Adding a new column to a Mint harvest

This document discusses how to perform a reasonably simple modification to the data load to add some additional data to the system. The example used is to add a biography field for each person so that the RIF-CS 'Party' record can send additional information to Research Data Australia.

Altering Your Data

So to start we need to make the reasonably minor change to the source data. In that case I'm altering the sample records in 'home/data/Parties_People_Sample.csv'. Take the first couple of data rows and heading for example:

"ID","Honorific","Given Name","Family Name","Title","Division","School","Email"
1234,"Mr","Albert","Zweistein","Associate Lecturer","Faculty of Science","Chemistry","[email protected]"
115534,"Dr","Bo","Millett","Lecturer","Faculty of Information Technology","Information Security","[email protected]"

We need to add a new heading for the column and some new data as well. The last row shows that it is perfectly valid to leave columns as empty data:

"ID","Honorific","Given Name","Family Name","Title","Division","School","Email","Bio"
1234,"Mr","Albert","Zweistein","Associate Lecturer","Faculty of Science","Chemistry","[email protected]","A sample bio" 115534,"Dr","Bo","Millett","Lecturer","Faculty of Information Technology","Information Security","[email protected]",""

NOTE: There is no space after the comma. The CSV Harvester that reads these files is sensitive to these spaces. If you had a space after the comma and before the opening quote it would not work.

Configuration Tweak

Now we need to alter the harvester configuration to ensure that the new column is harvested. Look for the file 'home/harvest/Parties_People.json'. We just need to add the new column name under 'includedFields':

    "harvester": {
        "type": "csv",
        "csv": {
            "fileLocation": "${fascinator.home}/data/Parties_People_Sample.csv",
            "idColumn": "ID",
            "recordIDPrefix": "",
            "headerRow": true,
            "delimiter": ",",
            "ignoredFields": [],
            "includedFields" : ["ID", "Honorific", "Given Name", "Family Name", "Division", "School", "Email", "Bio"]

And that's it... the harvester can now be executed again the new data will be added to the system.

Check Your Data

Once the harvester has completed execution you can check the contents of the 'metadata.json' payload to confirm the new field is visible:

    "recordIDPrefix": "",
    "data": {
        "ID": "1234",
        "Honorific": "Mr",
        "Given Name": "Albert",
        "Family Name": "Zweistein",
        "Division": "Faculty of Science",
        "School": "Chemistry",
        "Email": "[email protected]",
        "Bio": "A sample bio"
    "metadata": {
        "dc.identifier": ""

Use Your Data

If you'd like to index the additional data in Solr you'll need to modify the indexing rules file: 'home/harvest/'. There are many, many options here, but a basic example is below:

    def __metadata(self):
        jsonPayload = self.object.getPayload("metadata.json")
        json = self.utils.getJsonObject(
        metadata = json.getObject("metadata")
        self.utils.add(self.index, "dc_identifier", metadata.get("dc.identifier"))
        data = json.getObject("data")
        self.utils.add(self.index, "dc_title", "%s, %s" % (data.get("Family Name"), data.get("Given Name")))
        self.utils.add(self.index, "biography", data.get("Bio"))

As per the existing documentation on changing templates, the 'metadata.json' file is already available as the '$item' variable, so making use of the new data is reasonably trivial there as well. This is a sample modification to 'home/templates/groups/rif.vm'. (NOTE: I'm making up the XML node here, not sure what the official RIF-CS biography field would be).

If you follow the link at the top of that page to The Fascinator's core documentation for this transformer, you'll find some additional explanation of this:

    <registryObject group="The University of Newcastle, Australia">
        <key>$util.encodeXml($util.get($item, "metadata", "dc.identifier"))</key>
        <party type="person">
            <identifier type="uri">$util.encodeXml($util.get($item, "metadata", "dc.identifier"))</identifier>
            <name type="primary">
                <namePart type="family">$util.encodeXml($util.get($item, 'data', 'Family Name'))</namePart>
                <namePart type="given">$util.encodeXml($util.get($item, 'data', 'Given Name'))</namePart>
            #set ($value = $util.get($item, "data", "Bio"))
            #if ("$!value" != "")