Tag Archives: go

Find a GO link ina”GO”priate? Do something about it!

We are happy to announce a new feature to the GO shortcut application, the ability to flag go links as inappropriate. While our community of users is certainly of the highest caliber, the GO application is susceptible to the occasional prank or other abuse. If you stumble upon a link that may not meet our community standards please use our new “flag as inappropriate” feature to make an admin aware of the link.

This feature is available from the info link featured next to each link in the Gotionary. Just look for this icon info icon.

On the info page you’ll have access to a “flag as inappropriate” button:

flag as inappropriate button

If you’d like to flag a link as inappropriate, simply click the button. You’ll see the following message:

flagged as inappropriate message

As per the message, one of our capable admins will review the link at a later time and take any necessary action.

We hope that this new feature helps make the GO application even more relevant and useful to the community. Your participation in managing GO links helps keep our online community healthy and active. Visit go here: http://go.middlebury.edu/

More GO Info

Since we moved GO to its new home last week I’ve been busy fixing a number of bugs that have come up, as well as made a few improvements that I hope will be helpful.

Today’s big improvement is that the GOtionary now provides info pages for every shortcut.

The info page will tell you who created and who administers the shortcut so that you know who to contact to when a link is broken. As well, the info page will now serve as the landing page when trying to access a broken GO shortcut, rather than being presented with a blank screen.

Head to the GOtionary to check it out.

GO is moving to a new server

Over the past few years the GO shortcut and redirection application has become central to the college’s web infrastructure, allowing easy-to-remember permalinks that can be updated as resources are moved.

Tomorrow morning we will be migrating GO from a multi-use Windows server to its own RedHat server. The primary impetus for this move is to resolve a PHP-on-Windows memory leak bug that has taken out GO for several minutes every few months. In addition to this bug fix, migrating GO to its new environment allows a few additional improvements at this time:

  • GO will be on its own server, more isolated from interference from other applications
  • GO will now fail-over to a secondary database should its primary database become unavailable.
  • Improved user-information caching will dramatically speed up the self-service admin screens
  • Redirects will now be re-written internally, requiring one less round-trip to the GO application for every redirect.
  • go/shortcut should now work more reliably on the MIIS network without having to type the full go.miis.edu/shortcut URL in the address bar.

    Note: the full http://go.middlebury.edu/shortcut or http://go.miis.edu/shortcut URL should still be used when putting links in websites or email.

  • The GOtionary will now live under go.middlebury.edu and go.miis.edu, allowing go.miis.edu to have its own logo.

We do not anticipate that this migration process will result in any downtime as the new GO server and the old GO server will both continue to operate at the same time, against the same database. After we switch the DNS records for go.middlebury.edu and go.miis.edu users will slowly move over to the new GO server as their computers look up the address of go.middlebury.edu again. For on-campus users this may happen quickly, while for off-campus users it may take several weeks. After the vast majority of users are accessing the new GO server (likely two weeks or so), we will turn off the old GO server.

Update 1 – June 23rd

We successfully migrated go.middlebury.edu to the new host and haven’t had any problems. We’ll be waiting for a while for go.miis.edu to switch over.

Website Improvements #2: Custom Redirects

Our GO service has been and will continue to be our supported way for maintaining permalinks to resources. By publishing GO links to resources online and in print, you are able to move your resources to new homes (such as a different location in the new site, a blog, or a wiki) and update the go link with the self-service GO management screens.

During the web-makeover project planning it was decided that we need to move forward with a new site architecture (where everything lives) and drop support for the old URLs from previous versions of the site that are 3-15+ years old. Most of the time links can and should be updated at their original locations, but if that is impossible (such as in a print mailing), you can now ensure that the correct link shows up on the main site’s 404 page.

404-with_link_annotated

Steps to add a link for a 404 page on the main site:

  1. Create a nice GO shortcut to the new destination if one doesn’t exist.
    Go to the GOtrol Panel and create a new go shortcut to the new destination URL.
    If a go shortcut for this destination already exists, then you can skip this step.
  2. In the GOtrol Panel, click on the ‘Create’ tab and add an alias for your shortcut from step one. The important thing here is that the alias ‘name’ is the path portion of the URL that is hitting the 404 page after the initial ‘/’.

    For example, if this URL is getting a 404 page:
    http://www.middlebury.edu/area/department/someimportantpage/default.htm
    then the alias name should be:
    area/department/someimportantpage/default.htm

    go_admin-alias

  3. Go back to the 404 page and verify that it now includes the GO link to your resource.
    404-with_link

We still recommend that you update the pages that link to the site to use their new URLs or GO links, but if that is impossible, you now have a work-around to direct users to the appropriate place.

