Accessing the ODS and SIS data with Other Tools

While Discoverer is the primary tool being supported for use with the Integrated System, other tools can be used as well.

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Preliminary instructions

While Discoverer Plus is the primary tool being supported for use with the ODS and the Student Information System reporting database, other tools may be used as well.  Such tools include SAS Enterprise Guide or SAS for Windows, and ODBC tools such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Query (an  Excel add-in). These tools are recommended only for those who already have expertise in using them.

To use any of these other tools, you must have Oracle client software installed.

Note: If you do not already have the Oracle Client software installed, we have an installer available. Please first read the Client Installer Instructions, and then run the Oracle Client Installer.

If you already have Discoverer Desktop or the Information Warehouse  installed, you already have most of the necessary pieces in place. However, you will need to:

  1. Locate the tnsnames.ora file on your PC and rename it to tnsnames.old.ora.
  2. Then download the current tnsnames.ora file.  This file contains the latest connection information for the ODS and SIS. 
  3. Save this file to the same location as your current tnsnames.ora file, making sure that the file does not have a .txt extension.

Note: you may find you have multiple tnsnames.ora files on your PC. Any in a sample directory may be ignored. Otherwise it is best to download the new file and replace all the tnsnames.ora files you find.

Because the ODS and the Student System reporting databases are behind the firewall, you will need to be logged in through VPN regardless of which tool you  are using.


ODS Users

Please note that when ODS users use Discoverer, you use your Integrated System id and password. However, other tools are not able to do this. In order to log in to the ODS using another tool, you will need to have a database account on the ODS. To request a database account:

  1. You must have a valid Integrated System account with one of the UVA ODS Specialist responsibilities.
  2. Then fill out an ESHARP request as you would for other Integrated System responsibilities. In your request, click the plus sign next to General (GEN) to expand it, and then select Responsibility UVA ODS Other Tools. In the Comments box displayed on the next screen, please provide a brief explanation of why you need this access.
  3. You will be notified by email when your account has been created. Once you are notified of your new account and password, please change the password. See Changing your ODS Database Password.

Please note that when you connect to the ODS using your database account, the names of the UVA views will differ slightly from what you see in Discoverer or the Help File. The principal difference is that all the UVA view will have _V at the end of their names. However, a few view names may be slightly different  in additional ways.

Specific tools

Once you have completed the above steps, click on the links below to learn more about connecting to the ODS using specific tools.


SIS Users

Student System users please note that if you access the reporting database from another tool, the names of the reporting objects will differ from what from  what you see in Discoverer. Each will be preceded by sysadm.uv_ . So for example, AD_Applicants will appear as sysadm.uv_ad_applicants or  SYSADM.UV_AD_APPLICANTS in another tool. The names are not case-sensitive.

For more information, see the SIS Reports website.