BASIS Steering committee
Gerry Bomotti, Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, Allen Lacey,
David Martinson, Susan Unger, and Bob Zimmerman
W. David Wimberly
Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
BASISONE and BASISII discussion lists
BASIS December/January status
The lack of a December status report, which was due to the
short month, may mean that this one stretches out a bit.
It is very hard to be brief but informative, and
there has been a great deal of activity.
Before getting into project specific topics, I would like to
provide the following general input:
- Leslie Coston has been hired as a Systems Analyst and
assigned to the BASIS I project.
We are very pleased to have Leslie working for the University
and are confident in her ability to contribute to the BASIS projects.
The entire BASIS team has assisted in getting her started
by dividing up training/orientation responsibilities which spanned
almost the entire month of January.
- We have decided to take a new approach for the development of
the initial BASIS modules.
We will prepare only system overview type documentation, detail
data definitions, and screen layouts for review.
We will then code sub-components of the system
and deliver them to the core teams
More complete specifications or detail system documentation is
being deferred until the desired content for this type of
documentation has been defined.
Computing Services is planning to develop this documentation
and make it available via on-line help.
prototyping approach is being planned in lieu of traditional
detail requirements definition and sign-off.
- Development is well under way for title related data,
part of the Personal Services Budget System, and vendor related data,
part of the Purchasing/Payables system.
Coding was initiated in these areas because they
were well defined, the requirements were not overly complex,
and the project team needed experience with the tools and facilities
that will be used throughout BASIS.
Four out of 5 of our project analysts have essentially no experience
with Natural or ADABAS.
Furthermore, our program generator and NSM version 2
are new to everyone.
We need to gain experience with these tools as soon as possible.
In addition, the
central office representatives need experience using Natural
applications and need to learn
the style of the NSM v2 architecture.
sub-systems will be used to train the core team members,
teaching them how to effectively use the architecture
and allowing them to better conceptualize our future systems.
- The Plans sections of this report are now referencees
to schedules that have been developed.
We have included those tasks that can be identified, unfortunately in
systems development it is impossible to anticipate everything
that has to be done, the effort required,
or know how long it will take for decisions
to be reached.
We have focused on those tasks
that can be considered near term (four to six weeks out) since
others may change several times before they can be addressed.
Since the development tools we are using are new and our
experience is limited, our estimates are very rough.
Our ability to anticipate the effort required for coding functions
should improve significantly during the coming months.
- Significant progress has been made on the
Leave Accounting module.
A system overview
describing this module has been prepared and reviewed,
screen layouts have been prepared and reviewed,
and detail data definitions have been prepared and are in review.
The overview document and screen layouts were used for a presentation
to selected departmental leave representatives so that we could
gain feedback regarding the useability of the system as conceived.
The presentation went very well with good input provided and no
"show stoppers" (our worst fear).
The overview has already been posted to the BASISONE list and can
be provided to anyone desiring more information about this module.
Since the basic concepts associated with
the new leave accounting system have been
accepted by the Human Resource Office and
by the departmental leave representatives,
a summary of changes represented by this system (and which
be considered significant) will be prepared for presentation
- Significant progress has also been made in the development
of facilities to replace the
existing Title-Occupation table.
Conversion programs have been written and tested and
three maintenance programs and 6 listing programs have been
Although further clean-up work is needed and additional functionality
remains to be added (help routines and de-codes),
this process has gone very smooth and provided positive feedback
regarding the program generator and the new NSM features.
When completed, this sub-system will be used for demonstration
and to train the
core project team in the use of the NSM architecture.
Item 1 identifies specific issues to be addressed for the
leave accounting module and replaces the
point previously included regarding hiring a new employee.
All other items relate to subsequent modules of BASIS I,
not currently being addressed.
- Primary outstanding issues for Leave Accounting include:
- How to handle individuals that work a University
holiday and are granted another day off in lieu of it?
- How to identify who leave has been reported
for and who it has not, possibly by week?
- How to accommodate multiple hourly rates within an overtime
pay period and the distribution of overtime costs between
multiple cost centers?
- How to identify specific individuals that work in agriculture
and are paid straight time for all overtime worked?
- How to accommodate the different overtime pay period used by
the Cooperative Extension Service?
- How to obtain and store information on hourly non-appointed
employees when they work overtime, since they would not
otherwise be on the Leave Accounting system?
- What specific MSA data elements are needed?
- Determine the requirements and methods to be used
for defining, storing, and applying the
Company/Cost Center distributions for use in charging out salary
- The means of performing available funds checking for
salary/budget activity and for
projecting future salary expenses
requires further analysis.
