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The Southern DNA

Inside Blog

Understanding the System Changes or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love info.sbts.edu

old technology equipment

We recently made a major shift in some of our systems and applications that we have used for years here at SBTS. With these changes, we retired the site Ecampus.sbts.edu, as well as the Windows desktop application, QuickRef. Ecampus.sbts.edu was a web platform that was primarily used by students to calculate their charges for the semester, print off certain student forms, and update certain information in their student profile. This web platform was a product of Jenzabar, our SIS/ERP system vendor. QuickRef was a custom-built Windows desktop application that offices on campus used to find contact info for employees and departments at SBTS.

Why the sudden change?

While many of these changes took effect over two days, these changes had actually been building over the past year. With every annual upgrade to our main Jenzabar database, there was always some work required to keep Ecampus.sbts.edu functioning. We knew that, eventually, an upgrade would break Ecampus.sbts.edu. For that reason, in the summer of 2014, we began working on https://info.sbts.edu, a platform built on modern web frameworks, by our developers here in Campus Technology, with the goal that this platform could eventually replace Ecampus.sbts.edu in the event that Ecampus.sbts.edu didn’t survive an upgrade.

This year, our main Jenzabar database upgrade moved us from version 4.7.x to version 6.0.x As we began previewing the changes in this upgrade earlier this year, we realized that this upgrade would introduce some major changes to the database that would break several of our custom-built web applications. Given these changes and the increased likelihood that Ecampus.sbts.edu would not survive the upgrade, we accelerated our migration strategy to move functionality from Ecampus.sbts.edu to https://info.sbts.edu.

scientists working

We have an incredible team of developers, so as we started working on https://info.sbts.edu, we also wanted this platform to provide functionality that was not previously provided through Ecampus.sbts.edu or through any other system on campus. For instance, one of the first apps that we launched within https://info.sbts.edu was online access to employee tools. Many students and employees may not realize, but depending on if you’re a student, an employee, or even which department you work in, you may have access to different apps based on your role. To date, we have built out specific custom apps and reporting for Advancement, Admissions, HR, Accounting, along with general apps for all employees and students. Much of this data is actually built on top of the same data that is accessible inside of Jenzabar.

One application that was on our migration list was QuickRef. QuickRef was a Windows desktop application that contained contact details for departments and employees. Since it was only available for Windows though, unless you were on-campus, sitting at a Windows workstation, you could not access this information. It was not available over the web, and there was no Mac version. Due to these factors, we knew that we wanted to migrate QuickRef, so we decided to add it to the list of changes along with the other upgrades. Yeah…we’re sort of crazy like that.

Real quick, what is this my.sbts.edu of which you speak?

We never stop innovating. We never settle for ordinary. And we were never completely satisfied with the name “info.sbts.edu”. We humbly admit that naming things is not our strong suit (you should see the variable names in our code). So we have launched https://my.sbts.edu as the successor to https://info.sbts.edu, built using the same codebase, but with an updated design and some upgraded frameworks.

What does this mean for me?

You can now reset your password, and keep your password in sync across systems.

The next time that you need to reset your password, you can now do it online through https://my.sbts.edu. This even includes your Active Directory (Windows) password for Mac users who use the SBTS file share. Just log in through https://my.sbts.edu and click on the Options link under your profile picture. Then click on Profile.

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On this profile page, you can verify and update your contact information is correct, you can update your emergency contact information, and you can mark your address and email as private if you do not want them to appear in the printed SBTS directory that goes out during the Fall semester.

At the bottom of your profile page, you’ll see where you can update your password. You implicitly have to change your password for my.sbts.edu, which also affects info.sbts.edu, Moodle, apps.sbts.edu, and WordPress (if you’re a WordPress user).

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But if you leave all 3 checkboxes marked, you can update your SBTS email password (for students and employees) and your Active Directory/Windows password (for employees only), setting them all to the same password.

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Anything you did in Ecampus, you will now do in info.sbts.edu

The same student information and forms that were hosted in Ecampus can now be found in https://info.sbts.edu. On the left sidebar, choose “Student Tools”, and you’ll see several apps available to you.

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For information regarding your charges and account balance, choose the “Account Information” app. In the main window, you’ll see a tabbed interface.

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When you first click on the tab labeled “My Account”, you’ll notice that the app immediately begins to calculate your current balance. You’ll see a countdown showing an estimated time before your balance is calculated. The actual time required to calculate your balance is typically much shorter.

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If you have no balance, this will show here above your payment history.

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If you do have a balance, you will be given the option to make a payment online.

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Lastly, we replaced QuickRef with a web-based SBTS Directory

You can login using the same credentials at https://my.sbts.edu/directory to access the SBTS directory.

That really wasn’t that bad. Thanks for the explanation!

