BASIS Steering committee
W. David Wimberly
Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
BASIS April status
I am pleased to report that Computing Services has hired Ava Findahl as a Systems Analyst to work on the BASIS I project. Ava has a two year associates degree in Business Data Processing from Oklahoma State University Technical Branch, a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and five years experience in data processing at Wal-Mart's Home Office. We are very pleased to have Ava joining our team. We will be continuing on the recruitment trail due to Joy Steely's departure, which will be effective May 7th. We will sorely miss Joy, but wish her and her family the best in Lamar, Missouri.
Development has been completed on most of the online modules of the Leave Accounting System and is near completion on two of the functions of the General Journal Interface Module. Portions of Leave Accounting have been turned over to the core team for testing and evaluation, as was done with the title and vendor subsystems previously completed. I think the availability and use of these systems has provided some insight into the challenges we will face in the area of user education and training, since that is exactly the process the core teams are going through now. This experience will be helpful as we prepare to address this aspect of the project.
The approach of prototyping the systems where the users are testing as program development is being performed has presented some problems. What is really needed is a staging or demo area where user testing can be performed in a much more controlled environment. Unfortunately, resources to develop (mantime) and support (mainframe cycles and memory) such an environment are very limited. We will be evaluating other possible solutions to this problem.
During April we moved to a new release of Natural within our development environment, converting from Natural 2.1 to Natural 2.2. This has not been a totally painless process, as any software upgrade seems to bring new problems along with new features and capabilities. We have solved or developed methods to work around most problems and have been very pleased about some of the new features which we are already relying on. The upgrade was required to stay current with this critical product, and the time spent can be considered an investment since many of the product features will provide for greater programmer productivity.
Most of the basic online functions of the Leave Accounting system have been developed and turned over to the core team for testing. This includes control table maintenance routines, listing of employees within a budgetary unit, weekly and monthly leave entry functions, the calculation routine to determine the effect of leave taken, and other special support routines. The monthly balance/adjustment and extra time functions are partially completed while the catastrophic leave donation, name search, leave proration, overtime lists, and TARGET routines have not been started.
The batch side of the system is less complete. Processes to load existing data from MSA and the old leave system are coded and tested. However, the monthly merge of MSA data needs to be much more sophisticated and many more batch functions are still required for the complete system.
All in all we are pleased with our progress and the quality of the system, but it does fall short of our targeted April 30 completion. If desired, the June 1 implementation date could still be achieveable if we exclude the extra time and catastrophic leave aspects of the system. There are currently 70 compiled Natural objects for this application.
One unresolved issue related to leave accounting has emerged and has been added to this list. All other items relate to subsequent modules of BASIS I which are not currently being addressed.
See the schedule provided at the end of this report.
Development during April included the completion of the last few routines for the vendor maintenance subsystem, some enhancement and bug fixes for this subsystem, development of utilities for the entry and validation of Company/Cost Centers, and the initial coding of the Account Change and Inter-departmental Invoice functions of the General Journal Interface Module. GJIM accounting transactions are line oriented which presented some new and unique problems that had to be worked out. The experience gained here and the code developed to deal with Company/Cost Centers will be a great aid in subsequent development.
The desired core team feedback on the vendor maintenance subsystem was slow to arrive but is very thorough. Due to the detailed nature of many of the questions and the implementation considerations associated with others, we felt these needed to be discussed in a group meeting. This issue and others that have developed prompted the core team to resume their regular twice a week meeting schedule (the first of which was April 30). Other items to be discussed include:
All items listed are unchanged from last month's report.
See the schedule provided at the end of this report.
More progress was made on the development of the basic TARGET processing model program. It now executes, but is still not complete. 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.
No progress was made in shifting from user based security within NSM applications to desk based security. Hopefully, modifications to systems to support this change can be initiated in May.
See the attached schedule for detail information.
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this report.