Update from Database Applications & Systems

Submitted by Chris Norris

Here are some of the projects and tasks that DAS staff members have been working on during the past month…

Mike Schuster
- Created a spec for Bookstore Upload / Course Listing Bookstore Links
- Researched problem Off Campus Study was having pushing Admissions applications
- Corrected problems with Bread Loaf, Language School, and Off Campus Study decisions processing reports, reports were broken due to System 9 upgrade
- Created SSB web package to allow residential systems coordinator to delete room draw preferences, reorder preferences, and activate/inactivate room draw applications
- Processed Fall 2008 course response form data
- Updated Feb’s MNET email addresses to “preferred”
- Fixed problem with LS & BLSE Financial Aid online web applications where bad data entry selection of dates in dropdown boxes would cause applications to get an Oracle error
- Modified custom p_assign_boxes database procedure to allow mail boxes to be assigned to students during winter term
- Worked with Liz Whitaker-Freitas and Marcy Smith to develop documents needed by Monterey staff when developing/requesting new reports

Liz Whitaker-Freitas
- Supporting Hyperion BI+ for functional & technical users
- Troubleshooting Admissions Decisions reports
- Coordinating roles to groups migration by Velaris

Ian McBride
- Added service to check GO addresses nightly
- Worked with Adam to develop web service for MiddTube
- Wrote WordPress plugin for MiddTube
- Developed Middlebury theme for WordPress
- Added a service to the Directory to automatically redirect to a user’s homepage
- Added a video icon to CMS home page news items with videos
- Developed home page for the New England Review site in WordPress
- Began investigation into Single Sign On applications
- Continued work with the Platform and Design/IA groups for the Web Makeover
- Finally launched News Portal at http://go.middlebury.edu/news!

Travis Stafford
- Created 7 new alumni event forms
- Tested WordPress CFORMS upgrade
- Upgraded all the WordPress blogs and cforms to the new version of CFORMS (13 blogs / +/- 50 forms)
- Completed porting over all the cat standard ecommunicate forms to CFORMS
- Minor changes the New England Review ecommerce form
- Troubleshot\Fixed issues with the CCAL Fundraising ecommerce form
- Added new functionality to the BLM application to show Counts by indicator flag for Banner-ListManager admins
- Added self service component to the BLM project for subscribing\unsubscribing to Newsletters and List Manager lists
- CFORMs support/training for various departments
- General support and HEAT tickets

Rob Pekor
- Rolled late graduates to Alumni
- Started developing and creating tables to hold Harris Online Directory data
- Started creating scripts to load initial data for Harris Online Directory
- Started very preliminary development of process to send updates to Harris
- Corrected problem with Phonathon SSB data selection page, page would error on multiple individual years selected, problem has been corrected and is now in production
- Created new function to retrieve a list of regions for a particular person
- Corrected problem in AIA relating to updating ask amounts, if an ask amount never existed before for a person, the SSB page would not update the value, problem has been corrected and is now in production
- Created list of people that currently have access to AIA
- Corrected issue with view for the Banner List Manager relating to the indicator for students

Chris Norris
Staffing
- Participated in telephone interview for open DBA position
Projects
- Reviewed Phoenix BIA reports and summary
- Worked on spec for remote DR web presence
- Participated in CA fundraising strategy meeting
- Refined Banner-ListManager project spec with DAS staff
- Completed work with CA and Communications on Organic Garden giving form
- Met with DOC and PS staff regarding new ER web presence
- Met with technical/functional staff regarding eCommerce options for “pay-for-print”
- Met with Communications staff to plan for upcoming Newsletter projects
- Met with Career Services staff to plan for upcoming Newsletter projects
- Participated in various Web Makeover team meetings
- Met with HR staff regarding Web Makeover requirements
- Met with PHC staff regarding Web Makeover requirements
- Met with PS staff regarding Web Makeover requirements
Systems Administration
- Ongoing monitoring and problem resolution of online services
- Resolved service outages for Banner and Hyperion
- Resolved server config issue for GoogleEarth version of campusmap
- Updated TouchNet server config to support additional web servers
- Upgraded SubmissionManager web application for BLWC
- Configured new GO rewrite rules
- Ongoing tuning of GSA to improve search results
- Renewals of College-owned domain names
- Met with SNS staff regarding HSF config options
Help & Support
- Provided support to CFA staff for artsmail Newsletter IA
- Provided support to HR staff for middleader Newsletter buttons
- Reviewed President’s Holiday Card for pre-sending issues for Communications
- Updated Middlebury’s United Way web presence (campaign stats)
- Updated AbroadView.org web presence (footer)
- Provided various support for CMS editing, HEAT tix, and ad-hoc help calls
Vendor Related Activities
- Participated in Sun-Guard/SCT Banner DBA weekly status calls
- Participated in Velaris Hyperion SysAdmin weekly status calls
- Continued contract re-negotiation with Hyperion SysAdmin vendor (Velaris)
- Worked with DavisProjectsforPeace.org external web vendor to grant direct database access
- eCommerce call with alumni online community vendor (Harris) to define IMA requirements
- Coordinated redirect request from MIIS staff with www.MIIS.edu web vendor (NeptuneWeb)

