Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Christmas break 2016


📥  Computing Services

Our holiday dates are from 5pm on Thursday 22 December 2016 until 9am on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

The IT Service Desk, Audio Visual team & Campus Computer Shop (Library - Level 2) will reopen on Tuesday 3 January 2017 at 9am.

Please log queries using IT Help during the holiday period and we will deal with them as soon as possible on our return.

Out of Hours procedure for serious IT faults

During the holiday the out of hours procedure applies for reporting serious IT faults.

Please note all times and dates are weather dependant in line with the University's adverse weather conditions guidance notes.

We wish you a Merry Christmas Break!

26966 Campus Snow Pictures. Client: Nic Delves-Broughton IDPS


Phishing attempt: Please ignore and delete


📥  Computing Services, Security

We are getting reports of a phishing e-mail that has beeen sent to students and staff. If you receive this e-mail please be aware that it is fake. Please ignore and delete it.

Example of the phishing e-mail is below:

Subject: Pending Message




If you are concerned about any e-mails you receive you can forward it to and the team will advise.


Upgrade to Business Objects Web Intelligence (Webi) 4.2


📥  Business Objects

We moved from Business Objects Xi (Boxi) to Web Intelligence 4.1 (Webi) in the summer of 2016, it was a paradigm shift to an  online-only ecosphere. This was the first step in enhancing the Business Objects reporting service. Version 4.2 is the next upgrade to the service and will add more features to Webi, whilst making a tightly aligned service. Please read on to find out more about the new features.

Aligning the service into one HTML interface

Version 4.1 uses either an HTML interface aimed at refreshing, viewing and exporting a report, or a Java applet that offers further functionality for creating and maintaining reports. In Webi 4.2 the HTML interface has been enhanced to the point where you can stop using the Java applet. This will mean that you are able to use any modern web browser to access the service.

Our getting started guide and training manual have been updated and are based around the enhanced html interface.  The html interface will be further enhanced in future Support Packages.

Cascading Input Controls

In 4.2, it is possible to gather input controls into a group. For example, in a group consisting of Dept and Course input controls, when a specific Dept is selected, only the Courses relevant to the Dept in question will be displayed in the Courses input control list.

Geo Maps

Geomaps are a new type of visualisations that represent data geographically, and allow users to match specific parts of your dataset with precise locations around the world to visualize data on a map.


There is a new variable type in 4.2 called a reference.  A reference is a variable which returns the value of a specified cell in the document.  A reference can be created by right-clicking a cell in Design mode and selecting Assign Reference.  Once defined, the reference is displayed in the Available Objects side panel under the References folder and can be used in a formula to define a new variable or in conditional formatting.

Shared Elements

In order to ease the report creation, the new release offers the ability to save report elements (e.g. a table or a chart) in the repository as what is called Shared Elements. This is done under Linking in the Report Elements menu. With shared elements, expert designers can save some report elements that can be re-used by less experienced users. When a shared element is inserted in the document, a link between this shared element and the document is created. Thanks to this link, when a document is opened, the user can check whether a new version of the shared element has been published and, if needed, resynchronize the content of the shared element into the document.  Computing Services will need to determine how much use can be made of this feature.  Users can save Shared Elements to their Favourites folder.


Comments can be added to a report, block (tables or charts) or any table cells.  When a comment is created, an icon is displayed on the cell or block to show that a comment has been added.  The comments can be viewed in the side panel or by hovering the mouse over the icon on commented the item.

The way ahead

We are investing into the Webi service. A Wiki is being developing to share all of the knowledge from campus users on how to best use Webi, from the basics right through to the advanced features of Webi. Short courses are being developed focusing on specific areas of Webi, these short courses can be combined to create a course tailored to suit your needs with Webi. Regular blog posts will highlight new tutorials and current news on the service.


Better, easier committees, boards and meetings - and cheaper than using paper.

  , , , , , , , ,

📥  Business Support Systems, Computing Services

If there's one thing that a university likes, it's a committee, a board, and meetings; groups of people getting together to make decisions, often about documents of some sort.  Managing those meetings can be troublesome, either using paper or emailing documents, because of cost, the labour needed to manage and produce prints or update emailed copies and the lack of a searchable archive of the committee's business.

