BASIS Steering committee
Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre,
David Martinson, and Bob Zimmerman
W. David Wimberly
Colleen Briney, Jim Isch, David Keith,
Bill Moody, and Bill Overby
BASIS-L discussion lists
Computing Services BASIS August Status
August development activity is reported under the
specific application headings that follow.
The LEAVE application has stabilized with only a few problems
reported in August and limited enhancements being performed.
Activity included the following:
- A problem was corrected in CATL where individuals were being
allowed to access employees outside their prescribed budgetary units.
A similar security by value problem was also corrected
- The data reported on the Fiscal Year End Liability Report was
questioned since the end of year vacation liability was significantly
higher than in past years and only summary information was reported.
In order to support the report and to provide complete information in
future years, this program was modified to include balances
- The LEAVE application was set up in our DEMO environment where
future training and user testing will be performed.
The data was copied from the TEST environment,
programs were moved to DEMO, and
security and TARGET routing definitions were entered.
- Work was initiated on a new list function, LLSB (List Leave Summary
for a Budgetary unit).
The contents of the list will be the same as LLSE except all employees
for a budgetary unit will be listed with balances for a selected month.
This will provide a quick overview of leave usage for a unit for a month.
Plans were also made for changing the LEAVE application to work with
a new EMPLOYEE file being built to support Hourly Time Sheet
As each new BASIS I module is developed, some modification of past
modules will likely be required.
This is the case with LEAVE, which will have to undergo some fairly
The EMPLOYEE file will replace the current LEAVE-INTERFACE file, and
will eventually become the master employee/personnel file for the
At this time, data necessary to support LEAVE and Hourly Time Sheet
processing is being defined plus some elements
which can be used to support small future modules such as
the faculty/staff directory.
To accommodate this transition, some data must be converted or transferred
from the LEAVE-INTERFACE file to the EMPLOYEE file, while most data
will be initialized from the MSA Payroll.
Programs to perform this conversion are under development.
Future activities for LEAVE
include extending the online job submission to
execute additional report programs and
refining the LEAVE System Manual.
The priority at this time is to make the necessary system changes in
LEAVE to work with the new Hourly Time Sheet system and to get the
Hourly Time Sheet system developed and into production.
GJIM activity during August included the following.
- Two GJIM TARGET transactions were discovered to have a blank
transaction status. These should have been pending transactions;
but with a blank status they would not show up for review and could
not be listed.
The problem was traced to the TARGET utility that establishes the
transaction review list and only occurred when: (a) multiple criteria
were used to define the reviewers, (b) the last criteria used did
not require that any reviewers be established, and (c) the last criteria
did not result in the establishment of any reviewers.
Somehow this condition was never tested.
Once identified, the problem was easily fixed, the transaction status
was restored, and the TARGET administrator and transaction requestors
- The GJIM application was set up in the DEMO environment
where it will be used for training and testing purposes.
No data was copied from TEST and minimal security and TARGET routing
definitions were initially made.
- The List Command SeQuence (LCSQ) function was enhanced to
incorporate the action field in the list so that
the user may add in a maintenance function and
immediately be taken to the TARGET processing function with
This facility is currently in DEMO for testing and evaluation.
- The Extended Description facility was enhanced to permit the
entry of text prior to the final creation of the document and the
assignment of a document number. In other words,
PF9/EDesc will be available during an add.
Also, the EDesc is now copied along with other document information
when using the copy action.
This facility is currently in DEMO for testing and evaluation.
- The new
"GJIM Reviewer's Reference Card" was reviewed and input
- A very subtle problem was discovered whereby an inappropriate
error message was being displayed when PF6 (EdOpt) was pressed
and the keys in the banner were changed at the same time.
To accommodate this
situation, the edit checks have been resequenced so that
the key change takes precedence over PF6 which is now ignored and
no longer results in the erroneous error message.
- Computing Services had the opportunity to provide user support
both for Cooperative Extension Service and the Library.
The PF6 problem above was identified by COEX.
In interactions with the Library two possible enhancements have been
identified: (a) provide a list facility to display
Company Cost Centers for a Budgetary Unit
so that the centers can easily be selected and the user can suspend to
LDCF (List Documents for a Cost center and Fiscal year), and (b)
provide a means to list TARGET transactions that have been reviewed
by a given User ID.
Other than considering the above suggestions and implementing
changes currently being tested, the only
other outstanding item for GJIM is
the removal of the interim routing for ETTP, FTTP, and IITP
has been in place since the beginning of July for transactions
submitted by certain user IDs
Two minor problems were discovered and corrected with the
list programs LTOD and LOTD, and a problem was corrected where key
date values were not properly restored after suspending to a new
function, altering the date there, and returning to the original
During August a consensus was reached regarding vendor
data requirements and application security issues.
Subsequently, the old vendor maintenance system was moved to DEMO
so that it could continue to be available while the rewrite of this
application is underway in TEST.
A few components of the new system are currently operational
and we plan for a fully functional system by the end of September.
The core team will be given access to commands and features as they
Travel advances continue to be the hold-up for this project.
After another month of debate and investigation,
we are still uncertain of the requirements to be met if we choose to
eliminate the travel advance fund and write travel advances through
the Accounts Payable bank account.