Update from Database Applications & Systems

Submitted by Chris Norris

Here are some of the projects and tasks that DAS staff members have been working on during the past month…

Mike Schuster
- Ran the SYPAEMH process in production to apply Emergency holds for 394 students
- Modified off campus study, field of study database triggers and package to correctly build the first away term for students with multiple curriculum
- Modified SYPCSCC process for applying class codes to prevent it from including winter credits when calculating current credits and also to only copy specific attributes to future terms
- Worked with Jai Shankar to modify the TSRCBIL FormFusion template to print ‘Do Not Remit’ in a few places on student bills when their total is 0 or a negative amount
- Rewrote the LS Apps by Prior College report
- Diagnosed and fixed a problem where custom database procedures were sending email with a timestamp off by 5 hours.
- Modifications to LS & BLSE Financial Aid online web applications
- Expanded the answer box for the college currently attending question on the LS and BLSE Financial Aid applications
- Added error handling in save supplement procedure to check for nonnumeric characters entered as answers to questions looking for numeric answers
- Added text to top of ls_application and blse_application to tell applicant not to use the enter button.  Changed text for “Save” buttons to “Submit” buttons
- Added text to explanations/special circumstances instructions: “Please limit to 300 characters.”
- Added error handling in save_application procedure to alert user if they didn’t enter a ‘.’ or ‘@’ in their email address
- Created a spec for the MIIS web application.
- Modified Faculty Advisee list SSB form to allow users to email all advisees or selected advisees
- Online Room Draw 2009 modifications
- Several modifications to room draw space maintenance SSB form for residential systems coordinator
- Several modifications to room draw SSB forms for student submitted applications
- Planning conversations with Jeff Rehbach, MBS Books, and Bob Jansen about creating a process to upload course information to the Online Bookstore vendor and modifying the course listing pages to include links to the bookstore software

Rob Pekor
- Put final touches on the Phone-a-thon data interface for College Advancement
- Added keyword descriptor to output filename of the segment data produced
- Enhanced and modified Oracle procedures behind a Hyperion Mailing  report
- Corrected issues with the Volunteer web application (Agents-in-Action) for Annual Giving, problems centered around the field length of the home phone number
- Assisted in fixing problem with online donor roll.
- Created multiple data files for various populations (segments) specified by Annual Giving.
- Analyzing and starting to build specifications for the data feed for the Harris online community project
- Put final touches on the Banner/List-Manager (Broadcast Email tool) integration model with Travis
- This required new function to delineate language school and Bread Load of staff, faculty and students
- Set up volunteer data/assignments for Annual Giving
- Enhanced the Agents-In-Action application to allow input of new ask amounts and assignments
- Created new Oracle package/procedures to allow sending files via FTP from database procedures

Travis Stafford
- Banner/List-Manager Integration project
- Defined types and sub-types
- Defined admin model
- Web Forms
- Supported existing Web Forms
- Ongoing migration of new requests to WPcformsII for BLSE, ACE, RCFIA, HR
- Resolved numerous HEAT tickets and provided support for end-users of online services

Liz Whitaker-Freitas
- Hyperion System 9 Upgrade/Migration
- Resolved several post-migration issues
- Responded to unplanned services outages
- Worked with LIS Staff to develop lab images for new HS9 plugin
- Assisted functional/technical leads with publishing, scheduling and provisioning in new environment
- Researched and resolved connectivity issues with existing queries
- Resolved Oracle Client install issues
- Researched causes of failed jobs
- Tested and deployed Patch/SP
- Cleaned up some custom Roles/Groups
- Worked with Velaris on plan for log archiving
- Resolved report issues (Admissions Data Processing Reports, College Advancement Mailing Reports)
- Other Hyperion
- Trained Tech Lead on how to use derived queries and dashboards
- Trained LS on how to publish and maintain ad-hoc reports
- Processed Hyperion security requests
- Resolved Hyperion HEAT tickets
- Prepared list of services currently being performed by Velaris or Midd staff with recommendations for ongoing support
- Ongoing work for the Lockdown project to change reports using saturn or saturn_midd embedded credentials
- FileMakerPro
- Changed views for Athletics FMP application, troubleshooting issues, change nightly schedules to import view data

