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ITS will be upgrading our Hyperion EPM 11 Reporting System this Sunday

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

ITS will be performing an minor upgrade of the Hyperion EPM 11 reporting system on Sunday, August 9th, between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. (noon) ET.  The main benefit of this upgrade will be to allow us to run Hyperion on Internet Explorer 11.

This upgrade will require a new browser plug-in installation in order to run the newer version of the Hyperion workspace.

Will you need to install the browser plug-in manually?

Middlebury users – No.  The new browser plug-in will be pushed out automatically by User Services on Thursday, August 6th and Friday, August 7th

Monterey users – Possibly.  We are working with Monterey Helpdesk to determine whether this will be installed for you or if you will need to download the plug-in through the workspace.  

How will we make sure Hyperion reporting is working normally?

ITS has gathered a group of Hyperion users to perform testing between 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 9th.  During this time, we will use testing plans to determine if all is working as it should.  This will include running reports, jobs, scheduling reports, and checking access to folders, among other tasks.

What will ITS do if the upgrade fails or if critical issues are found?

In the unlikely event a problem is discovered during our testing phase we have the option of rolling back to the previous version of Hyperion.  There is no risk of data loss should a rollback be required however report changes made during this testing period may need to be recreated post roll-back.  The decision to roll back to the previous version will be made by no later than 12 p.m. ET Sunday, August 9th.  It would then take approximately one hour to put the previous version back in place, followed by testing to ensure all access and services are running normally. 

Please welcome Joe Langevin to ITS

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We are pleased to announce the recent addition of Joe Langevin to the staff of ITS.  Joe joins us in the role of Senior Programmer Analyst on the Administrative Systems team in Enterprise Applications.  Joe spent the previous 15+ years working as a Senior Technical Consultant for Ellucian and Sun Guard Higher Education.  During this time Joe provided consulting services to over 150 schools in the areas of Banner Student, Advancement and Self Service.   Prior to his time at Ellucian Joe spent 10 years as a Senior Project Analyst at the University of Vermont.

Some of you may also know Joe from his time here at Middlebury.  As an Ellucian employee Joe participated as a consultant and programmer to guide Middlebury’s original implementation of the Banner Student module.

Please take an opportunity to say hello and introduce yourselves to Joe.  We’re very excited to have Joe on our team and look forward to the benefits of the vast experience he brings to our organization.

Banner and associated systems will be down for maintenance Sept 27-Sept 28

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

All Banner environments and associated system will be unavailable between the hours of 8pm ET Saturday September 27th and 12pm (noon) ET Sunday September 28th while these systems are undergoing maintenance.

Systems Impacted: All Banner environment including Internet Native Banner (INB) and Banner Web/Self-Service (SSB) plus all associated systems such as Hyperion EPM 11 Reporting, Nolij Document Management System, etc.

Schedule: 8pm ET Saturday September 27th through 12pm (noon) ET Sunday September 28th 2014

What is happening during this time?: Ellucian, the manufacturer of the Banner software and company currently hosting our Banner environments, will be relocating all of our hosted systems and associated infrastructure to a new data center.

We apologize for any impact this extended maintenance window has on your operations and activities.

Interested in learning more about Banner? Join the Ellucian Commons.

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Are you interested in learning more about Banner?  Have questions about best practices?  Want to connect with colleagues at other Banner schools to learn how they have addressed challenging problems?  Consider joining the Ellucian Commons.

Some of you may remember the older Sun Guard Higher Education ListServ that used to allow Banner schools and users to communicate, collaborate, and stay connected.  Although some of those older ListServ threads still exist they have largely been replaced and augmented by the new Ellucian Commons system.

From the Ellucian Commons website – “…The Commons is an online community where Ellucian customers, partners, and employees can share experiences, ask questions, find answers, and connect to a collaborative and informed network.  Articles, news, blogs, best practices, reference materials, document libraries, discussion threads, and more provide the community with tools to share, learn, explore, and create.”

