Technology Center

June 8, 2015

Appreview Plus

Our existing online applicant review system (SOARS) was built as a view on top of the live Graduate School application data. When you look at the detail page of an applicant in SOARS, a big chunk of what you see gets queried real time from MyGrad. This met the original specifications and has the nice advantage of being up-to-date and authoritative, but it has several downsides.

  • If Graduate Service goes down, SOARS goes down
  • The only applications we can have in SOARS are ones that come from the Graduate School
  • Once the Graduate School stops making applicant data available through the web service, it disappears completely in SOARS

To address these issues we have decided to build Appreview Plus. Appreview Plus will operate like SOARS feature for feature. But it will store application data locally and the application data will be structured for College of Education needs. For graduate applications the data will still map back to the Graduate School and get updated from their web service. But it will not be a requirement for there to be Graduate School data for our system to have data. This decoupling allows

  • Continue to view old application data (e.g. for current students) after MyGrad application is removed
  • Have local applications included side by side with MyGrad applications (e.g. existing students who change programs or continue on to additional degrees)
  • Able to handle applications from students that don’t apply through Graduate School (e.g. ECFS)

While we are restructuring data to exist as local application records we are also restructuring to better integrate the data with other systems. This offers many potential benefits, two big ones include

  • Inclusion of application data in student data views (e.g. Statement of Purpose, previous degrees, contingencies visible in STEP).
  • Shared storage of Person records simplifies administration and reporting.

This is a big project we want to do thoughtfully over the Summer (2015). This means reviewing existing system with SME’s and thoroughly reviewing existing code and database so we protect current capabilities while implanting the new features.