Administrative Computing Committee

June 6, 2000 3:30pm

Members Present David Heise, Chair; Gary Dickerson, Secretary; Derek Bradfield, Emilio Gracia-Marenko, Ron Herr, Lisa Jardine, Marlene Jorgensen, Sharyl Turon, Ed Wines
Members Absent Dan Cress, Elaine Hoilette, Pat Mutch, Sue Schwab, Steve Sowder
Prayer David Heise
Minutes of Previous Meeting The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved.
[*]Connect Time Limits on AU Modems David Heise reported that after a study had been done it was determined that a handful of PPP users were connecting for more than 10 hours per day on a consistent basis.  The Academic Computer Committee has recommended a policy that limits users to no more than 6 hours per day, with provisions for exceptions for academic or work-related reasons to be made for predetermined periods of time.  It was VOTED to support the recommendation of the Academic Computer Committee.  It also recommended that a concerted effort be made to research and recommend a networking solution for the student apartments.
Web for Employees Gary Dickerson reported that by reallocating some funds in the ITS budget, a contract had been signed to purchase Web for Employees from SCT before the end of the fiscal year.  The contract had an "out clause" with a date of June 9th if the committee decided they did not want to purchase the software.  It was VOTED to proceed with the purchase of Web for Employees.
CBORD System Upgrade Gary Dickerson reported that contract to upgrade to the current CBORD system was been signed.  Currently the hardware is located in the cafeteria office but the new system will reside in the computer room at ITS.  The new system allows programmatic query as well as write and update, and this will help in auto activating ID cards.  Also the system has expanded capabilities and will help to integrate disparate systems that use the ID card for authentication.  An implementation date has not yet been determined with CBORD.  The actual update probably will not take place until the Fall.
Time and Attendance Gary Dickerson reported that the contract had been signed with Time Systems for 30 Kronos time clocks.  One time clock has been received for testing purposes.  The final purchase price exceeded the amount of capital that had been allocated but funds were transferred from other areas to cover the addition cost.  Administrative Systems will soon start writing the software for capturing the data from the time clocks.  Once that software is written the time clocks can start to be deployed.  The new web interface for supervisors that is being developed will run with both the old and the new clocks, which will allow the new clocks to be deployed incrementally.
Oracle 8i Gary Dickerson reported that Administrative Systems will be upgrading the Oracle database to Oracle 8i this summer.  We are currently on version 7.3.4.  During the upgrade process, the database will be moved to a new database server and disk array.  A disk array has been purchased that will allow for a high level of data access dependability.  The Oracle database will be moved off Redwood onto a dedicated database server.  This should help with some of the speed problems we experience during heavy use periods, such as registration.  The server and disk array have arrived and hopefully will be installed by the latter part of June.  A separate issue is Oracle database licensing.  We occasionally reach the limit of our licenses, which is 250 concurrent users.  We are monitoring this closely, and waiting on Oracle and SCT to finalize new licensing policies.
Banner 4.x Gary Dickerson reported that it has not been determined at this point when or if we will upgrade to Banner 4.x.  So far there is nothing in Banner 4.x compelling us to upgrade.  Banner 4.x does not support character mode forms and for many of the long-time users this is still a preferred way of using Banner.  Some retraining would be required since most of the function keys have different meanings between character mode and GUI.  If there is a compelling reason that we need to upgrade, Administrative Systems is not opposed to it.  Banner 5.x is supposed to be out February of 2001.  We may want to wait and go directly to Banner 5.x.  Some advantages of going to Banner 4.x are: name searches are no longer case sensitive and there is an option to do budgeting through spreadsheets with Web for Employees.
Workflow David Heise and Gary Dickerson reported that for workflow to be effective at least two things need to happen.  First, the business processes of the university need to be analyzed to optimize them before they are integrated into workflow.  Second, a good imaging system that integrates into Banner is needed.  SCT has an imaging system that we have looked at, and we determined it wasn't robust enough.  This seems to be the same consideration of other school because SCT is stopping development of their imaging system and partnering with a third party.  We do not expect to see much out of this third party for 6 to 12 months.  However, we can and should begin the analysis of our current processes without waiting until the imaging system is available.
Data Warehousing David Heise reported that pressures continue to grow for reporting and inquiry/analysis capabilities that could best be provided with a data warehouse.  This has been a project on and off for more than two years but has never really gotten off the ground.  David is going to reactivate the Data Warehouse Steering Committee.  One of the obstacles that was faced was the high cost of a Extraction/Transformation/Loading (ETL) tool and the high cost of an Oracle database.  We are now looking at Microsoft's SQL Server 7.0 database.  It is considerably less expensive and includes a ETL tool.  We are currently working on getting specifications and pricing a data warehouse server.  This should allow us to start on developing a data warehouse for AU.
Staffing Gary Dickerson reported that he has still not be able to fill the current programmer/analyst position that has been open since last December.  He does have a possible prospect but the position has to be reposted before this option can be pursued.  Gary also reported that Scott Yuan has turned in his resignation.  He is getting married and returning to Taiwan.  His last day will be June 23.
NT server policies This subject will be taken up at the next meeting.
Next Meeting August 1st, 2000 at 3:30 p.m.


Chair: David Heise

Secretary: Gary Dickerson