be our primary database, and Sphere is primarily to provide us with the online event platform and email capabilities. We're in the proces of getting our Sphere Connector up and running, but I'm trying to determine if I should even spend the time with the set-up and installation of the Connector when we already have IOM and I hear it is more flexible with importing than the Connector.

If anyone has a datafile from Sphere to use in the extraction process, can anyone send that to me? Also, tips about how you go about pulling contact and gift data out of Sphere to use for IOM would be helpful. Do you end up having to run a bunch of reports, export into excel, and mesh data together, or am I over-complicating things?
I cannot speak for the Sphere Connector but if it is anything like the Convio Luminate Online Connector then you may want to go ahead. I use BOTH the connector AND IOM. The connector sends the data FROM RE to CLO for me AND prepares the proper data files from CLO for me that need to be imported. So without the connector there would still be parts and pieces that do not get done.


Thanks for sharing, Melissa.
We are using IOM to bring Sphere gifts into RE. It is very difficult to export data from Sphere directly, especially on a daily basis. We paid Blackbaud to develop the process for us, since the connector was not usable for us (there's no event linking, records are processed similar to BBNC, it's difficult to process daily imports with more than a hundred gifts). Blackbaud gave us the tables, and they also wrote many custom SQL commands to make the import work. It took us a while, but now Sphere places a daily file in our FTP folder. They will push you to generate two files, but we insisted on using just one file, where each payment is a line in the file. We also have $0 registrations, those are also one per row. We go through two steps - step 1 creates the constituent records, and participants records (linked to events). That step puts out a file with COnst. Import IDs and Participant Import IDs, which we then put through step 2 of the import, which imports gifts into a batch, and links them to the constituent record AND to the participant. Thus, we can make changes to the batch if we want to, and we can process hundreds and hundreds of records in a few hours. Unless you have someone who can wrangle the Sphere API, and can develop an app that uses the API to generate the Sphere export, we highly recommend having Blackbaud develop the export for you. This also ensures that when Blackbaud changes SPhere code in the future, they are on the hook for re-writing the export (just make sure that's in your agreement).
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