ITDweb: The Information Technology Division at U-M

Information Technology Division
Product Development & Deployment

IRAP July 1996 Status Report



The proposal has been completed, and is being distributed to unit directors in ITD, AOP, the Library, the Registrar's Office, and LS&A to review. (SC)


Subscriber count: as of July 31st:
231gratis accounts (includes 28 pending)

Technical/Infrastructure: (Dial in) National dial in via ADP/CREN service is operational. Initially, national subscribers were unable to access Umich news servers This was resolved by permitting news server access to the ADP domain name. If, in the future, U-M Online subscribers use other Internet Service Providers(ISP), an another solution will be required. Possible options for the future include deploying a separate news server open to all domains or the use of authentication.

U-M Online working in conjunction with the Product Area Manager (PAM) for networking, Andy Palms, has had discussions with IBM regarding a bulk usage agreement for national and international remote access. IBM has been asked to provide pricing based on the expectation that U-M will be generating more than 200 thousand hours of out-of-state traffic per month by the end of 1997. The estimate represents U-M Online usage, campus community use, and Academic Outreach Program(AOP) generated traffic. A critical requirement calls for IBM to write code that interfaces with the Radius authorization and authentication mechanism employed by Merit. Based on a recent conversation with IBM's Daine Baker, the price quote should be available by mid August.

Audio: Deployment of Real Audio was delayed due to hardware needs and the untimely loss of the WUOM contact . The needed hardware has recently arrived. U-M Online expects to move forward with the project, providing Real Audio streaming of WUOM archived material and Great Lakes Radio Consortium(GLRC) programs within the month.

Web pages/Catalogue: Development of the personal web page template and implementation of the U-M Online subscriber catalogue continues. Progress has been delayed due to script problems.

Software: U-M Online staff continue to work with Deb Masten, ITD license coordinator, to resolve software licensing issues for U-M Online. Software options for Windows 3.1 and 95 have researched and priced. In an effort to align U-M Online with the campus , U-M Online will use a customized version of Novell's LanWorkplace Pro for Windows 95. WNSE will do the customization. Plans for a possible upgrades to the Windows 3.1 and Mac kits remain under discussion.

Conferencing: In concert with Kari Gluski, PAM for communications and Carol Kamm, project leader for web services, U-M Online has been investigating web based conferencing options. The initial plan called for replacing confer (due to expense) by September. Following active research for scaleable web based conferencing, the team concluded the September goal was not doable. As an interim solution, Confer developer Bob Parnes was contacted. He has agreed to lower his fee from $2.00 per subscriber to 25 cents. With the lower fee, U-M Online can afford to stay with Confer until a suitable web based alternative is available.

Accounting /Billing: The Alumni Association announced an on-going joint promotion-- upon annual renewal of memberships to both the Alumni Association and U-M Online, subscribers will receive one month of U-M Online service for free. U-M Online team members and Accounts Office manager Karen Dymond met with Jerry Sigler, Maria Simonte, and Billie Welty of the Alumni Association to discuss ways of tracking and accounting for the month of free service.

U-M Online team members met with Accounts Office staff to discuss concerns and difficulties the Accounts office staff encounters since ITD offers competing services.

Realignment of Pricing and Packaging: U-M Online has not been the only computing service package available to alumni through ITD. Since other options are offered at a lower rate capturing the audience as U-M Online subscribers has been a struggle. In an effort to resolve the discrepancies, U-M Online's ITD staff members have had a number of discussions and meetings with ITD service providers, managers, the Director of Product Development and Delivery (PD&D), Kitty Bridges as well as the U-M Online steering team.. Consensus has been reached on the following recommendations:

1. The term UMOnline will represent any of the services provided to other than current faculty staff and students.

2. All services will be offered a la carte (ability to subscribe continues to be based on eligibility--- e.g. parents can not buy UM Online content.

3. A uniqname with infrastructure pieces will be required in order to subscribe to any service.

4. The full U-M Online package (Maize)will be available to alumni only for $19.95

5. AU-M Online offering without dial in and software(Blue) available to alumni only for $9.95

The U-M Online agreed to adopt the usual UMCE dial in package structure. Instead of offering 10 or 20 hours of in-state connectivity, U-M Online Maize will include 10 to 40 hours of connectivity-- the UMCE remote access subscription . Current U-M Online out-of-state rates will be adjusted to the regular UMCE rates. Since the range of out of state hours U-M Online can afford to offer is so low (4 to 8 hours), barring strong feeling to the contrary, we're opting to not include a maize ($19.95) out-of-state offer. Out-of-state subscribers will pay $9.95, and have the option of using national dial in for rates ranging from $2.50 to $1.30 per hour. The software kit will also be available for $30.

