What is an orphan error? (Internal broken links)

Modified on Tue, 18 Jul 2023 at 10:18 AM


An orphan is an internal broken link. This means one item in the EventPilot Conference App Builder  (CAB) is attempting to reference (link to) another item, but the other item doesn't exist in the CAB. The item may be a speaker, media item, session, or exhibitor. 

Understanding How Content is Linked

In the EventPilot Conference App Builder, different types of data are added on different pages. Each page represents a data table. For example, you have one table that lists all your speakers. The page corresponding to this table is Agenda > Speakers. 

  1. Let's say we have a speaker with the ID 123, John Doe working at ABC Company. This data would be in the speaker table.

  2. John is giving a presentation called The FutureSo in the agenda table (Agenda > Sessions) there would be a session with the title The Future and a session ID 10122For John to appear on this session on the EventPilot platform, the session must have an internal link to John's speaker record.

  3. John had also submitted a full text abstract. Let's say the abstract has the media ID 556677 and the title "John's Predictions of the Future." Abstracts are part of the media table (Media > Media Data). We want the abstract to be linked to John Doe's speaker record and his session The Future. So, the items must have internal links.

How Orphans Happen

Imagine that you import your Speakers and Sessions data, but you do not import the Media data. The Conference App Builder now has all the information about the speaker John Doe and the session called The FutureBut you didn't import the abstract John's Predictions of the Future.

Both the speaker John Doe and the session The Future are referring to the Media ID 556677. Since the CAB does not have the media item with ID 556677, this is a broken link. 

The Conference App Builder will display an orphan error in the Sessions and the Speakers page:

  1. This error, seen on the Speakers page, means that the speaker with ID 123 (who we know is John Doe) is looking for a media item that is not in the CAB. If we did not know this was John Doe, we could click this ID to see more information on the item.

  2. This error, seen on the Sessions page, means that the session with ID 10122 (which we know is The Future) is looking for a media item that is not in the CAB. You could click this ID for more information, as well.

Example Orphans

Speaker Page 

  • you are linking to a Media item that does not appear in the Media data

Sessions Page

  • you are linking to a Speaker that does not appear in the Speaker data
  • you are linking to a Media item that does not appear in the Media data
  • you are linking to an Exhibitor item that does not appear in the Exhibitor data
  • you are linking to a Parent Session that does not appear in the Sessions data

Exhibitor Page

  • you are linking to a Media item that does not appear in the Media data

Resolving Orphans

Option 1: Correct your source data

Try the following check list: 

  1. Reimport all data to ensure you have the latest changes from your source, and to ensure no imports were mistakenly skipped
  2. Double check if the data exists in the Conference App Builder
    1. Using our example: You would click the Media > Media Data menu in the Conference App Builder to open the Media page, click the search button and search for "John's Predictions of the Future"
  3. If the content is not found, the data is not in the Conference App Builder. There could be two reasons: 
    1. Data is missing in the source
      Ensure the content is actually in the data source you are trying to import. If not, add it in the source first then reimport the data source. Ensure you complete all required fields.
    2. Source Data has errors and is excluded from import
      Check if the import automatically excluded an item. It may be missing a required field - for example, the abstract may be missing the media type field and would be excluded from the import. Correct the data in the source and re-import.
  4. If the content is found, the referencing IDs likely do not match. Click the record to double-check its ID. Ensure that your data in one table points to a matching ID in the other table.
    1. Think of IDs like URLs - there is a difference between typing www.google.com and www.google-stuff.com in a browser. Only one of these two pages exist on a server and can be loaded.
    2. Imagine that we had imported the media data, but had an ID mismatch. This screenshot shows what the abstract might look like. A blue box shows where to find the ID of the record (in this case, 556677). The name of the data source (in this case, GGL Media) is also shown. We would need to double-check that the ID had been correctly entered in the agenda/session data, and in the speaker data.

Option 2: Clear Orphans

The Conference App Builder will give you the option to clear orphans. Clearing orphans does not repair your source data. You are temporarily deleting all the references to items that are missing in the Conference App Builder. You will most likely still need to resolve the errors in your source data.

Using our original example, imagine you are not yet ready to import abstracts yet but you want to publish your project to see John Doe and his session The Future in the app. In order to publish, you can clear the orphans on the Sessions page and the Speakers page. Now, neither the session nor the speaker are referring to 556677 anymore. You have deleted these references in the CAB. A new import would return the references. You will have to continue clearing manually after each data import until you correct/import the source data.