What is an Orphan error? (Internal broken links)

Modified on Tue, 07 Feb 2023 at 11:46 AM

An Orphan is an internal broken link. The internal link posted in the EventPilot Conference App Builder is attempting to reference an item that doesn't exist in the platform. This could be anything from a speaker, media item, or exhibitor.

Understanding how Content is linked

In the EventPilot Conference App Builder, data is added on different pages. Each page represents a data table. For example, you have one table that lists all the speakers: Speaker ID, First Name, Last Name, Organization, Media Items ... Let's say we have a speaker with the number 123 could be John Doe working at ABC Company. 

John is giving a presentation called The FutureSo in the agenda table there would be a session with the title The Future and a session ID 10122

John had submitted a full text abstract that is imported into the Conference App Builder. Since the abstract content itself is not a session nor a speaker, it is considered media and would be stored in the Media page (table). It should appear as a link from John Does speaker detail view and also on the session detail view for The Future

The abstract itself would have a Media ID, Title, Subtitle, Description (full text). Let's say the abstract has the media ID 556677 and the title "John's Predictions of the Future."

In order to display the link to the abstract in the speaker detail view and the session detail view, the Session The Future and the Speaker John Doe would both merely reference the Media ID 556677

How Orphans happen

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

Both, the Speaker John Doe and the Sessions The Future, are referring to the Media ID 556677. However, the Media table is empty because you didn't import the data yet. Now you have an Orphan - a broken internal link. You are referring to content that does not exist in the Conference App Builder. The Conference App Builder will display an orphan error in the Sessions and the Speakers page.

Example Orphans

Speaker Page 

  • you are linking to a Media item that does not exist

Sessions Page

  • you are linking to a Speaker that doesn't appear in the Speaker page
  • you are linking to a Media item that does not appear in the Media page
  • you are linking to an Exhibitor item that does not appear in the Exhibitor page
  • you are linking to a Parent session that doesn't appear in the Sessions page

Exhibitor Page

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

Resolving Orphans

Option 1: Correct your source data

Review your source data that is causing the broken internal link. Try the following check list: 

  1. Double check if the data exists in the Conference App Builder
    1. Using our example, click the Media menu in the Conference App Builder to open the Media page, click the search button and search for "John's Predictions of the Future"
      1. 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 because it may be missing a required field - for example, the abstract may miss the media type field and would be excluded from the import. Correct the data in the source until it imports.
      2. If the content is found, the referencing IDs are a mismatch. Your session may be pointing to 556677, but the actual Media ID may be 556677-1. Notice the -1 at the end of the Media ID - it makes the entire ID a completely different number and can therefore causes a broken link. 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.
        Ensure that your data in one table points to a matching ID in the other table.

Option 2: Clear Orphans

The Conference App Builder will give you the option to clear orphans. Clearing orphans does not repair your source data. It only means, you are deleting all the references to items that are missing in the Conference App Builder.

Using our example, imagine you are not yet ready to import abstracts yet but you want to publish your project to see John Doe and his Sessions The Future in the app. In order to publish, you can clear the orphan in the Sessions page and the Speakers page. Now, neither the session nor the speaker are referring anymore to 556677. You have deleted the ID in your data in the Conference App Builder.

By using the Clear Orphans button in the Conference App Builder, orphans are not corrected in your source data. In our example, every new data import from your source data will return the references in Sessions and Speakers for the media item 556677. You have to continue clearing manually after each data import until you correct/import the source data. 

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