Business Support Systems' response to this is BSS Boards, an electronic Board/Committee management application in use within the University of Bath, which has been developed in conjunction with the Head of Secretariat, Angela Pater.  It has already been rolled out to nearly 140 decision-making boards and committees across the University, but it can also be used by anyone who wants to manage a board or committee, or indeed any group of decision makers who need to keep records of their meetings and/or review documents (even team meetings).

Board Administrators can:

  • Set up Meetings, automatically generating templates for agenda and minutes
  • Upload documents for review/consideration, separating normal documents from reserved (confidential) documents
  • Manage the board constitution - who can see/use the board and who has access to standard and/or reserved business documents
  • Store, manage and search all contents of the document (inside the documents as well as the title and other meta data), creating a committee record.
  • Create and manage minutes documents during the meeting (or not, as preferred).
  • Convert documents to PDF and merge multiple documents into a single PDF inside BSS Boards. This can be easier for board members to digest than lots of separate documents.
  • Use (or turn off) automatic notifications to members
  • Create custom notifications for members

Contact the team to discuss how BSS Boards could help you to manage your meetings.

Until next time ...


Reduced IT Support Friday 16 December 2016 midday - 5pm

📥  reduced support

IT support on campus will be reduced for the afternoon, Friday 16 December 2016 and the following services will close at midday:

  • Help Desk in the Library
  • Campus Computer Shop in the Library

Contact IT Help if you have any IT problems and we will respond as soon as we can.  Normal service will resume, Monday 19 December 2016 at 9am.

If you have an emergency IT issue, please call 01225 383434 / internal 3434.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


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

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. unavailable 8 December to 11 December

📥  Computing Services

The Minitab website will be unavailable from midnight on Thursday 8 December until 9pm on Sunday 11 December. This is due to Minitab carrying out maintenance on their website. The following sections of the website will be unavailable during this time:

• Online Technical Support
• Licensing Downloads including the Minitab License Manager and the Minitab License Borrowing Tool
• Trial downloads of Minitab Products
• Online documentation
• Minitab customer accounts
• Quality Trainer

Many thanks for your understanding.


Managed Print Service - reduction in print job retention time to 25 hours


📥  Computing Services

As we’re coming into a very busy hand in period we are making some changes to the time a print job is retained within the system and when you select the Print and Keep option on a printer.

We are reducing the print job retention time to 25 hours. This is a precautionary measure to reduce the slowness in the service we have experienced during the last two weeks.

The reduction in retention time will come into effect Tuesday 6 December and will be in effect until further notice.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  Read our guide to alternative printing options.

Check the status of managed print on the IT status page

Report a problem with our managed print service




IT services unavailable during weekend of 17 and 18 December 2016


📥  Computing Services, Servers and Storage

Please log out of your PC, Friday 16 December 2016, before leaving for the weekend.  Many IT services will be unavailable from 7am Saturday 17 December  2016.  Email, Wi-Fi and access to the internet will be available if you access them from your personal device.  On Sunday 18 December please check the status of different services at   

Services affected by the maintenance include

• Access to active directory PCs connected to the University network (staff computers, public access computers in the Library and in general teaching areas)
• 'H' drive storage and your roaming profile (used when you log in)
• Linux desktops
• Sunrays
• Remote desktop services (UniDesk, UniApps, AdminDesk, AdminApps and UniDeskLR)
• (personal web space)
• Scanning on managed print devices
• Archibus Web Central (ARCHIBUS facilities management software)
• Business Objects
• CRIS (Current Research Information System)
• LMF (Learning Materials Filestore)
• Pure
• RT
• SAMIS (client software)
• Sympa email lists
• Wiki
• Web – read only web root available for upgrade
• X drive – departmental and some research storage

Available services include:

Email, Wi-Fi and access to the internet if you use your own device.

Work Completion

We will tweet from @UniofBathIT once work has been completed. You can check the status of different services at

Many thanks for your patience while we upgrade our NetApps service and carry out this important work to increase our storage capacity.


Managed Print Service is down, 30 November



The managed print service is currently not working. To find out about the alternatives you can use please visit our Help Page.

There are also USB printers in the Library and situated around the university.

We are working to get the problem solved as soon as possible and thank you for your patience.

Managed Print