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The Southern DNA

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

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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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