The idea of bundling U-M Online content and email for the off campus population will require further discussion.

Marketing /Content: Access to the UM Online secure space was granted to interested parties--ITD's Operation Lead Team, Academic Outreach Program (AOP) staff members, and interested PAMs.

In July, links have been added to the Bentley Library's U-M in the Olympics site as well as a special Ann Arbor Art fair site.

An exchange of information meeting was held with the web master for the future Ann Arbor Observer site.

U-M Online core team members : Content: Carrie Edlund, Marketing: Linda Green, Technical: Brain Vaughan, Project Leader: Ellen Vaughan (EV)



The Development Office moved to Wolverine Tower, where upgraded workstations now successfully run GQL at decent speeds. Feedback on training on the EIS portion of the DAC Reporting system for development staff at the end of June was very well received, and ideas for further evolution of the EIS were captured. The data dictionary was completed both in paper and online form. Support is still being developed. There will be no predefined queries offered with the first release of the GQL diagram, given the slowness of the query subgroup in developing queries. Data modeling was conducted on 07/24/96 to design summary tables to simplify query-building and improve performance. (PB)



The Digital Library production group, ITD, and the Media Union are working on details for production service level agreements. (SC)


The MESL implementation is part of our overall digital library development effort which is a collaborative undertaking of the Information Technology Division, the School of Information, and the University Library. This report focuses on the MESL effort in ITD.

Distribution: Data from the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of American Art, and George Eastman House has been received, checked, fixed, and shipped. Image files are sent to educational institutions on CD-ROM. The main structured data text file is made available on an FTP server.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is very close to having their data ready. It has gone through several iterations of checking and adjustment. The image files are set.

The Fowler Museum of Cultural History has submitted their data and it has been checked. Problems are minimal and the data should be ready in the early days of August.

Harvard University Art Museums have not yet submitted their data.

The distribution process continues to go more smoothly than it did last year.

The Getty Art History Information Project provides funding for the quality assurance and distribution service that ITD provides to the nationwide project. The Getty has agreed to provide an additional $16,000 to cover extra costs incurred in the 1995-1996 fiscal year. An invoice is being prepared.

Publicity: The October 1996 edition of the Information Technology Digest will have an article about MESL written by Lisa Liebowitz.

Web System: Many interface improvements have been made to the Web system. Emphasis has now moved more towards putting the newly received data online. Image processing is in progress. It took several days for the Sun Sparcstation 20 to generate multiple resolutions of the very high resolution Library of Congress images. Thumbnail images are generated on a Power Macintosh 9500 where better color reduction and sharpening tools are available.

Perl scripts are used to to prepare the data for indexing by FTL, and also for generating static HTML pages. The interface is being adjusted to accommodate the new collections.

The two new 9 GB disks that were purchased are in place and have been invaluable in the processing of images and data.

System Administration: Sean Sweda is leaving ITD and therefore will no longer be the MESL UNIX system administrator. Patrick Furlong has taken over Sean's role and is backed up by George Drew.

MESL ITD Team: Sandy Colombo, George Drew, Patrick Furlong, Zoe Gurevich, Andrew Inman, Gail Lift, John Weise (JW)


The Core Journals project is a partnership with UMI deploying around 1000 core journal titles in all disciplines in image format, linking them with Wilson Indexes in MIRLYN and putting in place the necessary structure for printing, accounting, and billing.

July 1996 Core Journals Statistics
Total Articles Requested2536
Total Successful Prints2309
Total Pages Printed13442
Average Article size (pages)5.82
Total Unsuccessful attempts227
Test printing (i.e. printer=none)0



Over the weekend of July 5 & 6, the Library mainframe and its attached DASD, ethernet controllers, and tape library moved from the North Campus Computing Center to the Data System Center machine room in the Adminstrative Services Building. (SO)



