Automating the Portal Account creation is an alternative to having Parents/Students creating their own portal accounts. Automated Account Creation can be used to mass create Parent/Student accounts or have them created/updated automatically as email addresses are entered in the Students' Contacts within Aeries, or when added to a Student. Using these automated methods avoids having to issue the required information including VPC codes to your Parents and Students. These methods also prevent Parents from registering as Students and vice versa since they are not creating their accounts directly. It also allows for more control over who has access to the portal, because there is no way to register for an account.
IMPORTANT: EVERY Student and Parent Contact MUST have a unique email address, otherwise accounts may be inadvertently tied together. Students, Siblings and Parents CANNOT share an email address.
|Define Email Text
|View Email Templates
Edit Email Templates
|Auto/Mass Create Accounts
|Admin Users only
Define Email Text ↑
Navigate to School Info > Portal Management > Define Email Text
Before continuing with auto or mass-create, default email templates need to be reviewed and populated. This is managed from the Define Email Text form in Aeries. This allows system administrators to define the email text that Aeries sends when the following types of events occur:
New Student Account – when an email address is placed into the Student Email STU.SEM field and that email address has not been previously assigned to a student account. Students are sent their username and password in this email.
Edit Student Account – when an email address is placed into the Student Email STU.SEM field and that email address already has an account that can view another student. This situation is rare and not necessarily recommended, but could be possible if multiple children share the same email address.
New Parent Account – when an email address is placed into the STU.PEM or CON.EM fields and that email address has not been previously assigned to a parent account. Parents are sent their username and password in this email.
Edit Parent Account – when an email address is placed into the STU.PEM or CON.EM fields and that email address already has an account that can view another student. This situation is common for parents with multiple students in the school or district.
These emails are set up for each school, so the text can be different for each school. The system sends these emails “from” the Portal Confirmation Email Address for each school. This field must be populated on the School Options page.
The Email Text is customizable with the built-in WYSIWYG editor, or with HTML markup. Placeholders to include data from some fields can be used. [NM] can be used to include the name of the parent/guardian. [STU.NM] can be used to include the name of the student. Other STU fields may also be used. A specialized [username] and [password] placeholder should be used to give the person the username of their account (email address) and the randomly generated password that gets created by the system.
Auto-Create Accounts ↑
Navigate to School Info > Portal Management > Auto/Mass Create Portal Accounts
Auto-Create Accounts is an option that when turned on automatically creates new accounts, and update existing portal accounts when email addresses are entered or changed within Aeries. Note: to use this feature, Define Email Text must be configured first.
This option can be turned on within Aeries Web under School Info | Portal Management | Auto/Mass Create Portal Accounts. The first section of this screen handles Auto-Create/Manage options. You have the option to auto-create Student accounts, Parent accounts, or both.
There is also an option NOT to Auto-Create/Manage accounts if the student record is inactive. If this option is selected, only active student records triggers the account creation or modification when email addresses are entered, changed, or removed. When a student status is changed from inactive to active, Aeries does not automatically create an account. Pre-enrolled students are considered inactive.
Note: These three options are specific to the currently logged in school. Each school can have different settings for these options.
Once these options have been configured, entering e-mail addresses within the system triggers the account creation or modification emails to parents or students as defined. This is supported with Student email addresses (STU.SEM), Contact email addresses (CON.EM), as well as Parent/Guardian email (STU.PEM). It is recommended to use Contact email addresses instead of the STU.PEM field so each Parent/Guardian has their own account.
As part of automated account creation, it may be useful to require Portal Users to change their password upon the first login after they enter their assigned password. To accomplish this, go to the Configure Password Requirements form, and select Parents and Students group and set the Force Users to Change Passwords Every option to any number. Tip: if you only want users to change their password once, and not require them to change it again, set the value to a high number such as 900 months in this example.
Note: Requiring users to change their password with the option above immediately requires any user to change their password if they have never done so. Technically this requires any account that has a NULL date in the Password Last Changed (PWA.PLC) field to change their password.
You may also list Banned Passwords. The most common passwords are already listed. Only add additional passwords you want to prohibit.
