MEMORANDUM


Table of Contents

MEMORANDUM
  • BASIS I
  • BASIS II
  • Common

  • MEMORANDUM

    To:

    BASIS Steering committee
    Gerry Bomotti, Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, Allen Lacey, David Martinson, and Bob Zimmerman

    From:

    W. David Wimberly

    Copy:

    Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
    BASISONE and BASISII discussion lists

    Subject:

    BASIS March status

    March was spent doing system development: Natural coding, testing, debugging, and fine tuning. All analysts are now familiar, if not 100% proficient, with Natural, our code generator, and our NSM standards. Achieving this level of expertise throughout the BASIS staff has taken longer than anticipated, which may be attributed to our lack of experience with the tool set (NSM v2 and the code generator are brand new), the complexity of the tool set, and the level of sophistication of the resulting systems (I really think they are slick, prejudiced as I am). Future program development is expected to proceed much more quickly with fewer problems and result in high quality systems, all due to the sound foundation that has been laid.

    Discussion and definition of desk based security and TARGET routing continued in March and resulted in further refinements to a method of implementation. We have also been actively recruiting in an effort to fill the vacant position assigned to BASIS I. To our dismay, we have learned that Joy Steely's husband has accepted a job in Lamar, Missouri and she plans to leave us in early May.

    BASIS I

    Progress

    Significant progress has been made in the development of the Leave Accounting module. There are currently 45 compiled Natural objects for this application. These include maintenance and inquiry facilities for tables and system control information, batch utilities for retrieving data from MSA, an employee listing screen, facilities to support security by value and multiple leave reasons in a day, and the majority of code for weekly and monthly leave processing. It is still our goal to have this module developed by the end of April, at which time it will be turned over to Human Resources for testing. The system is not expected to be "complete" at that time since further changes will be expected. In fact, many questions have already arisen which required adjustments and changes.

    Changes required to support the new Leave Accounting module were presented to Vice Chancellor Bomotti with his only concern being the tracking of absences by day within the central system. Although he did not approve of this concept, he did not object to our proceeding with development and implementation of the system as designed.

    There have been very few problems identified with the subsystem dealing with legislative titles, occupation codes, and job grades. The core team was trained in the use of this portion of the system in February in order to become familiar with the function and features of NSM since they will be incorporated into all systems. At this time the only problem involves the identification of hourly or extra help titles, which we hope to address as part of the hourly time reporting module.

    Major issues

    There are currently no outstanding issues related to leave accounting. The items listed relate to subsequent modules of BASIS I which are not currently being addressed.

    1. Determine the requirements and methods to be used for defining, storing, and applying the Company/Cost Center distributions for use in charging out salary expenses.

    2. Develop a means for performing available funds checking for salary/budget activity and for projecting future salary expenses.

    3. Understand and define the specifics regarding summer school budgeting and summer teaching appointments.

    4. Determine how to accommodate extra compensation and overloads.

    5. Define any security by value requirements.

    Plans

    See the schedule provided at the end of this report.

    BASIS II

    Progress

    The bulk of the vendor maintenance subsystem has been completed and representatives of Purchasing and Financial Affairs have been trained and provided access to the system. A few components remain to be developed and we expect some development effort in response to "bug" reports and change and enhancement requests. This subsystem is made up of 92 compiled Natural objects. These include 6 separate maintenance facilities for various vendor data, two vendor list facilities, 9 maintenance and inquiry facilities for tables and system control information, and 14 routines that support online help functions. This system will introduce the core team to the function and features of NSM, which will aid in discussing future system requirements and design issues.

    Major issues

    All items listed are unchanged from last month's report although they have been resequenced since item one will have to be addressed to support the development of the General Journal Interface Module.

    1. Time is needed for the design and development of a general purpose facility to provide word processing-like capabilities for requisition, purchase order, and general journal descriptions.

    2. Consensus needs to be reached regarding inter-departmental order processing.

    3. A method of identifying and reporting federal expenditures by the period of the obligation needs to be identified.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    Plans

    See the schedule provided at the end of this report.

    Common

    Progress

    1. The proposal for shifting from user based security within NSM applications to desk based security was modified to move the responsibility for desk maintenance to departments. The implementation is planned to be phased so that a department can assume this responsibility at its convenience. In the interim, Computing Services would perform that function at a minimal level -- that of creating one desk for one user. When a department is ready, it could assume complete responsibility for the users and desks within its domain. This change should allow us to implement this concept without requiring extensive studies to define the responsibilities of all desks nor require any office outside of Computing Services to immediately assume new responsibilities.

      Some concern has been expressed over an aspect of the proposal that attempts to address system access needs of hourly employees or temporary help. It does not seem practical for these employees to be issued personal IDs, but that seems to be what is desired by some. Perhaps this need could be addressed by providing the department an option. They could selectively require personalized IDs for their temporary staff or request IDs that are assigned to a supervisor and issued to temporary staff as needed?

    2. Kathryn has developed most of the TARGET administration system, all the basic maintenance and list functions are in place. It has been developed assuming there will be a desk entity created and that transactions will be routed to desks. Some of the programs will have to be modified once a desk file is actually created. Program development will also be required for each separate criteria type that will be used for determining the route of a transaction. The Company Cost Center is an example of a possible criteria type, and was used for initial development and testing purposes.

      Some progress was made on the development of the basic TARGET processing model program. This, the development of special support routines, and the development of an edit macro to generate TARGET function modules are all needed for the basic facilities of TARGET to be completed.

    3. Kathryn has continued to provide valuable assistance and instruction to the BASIS development staff. She has also made numerous enhancements and fixes within the program generator macros as new requirements and problems have been identified. These activities should lessen as the development staff gains experience and the models are used more extensively.

    Plans

    See the attached schedule for detail information.

    Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this report.