The Financial Tables Change Group has completed the process of rolling out Service Unit Billing, source/use data, and a set of predefined queries. The developer is now working on the annual purge of the oldest year of financial data in the dataset. The payroll subgroup conducted two forums to introduce the completed payroll dataset on 07/10/96. Both were very well attended and received. The Official Third Week Count dataset is now complete after a last-minute change to a fieldname (the old Pilot Program). There will be no predefined queries included on the GQL diagram for the time being. The dynamic student dataset was modified to remove Flint and Dearborn undergraduates, as data for these students is misleading. Fourteen predefined queries are being validated; indexes will then be built to optimize performance. Moving the dataset (without degree information) to the production server is targeted for mid-August. The paper version of the data dictionary is being formatted; the online dictionary will be loaded soon. The training handout is complete. The data class will be offered to the Student Data Subgroup at its 08/27/96 meeting. Wave 1 data training is targeted for 09/27/96. By then the group might be in a position to include degree information in the dataset (the RO is currently implementing a plan to audit conferred degrees and clean up degree data on the operational system). Validation testing of the backloaded Human Resource data is complete. Performance is being addressed by way of cost-based optimization, new indexes, and offering the choice of using equijoins as well as outer joins on the GQL diagram. The latter introduces some usability problems, which the subgroup is now addressing. CRAS training continues to be offered once a term. The procurement dataset is now in production, although some tuning is still being done. Training will be conducted for the ITD hotline consultants during the third week of August. Thereafter, a rollout will be planned for the university community. The Data Availability Plan (DAPC) is still on hiatus until plans for the evolution of the U-M data warehouse in light of PeopleSoft implementation become clearer. DAPC representatives met with the Core Process Management Team on 07/25/96 to share their experiences in warehouse development and offer their continued input as PeopleSoft implementation progresses. A meeting was held on 07/22/96 with representatives from the central offices and ITD in order to obtain approval for a draft GQL annual upgrade process (approval was secured). The ITD "TechDev" group has not yet been reconstituted to monitor the proposed new GQL annual upgrade process on campus (among other things). Articles on the new and/or enhanced Data Access datasets were briefly reviewed in the July 8 issue of the ITDigest. Work is in progress on a larger feature article to be included in the September 9 issue that focuses on the status of the entire data warehouse to date. In addition, a demonstration/presentation at the FORUM for Administrative Computing is still being planned for September 19 at the Michigan Union. (PB)



GopherBlue Migration: We continue to define our customer base, now by investigating the gopher menus and identifying links to information providers. Calls to information providers continued through the month of July adding more departments to our 'okay to delete' section. We have identified 60 departments who currently have data stored on gopher, 25 of these departments have said that we can delete their gopher menus or that they haven't put anything on gopher yet so they will switch gears. Many of the other departments are in the process of converting (including Rackham), some have requested that we contact them to discuss help that may be available. (CE)

GopherBlue Statistics:

There were GOpherBLUE 26,988 client sessions over the period 06/21/95 to 07/20/95. Total gopher calls for the period were 354,490. Total Gopher file accesses for the period were 261,172. The most accessed Gopher resources were...

Ann Arbor Jobnet 91,506(35.04%)
X.500 68,167(26.10%)
All Others101,499(38.86%)


WOLVERINE ACCESS (9027 & 9889)

WWW version of Wolverine Access: The MANDSRVP, COURSEAVAIL, DIVISIONLIST, and COURSELIST programs still need to be updated to convert to the SRVTAB process. The mainframe 'Bag' routines still need to be changed in production to permanently correct the NULL value problem. The ADDRESS transaction has been updated to include the student accounting x500 mail group for billing address inquiries. The log process has been updated to include what type of address was changed with the address change transaction, this was done because the student accounting office wanted to keep track of how many billing address changes occurred through Wolverine Access. CRISPinfo has been updated to include a VT100 version to allow access for students who use Lynx and other text based browsers. Some progress has been made on the system program documentation. Added a FAQ link to the header line of all screens. Also updated the FAQ to include new browser information. We hope to productionize our stats process in August.

Wolverine Access statistics for July 96:

Transactionmainframewebmandarinapprox. web %
Schedule (probes 1 & 2)1709519844 58897%
Grades (probes 3 & 4)1027612497100393%
addresses (probe 5, 6, & 9) 4701 6478 39194%
CRISPinfo (probe 7)5655256868 35099%
CRISPappt (probe 11) 548 924 7093%
Student Accounts (probes 13 & 14) 3296 4311 57888%
Academic Report (probe 15) 3004 4860 51291%
Disbursed Aid (probe 16) 1780 2412 35487%

Student transcript: Phase 1.3 - ( Add transcript and academic report print features - (SPRINT/RPPRINT)) modifications have been made to the system, the Registrar's Office is in the process of testing. A bug was found related to the new version of TCP/IP which was installed on the DSC mainframe, systems support is investigating the issue.