We hope that this can be settled soon so we can present a
recommendation to the Steering Committee.
A separate issue, which we
believe we have identified a means to address, relates to
travel purchase orders and associated encumbrances.
This will also be included in a recommendation to the Steering Committee
along with other changes.
On rather short notice, it was decided to demonstrate the existing
prototype system to departmental representatives in order to obtain
Approximately a dozen departments were invited and, with less than a
week's notice, we were expecting half that many to actually attend.
We were pleasantly surprised when almost 40 people showed up.
Fortunately, we were
able to hastily relocate the demonstration to a room
of adequate size.
In general, the design and operational aspects of the system
were acceptable to the group and several excellent suggestions
were obtained that have or will be incorporated into the system.
Some unique problems were identified in relation with the way Residence
Life and Dining Services operates, and a special meeting has been
scheduled with them to better understand their operation so that an
appropriate solution can be developed.
Other developments included:
- Incorporating suggestions obtained at the
demonstration such as
the entry of holiday time via a PF key,
including more information on lists,
and providing a time in/time out
entry function for regular hourly employees similar to the
one available for
work study (this was prefered by those departments which use
- Developing a new function to permit the update of the percentage
cost center distribution on a wage rate,
- Copying the existing prototype application to the DEMO
- Clarifying the requirements for calculating overtime for appointed
employees, which led to new options and TARGET routing for the
- Developing a recommendation to the Steering Committee for the
creation of an Employee ID,
- Defining an Employee file to support Hourly Time Sheet
processing, replace the current Leave Interface file,
and provide data definitions for future small modules like the
faculty/staff directory, and
- Initiating work on a conversion program (to move necessary data
from the Leave Interface file to the Employee file) and
on a new MSA synchronization program that will work with the new
Outstanding issues and development tasks include
identification of student employees,
determination of what data is entered in BASIS and sent to MSA versus
data that is entered in MSA and sent to BASIS,
calculation of overtime and determination of who pays it,
development of a pop-up window to redistribute wages among
the defined cost centers via either percentages or hours worked,
integration of Employee ID into current prototypes,
time entry for appointed hourly employees,
identification and development of appropriate list functions,
approval processes for hourly time,
batch facilities for generating hourly pay transactions,
and establishment of an appropriate test system employee population.
All major issues have been addressed and an overall approach and
design for this system has been formulated.
The aspects of the new system that are substantially different from
past practices are in the process of being
defined for presentation to the
The definition of files and data elements to be retained within the
system as well as mock-ups of online screens are also being developed.
These will be reviewed by the core team and then shared with departmental
personnel for discussion and feedback.
Prototyping of the application will also be initiated at this time.
The following activities occurred during August related to TARGET
- The routine that establishes the TARGET reviewers was corrected
so that it properly set the transaction status as well as other
transaction fields when the last criteria does not require that reviewers
be established and does not result in the establishment of any reviewers.
- The new TARGET Concepts document was shared with, and
special demonstration/discussion sessions held for, core team
members who had expressed and interest in learning more about TARGET.
Four such sessions were held with a total of 10 attendees.
- A special report was developed to identify all transactions
reviewed by a specific User ID. This report was executed with
production data since a particular ID and password had been known to
have been used by several people.
- The command ID for the "menu of list commands" in
the TARGET administrator's application was renamed to be consistent
with this command name (MLST) in GJIM.
- Investigation has been made into the possibility of retaining
on the TARGET transaction the
"old" values that exist
at the time a transaction is created.
Given this enhancement, when a user viewed non-pending transactions
he would always be presented with the
information as it appeared at the time the transaction was initiated.
Currently the requested change to data,
which constitutes the transaction, is
always presented along with the current data base values, which is
a more abstract concept and is difficult to understand.
This enhancement would make it much easier to view and
follow a series of effected transactions operating on the same data
base entity, and it
only applies when there is existing information on the system that
is being replaced (i.e., it is not
not applicable when information is being created or
The only current situation where this would be beneficial is the LEAVE
MB command, but since there is usually no more than one change per
employee per month it is not critical there.
We feel this will become more important in future modules like Labor
Distribution or where personnel changes are being made.
Prototypes implementing this feature have been developed.
There were a variety of activities in this area during August.
- One Desk Administration class was conducted.
- A problem was detected and corrected whereby the same SSN could
be defined for two active user IDs.
- It was discovered that the user was placed in a program loop
if a menu did not exist but was defined on another menu.
This problem was corrected.
- The standard error processing routine was enhanced and now
includes interpretations for more error codes.
- An edit was added to prevent a user's name in NSM from being
with two commas (which caused our monthly batch update program to
- We have continued to find subtle problems related to our
alpha equivalent variables (fields
such as dates and cost centers
were we permit the
entry of data in various formats)
and code translation variables (a budgetary unit code is entered and
automatically translated to a budgetary unit number).
The latest problems were experienced when
these fields are used as required banner keys
but were not properly restored after suspending if the values were
changed in the new function.
To address these problems our program generator and program models
have been updated, new standards have been adopted, and documentation
has been enhanced to address
the use and rationale of the developed techniques.
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this