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Fall 2005

April 2006 Set for Next IS Upgrade

When the University elected in 2000 to implement an integrated administrative information system, it committed to doing upgrades every 2-3 years, bringing better infrastructure and new and/or improved functionality.

U.Va.’s last upgrade, to version 11i (11i.9), went live in May 2004. ISDS has now begun our next upgrade, due to go live in late April 2006. This will be a “point release” to version 11i.10, which is much less of a change than the 11i upgrade, according to Virginia Evans, Assistant Vice President for ISDS.

“The original 11i upgrade required very little new training for end users, except for labor distribution users,” says Evans. “From what we can tell at this point, 11i.10 also will be fairly seamless for end users.”

A major motivator for upgrading now is to avoid conflict with the student system implementation, notes Evans. “The student system will have to be integrated with the Integrated System,” she says, “so we want the IS to be stable at the time we will be creating and testing those interfaces. In addition, we want to be able to take advantage of improved and new functionality offered by Oracle, and that can only happen if we are on the next version.”

So what benefits might we expect from the upgrade?

“We won’t know all of the benefits until we actually get into the software,” says Shy Hicks, ISDS Director of Finance Applications, “but according to the literature, a few of the changes that would be most apparent for end users include:

  • Increased flexibility in updating and changing POs and LPOs
  • Enhanced Self Service look and feel
  • Fixes and improvements in the Grants Accounting application
  • Forgot your password? feature on Integrated System login page

“Many of the changes that will be transparent to users will significantly improve the management and performance of the system,” adds Evans.

Evans assures IS users that “we will keep everyone in the loop as we go forward. We know, based on the experience of the last upgrade, how important it is involve the people who use the system on a regular basis. That is what helped make the last upgrade a success.”