See more at: http://www.edu1world.org/submitform/CommonsInvitation/

Ellucian hosted services interruption – Banner INB, Hyperion Reporting

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We are currently experiencing an interruption of service when connecting to systems and applications hosted in the Ellucian data centers.

Banner Web/SSB services are UP and operational however users cannot connect to Internet Native Banner (aka Banner INB), the Hyperion EPM reporting environments and other associated systems and applications.

We are working with our vendors to restore services as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

WordPress in the Liberal Arts

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Last week I attended a Nercomp event on WordPress in the Liberal Arts in Norwood, MA and participated in a panel on WordPress themes and plugins with colleagues from the College of Wooster and Abilene Christian University.   About 45 people attended, most from institutions that were already using WordPress.  Many of these same institutions were also using Moodle and Drupal.

WordPress is used by many for course sites.  Abilene Christian University has integrated it with Banner making it easy for their faculty to create class blogs that automatically include students.  The College of Wooster has an instance of WordPress referred to as Voices, that includes BuddyPress and bbPress, popular WordPress plugins and associated platforms that add functionality for creating groups and forums and aggregating activity streams across various sites.   Mark Frydenberg from Bentley University teaches his students how to maintain a WordPress site, requiring each student to take on the role of site administrator and tasking them with changing the site theme, adding plugins and managing roles.

Some institutions are using WordPress for e-portfolios.  Macaulay Honors College has over 1,500 sites in EPorfolios@Macaulay, which also makes use of BuddyPress to create various groups that they plan to include in their upcoming WordPress student portal, My.Macaulay.  Some institutions even use WordPress for the college website including Bates, Lafayette and Wheaton.

Enhancements to MiddMedia Video Hosting Application

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

For those who may not know MiddMedia is an audio/video storage and streaming service hosted by the college for Middlebury College users. To share a video with others you must embed it in a website visible to your intended audience. Documentation is available here.

The Web Application Development Team has been hard at work making enhancements to the MiddMedia application in order to better support mobile platforms, the current HTML5 standards, and our users. Below are some of the enhancements that have been made in the past month.

  • As part of the recent HTML5 standard, modern browsers support the native playback of video files using an HTML5 video tag. All videos uploaded to MiddMedia are now encoded in both H.264 and WebM formats so that they can be played natively in browsers that support H.264 (IE 9, Safari, iOS) and WebM (Firefox 4, Chrome, Opera, Android), and allow better support for mobile browsers.
  • When uploading a video, you can now select the quality that will be used when the video is transcoded (original, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p). Previously a single standard of around 480p was used unless the videos were encoded in Mp4 or Flv to start with. Now you may choose additional high-def qualities (NOTE: Does not upscale video), or original to preserve quality as closely as possible during encoding to multiple formats.
  • Embed code references the Mp4 and WebM versions of the videos for HTML5 compliant browsers. All others will fall back to a Flash player (the recently updated Strobe Player). Videos embedded in the Drupal site with the video short code also display in this manner. Instructions on embeding videos from MiddMedia in Drupal are available here.
  • Added basic support for M4a files. Users can now upload M4a audio files to MiddMedia. Quicktime may be required to preview them in the MiddMedia application. The WordPress MiddMedia plug-in allows you to embed m4a files in WordPress blogs/pages. You can add these to your posts as you normally would for other audio/video files. When the post is displayed, you will see the m4a with images in a video player if you are using Safari, or a link to the m4a file that users with other browsers can download and play in an application like iTunes or QuickTime. NOTE: To ensure your audio files will be accessible to the broadest range of listeners and devices, we recommend using the .mp3 format unless you have a special use case that requires m4a.
  • A new show/hide feature will allow users to toggle show/hide behavior for folders in MiddMedia. For users who only have access to a single personal folder this feature will not be of much use, but for users with access to several shared directories this will help with navigation of multiple folders with many videos.

We hope you enjoy the new enhancements!