Technology Center

February 5, 2018

Cycle 72

Work through Feb 2, 2018

This is catch up post for work complete over the last few weeks. It's been hectic with team transitions, but I will be getting back to regular updates. Thanks!

Work Complete


  • Support around Rubric assignment. The tool in Appreview that maps rubrics to applicants is not as clear as it should be. I've been helping people get their programs set up and we will build a better version after this major review cycle.
  • Fixes to new faculty reviewer tools, notably the report filters on My Applications were not refreshing.
  • Added an Incomplete Application report. This helps OSS during initial review and applicant communication.


  • Following budget changes are in development and under review by the fiscal team. The overall goal is to make the budgets database a helpful lookup for college faculty and staff.

    • Budget home page has prominent search tool and displays a list of "My Budgets" which is budgets where the current user is the Principle Investigator, the fiscal contact, or is "watching".
    • "Watch" budgets feature allows users to bookmark (aka star or tag) budgets they are interested in so they appear on their Budgets home page.
    • Fiscal team can add text notes to budgets visible to other users.


  • Reworked the tool for adding instructional staff to course offerings. The old tool had an awkward grouping of people based on their previous roles. This has been replaced with a person search (type ahead suggestions) tool that allows any person in the system to be added in any role. The instructional staff roles have been reogranized to be clearer and to better align with fiscal office, HR, and payroll workflows. We've added more help text to the page to make selecting staff roles easier.
  • Courses with multiple instructors are indicated on list views by "Jane Doe +2" in the instructor summary field. Clicking this value shows the full instructor list, without leaving the current list. Previously Courses database selected one instructor and used only that person's name in the report / list views. You couldn't see additional instructors until you clicked through to the offering details. 
  • When setting the expected enrollment for a planned offering, user is presented with a list of previous offerings of that course. Offerings with the same section letter and quarter are highlighted and their average enrollment is suggested as plan enrollment. User can choose to add or remove other historical offerings from the average calculation.

    • This feature is a conceptual test. We are exploring whether there is an algorithm we can use to generate useful projected enrollments, fully automatically. This step takes a rudimentary approach and allows users to play with alternate approaches.
  • We now identify college "Voting Faculty" based on appointment types. This data is checked from UW HR/P data nightly and updated in Courses database. List of current voting faculty is available in Courses.
  • User list is broken into sections. Everyone who is currently an instructor has basic access to courses database so user list got hard to spot check. Breaking the list down by roles helps us regularly review who has escalated permissions.
  • Final adjustment to an earlier quick fix that allows instructors to add comments to offerings when they are reviewing "My Courses".

Hiring Database

  • We are building a new tool that will be a guided online version of the New Appointment Request Form (NARF, Blue form) and the Hourly Personnel Request (HPR). This is currently in early development. We are working out the data model and HR, Payroll, and Fiscal needs. Next stage will dig into Academic Support Team requirements.


  • Fixed handling email address passed from previous form. The college website's "Connect with Us" form asks for an email address to help prompt the meaning of the field. What the user entered on college website was getting lost in transition to Recruitment database form, that is now fixed.


  • Added gender to data imported from UW SDB. This is not presented in the web application, but frequently required for reporting with demographics.
  • Fixed CSV download for course need planning report.
  • Review and adjustments to automatically created Tracked Issues. Missing some cases we wanted tracked.

Tech Support

  • Fixed problem where the ticket department was not displaying correctly in the ticket search tool.


  • Did additional work on our Person search & select tool (Person Type Ahead) to make it more user friendly. Both the Tab key and Enter key will select the top (or auto completed) suggestion without submitting the entire form. Additionally we have a check icon and question icon to indicate to the users when a valid person has been successfully selected. The code was also made more reusable, the name of the value input is flexible and the tool supports having multiple Person Type Ahead inputs on a single page.
  • Created a "Shared DB" space to allow college information system to expose data with each other at the database level. This allows us to have a single source of authoritative data, have a layer of abstraction so changes in one system do not break others, and to have good visibility into dependencies.
  • Extracted the process that prepares CSV spreadsheet downloads into a shared utility. This was not handled consistently in all places which resulted in some browsers (Mac Safari) not opening some downloads with Excel.
  • Wiki software updates for techwiki and coewiki.
  • Starting to implement and test PHP 7.2 in development and testing environments.