- Specifics need to be defined regarding
summer school budgeting and summer teaching appointments.
- Accommodation within the system needs to be planned for
extra compensation and overloads.
- Security by value requirements, if they exist,
must be defined.
See Figure 1 and Figure 2 for
- Representatives from the core project team meet with
Vice Chancellor Bomotti December 10th to discuss the
Management Issues that had been presented November 4th.
This list included
items that represented some form of change over current
policy, procedure, or practice.
Sixteen of 21 points were discussed.
The only area that could not be resolved dealt with tolerances that
should be applied to the available funds check process and the
impact on funds checking that a per order tolerance would have.
The core team has spent considerable effort since defining the
problem, refining recommendations, and in general beating the
issue into the ground.
An analysis and recommendation was delivered to Vice Chancellor
Bomotti on January 29th.
Another meeting will be needed to discuss that document,
the remaining five items from the original list, and
library purchase orders (see 5).
- A system overview and supporting data definitions were developed
for the General Journal Interface Module (formerly
the Transfer Module).
These were reviewed by the core project team and are currently being
revised based upon the input received.
The next step will be to develop screen layouts for the
functions that have been defined.
- An overview for requisition processing was prepared and
distributed for comment to the core team.
This was accompanied by revised data definitions for
the 2 requisition files, the 3 bid solicitation files, and
the 2 contract files.
These have not yet been reviewed by the core team.
- A decision was made to build a new General Ledger test system
by copying data from production, but only for selected cost
Financial Affairs will identify the cost centers to be used.
All companies and all accounts within companies will be copied to
the new test system.
- Item 1 from the
Major Issues list of my November status report
has been resolved (subject to upper management approval).
The core team will be recommending that the Library's
purchase orders for books and periodicals not be duplicated
An electronic interface is envisioned that would
pass invoices from the Library's Infolinks system to BASIS for
Part of this interface will require identifying vendors within
BASIS by their Infolinks' ID.
- Significant discussion was held regarding the addition of
a "complimentary copy" feature to TARGET.
The idea was to send a transaction to an individual for information
purposes only, no action on the transaction was going to be
required or allowed.
At this point, this feature appears to provide limited
value and, therefore, is not being actively pursued.
- Limited development activity was conducted
for vendor related data
components of the purchasing system.
One new function module was generated, a "next number" routine
written, and a help function coded.
Significant activity is planned for this area in February.
The issue related to library purchase orders was removed, as
All other items remain from my November report.
- All pursuit of a consensus regarding
inter-departmental order processing has been placed on hold
due to other activity.
The latest document summarizing these ideas is dated December 3
next step is to review these ideas with the major service departments.
- A method of identifying and reporting federal expenditures by the
period of the obligation needs to be identified.
- We plan to develop a general purpose facility to provide word
processing-like capabilities for requisition and purchase order
descriptions, but need some time to do the work.
- The requirements of the system remain chock full of exceptions and
special handling requirements.
We hope we can document all of them and develop a system that takes
them into consideration.
- There is a need to replace or interface with various inventory
systems. The areas that have a possible interest in such a facility
include: Scientific Supplies, Dining Services, Physical Plant and
Cooperative Extension Service.
See Figure 3 and Figure 4 for
- Development of a new program model is near completion.
It provides maintenance facilities for a file that has a group of
recurring elements (e.g., multiple lines of a general journal entry).
An edit option provides insert, copy, delete, and move
features within or among the recurring entries.
forward and backward scrolling are also provided.
Testing of the model is complete and only development of the
macro to generate programs of this type remains.
- The TARGET functional specifications have been resurrected
(they were last modified in November, 1991)
and updated primarily to reflect the concept of transaction routing
to desks versus individuals or positions.
These were used as the basis for internal Computing Services review
The next steps are to define the data files necessary to support
TARGET, develop the basic TARGET function module, and
develop the TARGET administration system.
- I upgraded our facilities for loading documentation to Predict
(our data dictionary) where it is used for on-line help.
Previously the documentation files had to be in Waterloo Script/GML
Since we have been using IBM's DCF/Script/GML for the past several
years, modifications were required to compensate for different
control commands and formating options.
- Kathryn and I have provided training
and support to staff, both internal and external to BASIS, for the
use of the program generator and the new NSM facilities.
The level of support and oversight will diminish as these individuals
gain experience with these tools and develop the necessary expertise.
See Figure 5 for
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this
Figure 1. BASIS I - Title Table Activities
Figure 2. BASIS I - Leave Module Activities
Figure 3. BASIS II - Purchasing Activities
Figure 4. BASIS II - General Journal Activities
Figure 5. BASIS I & II Support Activities