Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Topic: SAMIS

SAMIS unavailable, 20 and 21 December 2016

📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

SAMIS will be unavailable, Tuesday and Wednesday 20 and 21 December 2016.  This is a significant upgrade and, as recommended by our software supplier, we have set aside two days to complete the work.

We need time to back-up the databases and complete underlying work on the servers and databases before the upgrades commence.  For this reason, we would ask users to stop using SAMIS by 6pm on Monday, 19 December.

Unavailable applications

The following applications will be unavailable for the duration of the upgrade:

  • University user account creation & some other computing services user account tools
  • Application Tracker
  • Online Applications
  • SAMIS bookings (PG Skills, University Open Days, UCAS Open Days)
  • Applicant username and password generation
  • Registration
  • SAMIS on the Web (Student and Staff: includes Unit Evaluation and Coursework Coversheet printing and scanning)
  • Student Lookup
  • Access to Student Information Desk (SID)
  • SAMIS Desktop Client (Staff only)
  • Business Objects (SAMIS-related reports only)
  • Learning Materials Filestore (LMF)

SAMIS client users will be informed by email when SAMIS is available again or you can follow the news on twitter @UniofBathIT.  Check the status of SAMIS at status.bath.ac.uk.

Connections to SAMIS

Data to / from SAMIS and other systems will not update during the upgrade. If you are responsible for any technical interfaces to/from SAMIS, please ensure that your connections to the database will not be attempting to run during this period. Systems that provide data to or get data from SAMIS include:

  • UCAS
  • Moodle
  • HUB
  • CareerHub
  • Room Service
  • Agresso
  • PURE
  • Student Loan Company
  • Students' Union (MSL)
  • Exam Timetable

Thank you for your patience while this necessary upgrade takes place.

 

Record breaking results from Matt and the team....

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📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

It's that time of year again when the A-Level results are in and hopeful applicants find out if they've got a place to study at the University of Bath.

Within the Computing Services department , it falls to the SAMIS team and Systems Developer, Matt Dales to collect all the results and send them to the Admissions team so the all important decisions can be made. Matt was keen to point out that it's very much a departmental effort and involves many teams from Computing Services. He explained that, 'collecting all the data, does take time and this year it took around 2 hours to get everything together'.

This year, Matt collated the results in record time, beating our record from last year and many other universities to get results to the Admissions team so they could make decisions quickly and not keep prospective students waiting.

Although Matt was  reluctant to take any praise for this, Matt's dedication appears to have paid off as the timings for this year's result collection are shown below:

Last year’s times:

CF/CI start time: 19:24    end time: 20:54

This year’s times:

CF/CI start time: 19:07    end time: 20:25

 

Good luck to everyone today, we really hope you get the results you were wishing for.

 

 

Congratulations Steve

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📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

Congratulations to SAMIS Developer, Steve Wyatt who has graduated with a first class degree in BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing. We recently caught up with Steve to discuss his achievements.

What qualification did you study?

I studied for a BSc Honours degree in Applied Computing.

When did you start it?

The BSc course of study required a foundation degree which I had to obtain first, so the study started in 2009. After receiving the foundation degree I was able to ‘top-up’ to a BSc (Hons) degree which, took a further 2 years of part-time study.

Did Computing Services help?

Yes I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them. I needed to attend the lectures for 1  afternoon per week over 34 weeks of each academic year. I was allowed the time to do this and I was assisted with the course fees and materials. As well as this I was able to tap in the knowledge of my colleagues who, whether they know it or not helped me get the degree. The support from the management and my colleagues was  incredible and I have a debt of gratitude to everyone.

What parts of the course did you find enjoyable and useful for your role?

I would estimate that 90% the Applied Computing modules linked directly my current role. Covered in depth:

  • Database development and management
  • Managing financial resources
  • Project management
  • Unified Modelling Languages (use-cases and the like)
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Threaded programming and concurrency
  • Advanced web
  • Managing services and customers

I really enjoyed most if not all the subjects covered but it did spark a keen academic interest in cyber-warfare and cyber-crime. These were lectured and researched in depth and whenever I now develop a front facing service my tin foil hat goes on to think how it will be exploited or attacked.

 Anything else you like to add?

It was hard work both for myself, my family and my colleagues. Sometimes having to achieve the impossible with time-management, missing Christmas and Easter breaks and the odd 2am Java programming session was soul destroying.  However it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and it has changed the course of my life for the better. I am now professionally and academically a completely different person to the man who first attended the course back in 2009. I will never forget all the people who helped me achieve this goal.

 

 2015 BSc Honours Applied Computing part-time cohort. From left to right: Wayne Locke, Gail Tucker and Steven Wyatt.


2015 BSc Honours Applied Computing part-time cohort. From left to right: Wayne Locke, Gail Tucker and Steven Wyatt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Departmental Open Days managed using SAMIS

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📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

Need

Departmental Open Days are primarily aimed at students who have received an offer from the University and wish to take a closer look at the Department before finalising their UCAS choices.  With over 14,500 conditional offers being made for undergraduate courses in the 2015 cycle so far, making sure that all these applicants receive an invitation to a Departmental Open Day, and then keeping track of numbers attending each day, can be a significant challenge.  To make the process easier for applicants and departmental administrators alike, the SAMIS team have developed an automated system to manage this.

Solution

Departmental administrators enter details into SAMIS for all the Departmental Open Days they will be running for the current cycle.  Then can then invite specific applicants to specific dates, show a range of dates that all applicants can attend, and control the number of places available on each day.  The applicants receive an email with details of the dates available and a task which they can access via Application Tracker.  The task allows the applicant to select a day they would like to attend, indicate how many guests they would like to bring, their method of travel to the university and any special requirements.  On completing the task, the applicant receives an email confirming their choices.

Each time an applicant completes the Departmental Open Day Invitation task, data in SAMIS is updated.  This allows the departmental administrators to know exactly how many people will be attending each open day.  When the target number of applicants for each open day is reached, the date is automatically made unavailable for further selection.

By recording information such as 'method of travel' in the invitation task, departmental administrators can tailor content specifically to those attending; for example, emailing parking permits to those travelling by car.

Due to the popularity of open days at the University of Bath, the SAMIS team have also collaborated with Marketing and Communications; the Departmental Open Day Invitation system is currently being used to distribute information to invitees, such as details of a free Park & Ride bus service.

 

Praise for the SAMIS team

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📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

Changes to the student ID web form have only come into effect in the past couple of weeks but already the SAMIS team have received the positive feedback that it’s making user’s working lives easier. The feedback came from Dr Merilee Hurn, a senior lecturer in Department of Mathematical Sciences. Merilee said:

I wanted to say thank you to whoever has done something to View My Students to make it so much faster (what used to take about 7 minutes - I have over 1000 tutees now takes a minute!)

It is very encouraging to the SAMIS team to know that their updates and changes are having a positive impact directly on the user. We are very pleased to receive this feedback and hope that any future upgrades will also have a positive impact.