Also when creating accounts automatically, it may be useful to prevent Portal Users from creating their own accounts manually, even if they have the VPC code. On the District School Options page, there is an option to Disable Create New Account. With this option checked, the Create New Account link is completely hidden on the login page, and Parents and Students cannot create accounts manually.
There are also options for Disable Student Change Password and Disable Parent Change Password, as well as Disable Student Change Email Address and Disable Parent Change Email Address on the school options page. The password options may be useful if the District is assigning standardized passwords to student accounts and do not want them to be changed, or want them to match passwords stored in other systems. Doing such a process is outside the scope of this document, but can be accomplished with other tools such as SQL automation. Disabling students from changing their email address may be useful when automatically populating the student email address field in Aeries, or when using Google account creation. Using the standard automated account creation creates the accounts with a random password as described above.
Maintaining Email Addresses with Auto-create
When updating, adding, or removing email addresses within the system, accounts are automatically created, updated, and deleted as needed. The Portal User is emailed their account information as defined in Define Email Text section above; however, as emails are updated in the system the user is prompted on certain actions that are required and special emails are sent as necessary. It is recommended that email addresses be stored in the Contact record (CON.EM), and not in the parent email address field (STU.PEM).
When changing Contact or Parent email addresses, the system checks to see if there is an existing portal account. If there is, you are prompted to either Replace Old Account with the new email address, or Create a New Account leaving the old account intact.
After clicking Replace Old Account, an email is sent to the old and new email address notifying the parent that their account username has changed.
If the system detects that an email address is in use in other areas of the system, you are prompted to update them. Clicking Yes updates all other contact or student records with the new email address. Clicking No only updates the current record you are working with.
When attempting to delete a Contact or blank out an email address on a Contact, and it is tied to a portal account, you are prompted to either Remove or Leave Account. Clicking Remove removes the portal account completely. Clicking Leave Account leaves the account in place. Either option allows you to delete the contact record.
Clicking Remove triggers an email to the old email address, letting the parent know they no longer have access to the student.
If there is an existing account, and the Access to Portal field is changed to No, the following message displays, giving the user the option to either Remove the account or Leave Account intact.
Note: It is generally not recommended to have active portal accounts where the portal field is set to No. Emails are not sent to contacts where AP = N. In this case, clicking Leave Account may be the appropriate choice.
Mass Create Accounts ↑
Navigate to School Info > Portal Management > Auto/Mass Create Portal Accounts
Portal accounts can be mass created on demand by an Admin user. This feature can be used instead of or in conjunction with the auto-create or manual create options explained previously.
This allows creating accounts for any parent or student who doesn’t already have one. For the Mass Create process, pre-enrolled students are included if the option to “Include Pre-Enrolled Students” is left checked.
Student accounts are created based on the email address in STU.SEM. Parent accounts are created for STU.PEM or CON.EM if Allow access to portal (CON.AP) is set to Yes (Y), and who don’t already have an account. CON.EM is the recommended location to store parent email addresses.
If the account already exists but does not have access to the student, then access to the student is granted, and the account receives the Edit Parent Account or Edit Student Account notification email. This is common in situations where a parent’s email address is listed in the Contacts for multiple students.
Note: The options must be set appropriately each time the Mass Create Accounts process is run. These options are separate from the Auto-Create/Manage options discussed earlier. This function also applies only to the currently logged in school, however, this function is also available to run at the District level for any or all schools.
NOTE: Apostrophe's in an email address are currently not supported and will cause the 'Mass Create' process to skip the student. Temporarily removing the apostrophe from the email will allow the portal account to be created.
Import from Aeries Online Enrollment ↑
When importing/adding a student from Aeries Online Enrollment, Parent accounts are automatically created at the time of the import if Auto/Mass Create is turned on and configured. Student accounts are not automatically created.
Google Authentication ↑
If Google is set up as an Identity Provider for Student accounts, entering Student email addresses automatically creates accounts or mass creates accounts as necessary based on STU.SEM as previously mentioned. If the domain of the email matches what is specified in Identity Providers, it does not include a password in the email and instead, read “Your current Google account's password”.
Google Integration ↑
If Google integration is configured so that Aeries is automatically creating and managing Google accounts for Students, then the Google student sync process honors each school’s option to Auto-Create Student Portal accounts and automatically creates new Student Portal accounts matching the Google account as needed.