Ian McBride (was on CTO for a significant portion of this time)
- Participated in the Web Makeover team meetings and work on the Web Redo project
- Installed a test instance of Drupal CMS for this project
- Finalized the soon-to-be-live new News site for Communications
- Moved all non-CMS web applications off the primary CMS server
- Ongoing work to build out site templates for the New England Review in WordPress
- Developed a web service for system monitoring and backup contacts
- Continued work on a web service API for MiddTube

Chris Norris
- Monitoring and Troubleshooting for Online Services
- Identified and resolved Hyperion issues related to SP1 update
- Researched issue related to Banner INB and IE crashes
- Resolved TouchNet Payment Gateway outages and related issues
- Identified and resolved issues related to recent www –> web forms/services migration
- Monitored Online Course Registration (10 days) and resolved related web issues
- Training and Support for End-Users of Online Services
- Conducted a ListManager-Basics workshop for College Advancement staff
- Conducted a ListManager-Advanced workshop for heavy-use broadcast emailers
- Provided ongoing support for CMS editing, resolved HEAT tickets, answered support calls
- Project Specs / Work Definitions
- Refined Banner List Manager Integration project spec with Travis and Rob
- Helped initiate development of Harris Online Community project spec for Communications
- Completed DAS workgroup SWOT analysis for LIS restructuring efforts
- Revised DAS workgroup goals and objectives for upcoming year
- Ongoing Maintenance & Support
- Processed new GO requests
- Updated Middlebury’s United Way web presence
- Coordinated changes to Monterey’s Online Giving Form
- Reviewed Project Phoenix BIA reports, ongoing planning and specification for remote DR web presence
- Tuned GSA Search to improve keyword matching in search results
- New Projects & Tasks
- Configured SubmissionManager web application for Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference
- Participated in the Web Makeover team meetings and worked on related assigned tasks
- Worked with Advancement and Communications on microphilanthropy test for Organic Garden
- Worked with LIS Budget Administrator to help identify areas for cost reductions
- Worked with LIS Licensing to clarify Hyperion software licensing details
- Worked with LIS Policy Advisor to clarify PCI-compliance status
- Worked with Dean of the College and Directory of Public Safety on new Emergency web site specification
- Vendor Related Activities
- Participated in Sun-Guard/SCT Banner DBA weekly status calls
- Participated in Velaris Hyperion SysAdmin weekly status calls
- Initiated contract re-negotiation with Hyperion SysAdmin vendor (Velaris)
- Transitioned DavisUWCScholars.org and DavisProjectsforPeace.org site management duties to external vendor

Update from Database Applications and Systems

Submitted by Chris Norris

Here are some of the projects and tasks that DAS staff members have been working on during the past month…

Mike Schuster
- Modifications to a Banner custom process for the Registrar’s office that creates student class codes to meet new business rules.
- Modifications to the “LS Stats- new” Hyperion report to display applications for students applying to language schools at Mills College.
- Assisting with applying the Banner financial aid SSB upgrade in the DEV2 database.
- Investigating issues with Banner custom database triggers that create “away” and “returning” general student records for students going on leave.

Rob Pekor
- Modifications to the Phone-a-thon data interface for College Advancement.
- Gathering requirements for the data feed for the Harris online community project.
- Refinement of the Banner/ListManager (Broadcast Email tool) integration model with Travis.
- Loading MIIS gift history for Monterey and College Advancement.

Travis Stafford
- Refinement of the Banner/ListManager (Broadcast Email tool) integration model with Rob.
- Transitioning the Alumni office and CSO towards use of the self-service WordPress cformsII plug-in for all “new” non-eCommerce forms.
- Clean-up of code and adding functionality to Project Tracker.

Liz Whitaker-Freitas
- Ongoing work related to the Hyperion System 9 Upgrade/Migration (one line item, but this is a BIG project).

Ian McBride
- Completed development on a News Dashboard for College Communications (http://web.middlebury.edu/systems/newsboard). This will soon replace the main Public Affairs News home page and aggregate news content from several sources.
- Supporting CMS content providers and other web-related requests.
- Participating in the Web Makeover team meetings.

Chris Norris
- Migrated GO.middlebury.edu to a more stable prod environment, implemented GO.miis.edu for Monterey.
- Refinement of service-level monitoring, including addition of escalation groups.
- Project Phoenix BIA reviews, planning, specification for remote DR web presence.
- Pre-migration configuration, testing, troubleshooting of eCommerce web forms.
- Supporting ListManager newsletters, conducting ListManager workshops (only a couple more to go!).
- Contacting various folks about outstanding FileMakerPro requests, pre-migration web forms questions.
- Working on updated SWOT analysis of the DAS workgroup.