Student transcript order entry system: Met with staff from RO to review detailed system design and timeline. Completion date has been pushed back to October 96. Design work has started on Oracle physical model layout. Discussions have occurred with the DBAS group concerning server availablity. Some testing is in process in CITI related to the CUSSP protocol process and server software which needs to be in place on the Oracle server.

ID Card process: The TENTSSN program has been documented. Modifications have been made to the UNAMEUPD program and testing is in process.

Office of Financial Aid: OFA requested a few modifications to the system which have been completed and tested. For support reasons, it was decided to hold off on the move to production until Barb returned from vacation. (CE)


We had activity on the following projects:

U-M Library (8889): Maureen revised Library Browse page layouts per instructions from David Richtmyer with updated Subject Area and Format listings. Also suggested 4 new graphic possibilities using the same bold, abstract clip art collection used for the MIRLYN Webpac interface. These revised sketches were sent to Sharon Heminger who is taking over the project.

U-M Online (8064): Susan developed information/instructions for FTP and creating/editing personal web pages. Continued investigation into conferencing packages. Bret provided graphic design assistance and is working on the Ambassador section. URL:

MIRLYN (8719): Maureen

Classical Studies (8737): Jeremy

Faculty Goverance (8846): Maureen

Chemistry (8965): Bret

In addition, the following departments have contacted us for assistance:

Psychology: Followup meeting about Web-based subject pool application. They are working with process analyst - we'll step back into the picture once that's complete.

Middle Eastern Studies: Contact will be back from vacation 8/5 and we'll schedule follow up meeting at that time.

UMMA: Bret and Carol met with Toni Kramer and Bill Hennessy to discuss potential for joint development work with Digital Collections on a web interface to their digitized collections database. Carol will follow up w/DCI on this.

Dentistry: They have requested assistance with their Windows NT-based server and some security issues.

Merit: We have .6 FTE for one year included in a proposal from Merit to Ameritech for funding a Web-based project in the Goals2000 area.

Public Health: Is interested in Web-based conferencing. Will be beta site for Caucus once we have it installed.

CGI Services: In preparation for offering "extended" CGI services to campus, we are upgrading servers to Solaris 2.5 operating system and adding memory where needed.

We have started investigating database (Oracle Web), and conferencing (Caucus) packages. Detailed plans for delivering these services will develop over the next month or so.

Marketing: Maureen drafted a Marketing Communications Plan for WWW Services, July 1996-June 1997. Draft to Carol on 7/23/96, waiting for review and approval or revisions.

Maureen is also working on writing Product Catalog Records for the products/services provided by the WWW Services Team. (CK)

Catalog: We are preparing to test FTL as a replacement tool, and have revised the resource submission form according to requirements developed by D. Richtmyer.

The Gateway info provider/steering committee has now held two meetings. Both were well-attended by representatives from Admissions, U-Relations, Marketing Communications, News/Info Services, Athletics, Campus Info. Centers, Library, and others. Plans are developing for both Gateway page revision and ongoing content identification and acquisition.

In addition, administrative work continues. This month, we linked 11 new resources to the Gateway pages and also added them to the searchable catalog.

WEB Statistics
July '9616,958,757327,815,168,000681,536
June '9616,187,228370,003,968,000643,921
May '9616,385,236301,195,264,000666,476
April '9617,703,051313,972,736,000717,833
March '9610,425,708190,923,997,222418,413 ***
February '9615,049,074261,847,066,608646,586
January '9618,732,664358,545,339,089665,008
December '9513,364,094258,992,419,569536,452
November '95 9,749,451164,247,027,634451,228
October '9510,669,671160,181,841,690460,183
September '95 8,132,234111,872,064,548357,320
August '95 8,240,662113,630,055,110306,982

*** It was determined that the data file for March 96 was corrupted, information for March 96 is incorrect. (CK)

PB - Peggy Bennett
CE - Cheri Elert
NG - Neda Gholizadeh
CK - Carol Kamm
SO - Steve Olsen
BV - Brian Vaughan
EV - Ellen Vaughan
JW - John Weise
SC - Sandy Colombo

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Last updated: Tuesday, 29-Apr-1997 08:22:14 EDT