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Major Upgrade Easter Weekend: SAP Production & myOleMiss Unavailable, April 21-25, 2011

Posted on: February 18th, 2011 by Deetra Wiley

The SAP production system and the myOleMiss portal will be unavailable beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 due to a major upgrade. The system is scheduled to be unavailable until Monday, April 25 at 8 a.m. During this downtime, Office of Information Technology (IT) staff members will install the latest enhancement package from SAP, Enhancement Package 5 (EhP5) for SAP ERP 6.0.

Enhancement packages are SAP’s method of introducing new functionality into its software without requiring customers to perform a full-scale upgrade. To date, SAP has released four enhancement packages since the release of ERP 6.0 in 2006. Each enhancement package is cumulative, meaning that EhP5 contains all of the functionality delivered in EhP’s 1 through 4, as well as new functionality in EhP5. Another unique feature of SAP’s enhancement package strategy is the ability to activate only the new functionality that applies to an institution’s particular environment. This allows institutions to be selective in planning upgrades.

All new functionality for SAP’s Student Lifecycle Management application (SLcM) is delivered via enhancement packages and, typically, that is the driving force behind the decision to install them at the University. EhP5 is no exception, as SAP has introduced substantial enhancements to the Degree Audit process, namely a major revision of the user interface. The University elected to participate in SAP’s ramp-up program to take advantage of this new interface; by doing so, we will be one of the first SAP customers in the world to have this software.

Degree audit is an advising tool for viewing a student’s progress toward fulfillment of degree requirements. This application can be used by students, advisers, chairs, deans and other academic department staff. Degree audit does not replace the graduation application process; therefore, students still need to follow their respective college or school’s graduation requirements.

“The new Degree Audit system will be more user-friendly for students and will make it easier for academic administrators to apply and maintain substitutions,” notes Margaret Walden, Systems Analyst III, IT. Walden manages the Degree Audit project at the University and works with academic deans and chairs to facilitate the process and insure continued progress with this system. Walden adds, “One of the biggest enhancements with the new user interface is that it will allow the user to view details about requirements within the same window as the overall results of the audit. With the current interface, users have to scroll to the bottom of the audit to view details of the requirements or applicable courses.”

EhP5 has been installed onto our sandbox system for acceptance testing by functional testers, and the acceptance testing process is currently underway. During the acceptance testing process on the sandbox system, IT will be scheduling several training and testing sessions for the various Dean’s Offices, some of the ASB student representatives, and any other interested and authorized administrators.

In the future, Walden looks forward to the possibility of integrating GPA information and enhancing the notes functionality, which will allow advisors to communicate even more with their students and with other administrators.

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