Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Silver Linings

Hi Everyone-

Last week was a bit challenging to put it mildly, but this week is looking much better. The good news (loose definition of good) from last week is that the majority of the issues we had were due to errors made by ASP hosting rather than problems with the software and hardware itself. That's good because those sorts of errors are much more easily corrected and less likely to continue to cause problems throughout the semester.

Monday 5 colleges started their semesters, including Frontrange, one of the largest users of BB Vista. As you may have noticed we did not see any significant slowing in the system. Given that we are looking forward to our own start on this coming Monday with a little more confidence.

We do have some downtime tentatively planned for this semester. We have an ongoing problem with garbage collection (deleted records in the database as opposed to the physical type of garbage.) We've never been able to truly delete old files and as a result our database has a lot of un-needed records. (This is probably the root of the file upload problems we have on a somewhat regular basis.) In an attempt to correct this we may need to install a patch. We'd like to tentatively schedule this for the weekend of Feb. 8-10. We won't be down for all three days, but I don't have an official schedule as yet. Most likely we will go down Saturday after 1:00 pm and be back up early Sunday morning. No promises though.

We also may want to upgrade to application pack 3 and do other server maintenance. Those changes are tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in April. Again tentative.

In our prior life as software managers for only CCCOnline we usually managed to get these regular maintenance processes taken care of between terms. Unfortunately when we look at not only our schedule, but also those of the other system colleges there is no between term time. That leaves us with option 2 -- mid-semester. We will always try to keep these to a minimum, but you can assume at least one a semester.

Most of you should have your course shells by now although we are waiting until Wednesday as usual to make final decisions on section numbers. Enrollment this semester is very strong -- we are up around 20% compared to this day last year. Spring 2 enrollments are up even more.

We will email rosters to each of you on Friday of this week. Those rosters will include external email addresses for your students so you can send them a welcome email if you choose. Encouraging students to get into their classes the first few days of the term does seem to help get the semester off to a good start.

One small piece of housekeeping. If you have moved there is only one way to officially change your mailing address with CCCOnline, HR, and PERA. You need to email Randy.Macy@cccs.edu. He will send you a PERA change of address form. If you mail that back to him (paper copy) he will take it to the system office and HR will make sure your address is changed with them and with PERA.


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