You’re welcome. Hopefully this has helped. We will continue to develop these platforms so that we can provide more apps and better functionality to improve your experience here at SBTS. If you have any questions, you can always contact Campus Technology at 502.897.4006 or campustechnology@sbts.edu.

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5 Simple Habits to Prevent Data Disasters

We all spend copious amounts of time filling out spreadsheets, preparing for courses, writing papers, and working with a variety of data every day. With so much of our lives spent creating, modifying, and reviewing digital content, it is not surprising that we are devastated when we lose our work. Here are 5 habits you can start right now to minimize the impact of a hard drive that’s crashed or a destructive virus.

Read more…

Campus Technology launches new resources

New Southern Dashboard

Campus Technology is excited to announce new websites aimed at getting information to your fingertips easily. One such website is info.sbts.edu, an online dashboard that allows you to search the Campus Directory, check your student account balance, print your pay stub, and reset a lost password. To login, simply use your Moodle username and password (same one as eCampus and apps.sbts.edu). Feel free to check out info.sbts.edu and calendar.sbts.edu and let us know what you think.

SBTS to host Job and Bank Fair, Aug. 28

Southern Seminary invites you to attend the annual Job and Bank Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, August 28, in Heritage Hall. This is an opportunity for students and their spouses to find part-time and full-time jobs and to learn about local banks. Banks will offer incentives to open a local account and learn more about other services.

Past participants include Verizon Wireless, Summit Energy, Louisville Metro Police, FedEx, UPS, JCPS, Highlands Latin School, Chick-fil-A, Valvoline, Charter Communications, Stock Yards Bank and Walgreens. Door prizes will also be awarded at the event.

Schreiner offers ‘pastoral’ explanation of how ‘Scripture fits together’ in new book

A new biblical theology book is a “pastoral” effort to help Christians understand “how all of Scripture fits together,” said author Thomas R. Schreiner, a New Testament scholar at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In a recent interview with Towers, Southern Seminary’s news magazine, Schreiner said he wrote The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments “fundamentally for people who love the Scriptures and want to know the Scriptures, but they also want to have an understanding of how all of Scripture fits together.”

Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and author of commentaries on the books of Romans and Galatians, said his motive when writing was pastoral rather than scholarly.

“I think there’s a pastoral slant to my book. I’m not trying to advance a new or novel scholarly theory, really. I am trying to discover how the Scriptures fit together,” Schreiner said.

The thesis of The King in His Beauty ­– the title of which comes from Isaiah 33:17– is that God reclaims his kingship on earth among his people through one man.

“The story of the Bible is that God, as Lord and creator, is king, and he created us to rule the world for him,” he said. “Human beings rejected God’s rule and sinned. God is king, but he doesn’t treat human beings as he did fallen angels. He promises in Genesis 3:15 that victory will be won (the world will be reclaimed) through the offspring of the woman who crushes the serpent.”

Schreiner, who is also a pastor at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., noted practical ways he thinks people can use the book, with private reading as the first option. Because of what he sees as weaknesses in many Bible survey-type courses, The King in His Beautycould also be an alternative text book for an Old or New Testament survey course to help students better connect the big story across the testaments.

“Sometimes there’s not as much focus on how the message coheres with the rest of the Bible,” he said. “We focus so much on the parts that we don’t see the whole. One of the contributions of my book is that I look at the Scriptures in terms of a book’s historical setting, but I also look at a book in terms of its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

“The problem with many Old Testament biblical theologies is that they only look at it in terms of what it meant within the Old Testament itself, but I think we should do both: we should look at Leviticus in light of its historical setting and in terms of the fulfillment we have in Jesus Christ,” he said.

In The King in His Beauty, Schreiner emphasizes the importance of studying the timeline found in Scripture of God’s redemptive work on earth through Jesus Christ.

“In biblical theology we focus on redemptive history and what each biblical author has to say, whether we are reading Leviticus, Lamentations, or Luke,” Schreiner said.

Schreiner connects Old Testament books like Leviticus to Christ, teaching and writing about Scripture as one cohesive story about the gospel.

He said that writing about the Old Testament for The King in His Beauty challenged him, specifically the wisdom literature and how it fits into the redemptive storyline of the Bible. He tied wisdom literature like Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes to the fear of the Lord.

“In Proverbs how we live under God’s reign is tied to the particulars, to the details of everyday life. We don’t only have a cosmic plan; God relates to us as individuals as we await the consummation,” he said.

In the interview, Schreiner also discussed the importance of biblical theology in the Christian life. He said that people want to know the big picture, including why they exist, what life is about and what it means to be human. As Christians, this means seeking answers in Scripture about God’s work and understanding life in relation to what God is doing in the world, and biblical theology gives people the answers.

The full interview with Schreiner about The King in His Beauty is available hereThe King in His Beauty is available for purchase in all major Christian bookstores and on Amazon.com

-RuthAnne Irvin