Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

From Monday January 16 Faculty IT Supporters are on the move

  

📥  Computing Services, IT Literacy, Service Desk

From Monday 16 January, IT supporters will be moving to a new home. This means that they will no longer be based within the Faculties. This move ties in with the relocation of the remaining Computing Services staff to the refurbished 6 West building. Our IT training facilities are moving too.

The way you ask for help isn't changing and you can request IT support by logging a support ticket in the usual way.

This is the first time that many of our IT supporters and Service Desk staff have worked side by side. We believe that this move will provide greater efficiency of the IT support we provide to our customers and additionally the opportunity to design more innovative solutions to make your working life easier. A few of the benefits are:

  • Collaborative working - with all  our IT colleagues in one space
  • Shared knowledge - with such a wide range of varied expertise, we can share knowledge
  • Eliminating risks of single points of failure.

As supporters will no longer be based in the departments, we would  like to use this opportunity to encourage greater communication between you, your department and User Services and we welcome ideas to facilitate this.

 

 

A new home for the IT training suite from January 2017

  

📥  IT Literacy

A new year means a fresh start for the IT training rooms. From Monday 16 January 2017 the IT training rooms will be located in the newly refurbished 6 West building.

If you are registered for a training course taking place after this date you will need to come to the new IT training suite in 6 West. The move comes as the final Computing Services staff members relocate from the 2 South building.

The refurbishment will offer improved facilities for training courses such as a classroom style collaborative working space and flip top desks, to be used for either paper or computer based courses. View our wide range of training courses and book your place on the website.

 

Five star service?

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📥  Computing Services

From Monday 9 January you will be able to rate and comment on the service you have received from the IT support team when you request help, after your ticket has been closed.

It’s an opportunity for you to give us feedback and provides valuable insight into what we have done well and what we could improve on. The aim of this is to give you an improved service.

How to rate:

  1. find your IT help ticket that has been closed
  2. at the bottom of the ticket you will see a grey box with the words, 'how would you rate the handling of your request'
  3. click the number of stars (from 1, poor to 5, excellent)
  4. write any comments in the box and press the send feedback button

 

Research storage issues

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📥  Servers and Storage

Research storage users may be encountering issues with their data stored on X:\DepartmentName\ResearchProjects\Name 

Symptoms vary, but generally users will see an error message warning that they can't save to their storage area because it's full. Data will be read only during this time.

We are aware of this issue and are working to implement a solution as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions about this issue, please log a help ticket.

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

Sender: account@bath.ac.uk

 

phishingspoof

If you are concerned about any e-mails you receive you can forward it to phishing@bath.ac.uk 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.

References

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

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.

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📥  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 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.