BASIS Steering committee
Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre,
David Martinson, and Bob Zimmerman
W. David Wimberly
Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
BASIS-L discussion lists
Computing Services BASIS October Status
I have rearranged this report so that the major headings are
the individual applications or modules being developed rather
than the broader BASIS I and BASIS II areas.
This should be helpful since we will be starting development on
new applications but continue to have activity to report on
(I never consider an application finished; they are like organisms
that grow and evolve -- and need a
little cultivation to maintain good health.)
October was full of activity for Computing Services, but mostly
little things representing fine tuning and refinement.
We are now experiencing the 90-90 rule of applications
development, "the first 90 percent of the project takes 90 percent
of the time and the other 10 percent takes the other 90 percent".
One general item of note is that a demonstration of portions of the
LEAVE and GJIM systems,
which included TARGET processing features,
was conducted for the BASIS Steering Committee.
I think actually seeing a working product was much more beneficial
than all our
status reports, meeting summaries, and data definitions.
Progress and activities for October included:
- Katrina has completed the program that synchronizes the Leave
Accounting data with the MSA Payroll system.
This is a complex and critical process that
will be executed on a monthly basis.
It produces five separate reports detailing the activity performed.
- Ava has developed a new pop-up window that displays the leave
and extra time periods that are open and the next "cutoff" date
for reporting leave and extra time.
This window is displayed whenever the application is accessed.
- It was determined that only two program modifications
would be required to exclude Cooperative Extension employees from
the Leave Accounting system, but that this could
have significant implications to future BASIS modules where CES
participation is desired.
- A trip to the Cooperative Extension Service was setup for
November 5th to demonstrate the LEAVE system, determine if CES can
be part of the initial implementation,
present and discuss the GJIM application, and
find ways to draw CES into
the analysis and design of future BASIS modules.
- Katrina and Ava prepared technical documentation for two of
the most complex functions in the system,
extra time processing (EXTM) and the compute module
which performs accruals and charges the appropriate leave category
They also reviewed and noted corrections for data element definitions,
and Katrina updated the system overview document originally
written last January.
- All programs except Overtime Approval (OTA) were regenerated
to incorporate the latest features which have been added
to our Program Generator.
The models for our TARGET functions are still being tested, which
is the reason OTA was excluded from this process.
- Minor changes were made to correct messages and add appointment
percent to the
catastrophic leave processing function (CATL).
- Ava has been holding private tutoring sessions with Michelle
Pilarz and Cindy Higdon, the Leave Administrator and her backup.
This training has apparently been very helpful and is intended to
assist Michelle and Cindy develop a very thorough understanding
of the system.
- A detailed review was performed and feedback provided on
Joe Fournier's draft Leave Accounting Manual and likewise on
Bill Overby's draft Test Plan.
The only major issue for the Leave Accounting
system continues to be the
federal Family Leave Bill.
No information has yet been reported regarding
the impact of this law on our Leave
The only development task remaining for Leave Accounting is
putting the system in production.
The current plan is for the acceptance test to be performed from
production using real data that is discarded following the test.
Moving the system to productions will be somewhat tedious due to
links with TARGET support functions, the TARGET administration system,
and the Personnel Services Budget (PSB) system (the new occupation
table is used).
Batch processes require additional documentation before they
can be placed in production.
Activity in October included the following.
- A second demonstration of the TARGET processing features of
GJIM was conducted for a new group of Financial Affairs users.
- Sandra developed a
facility to allow modification of the fringe
benefit rate (both student and non-student) used by the Funds
Transfer function (FT).
Separate rates may be maintained for an old and a new fiscal year.
- Paul made further corrections and enhancements to the
batch process that will be used to load Journal Entries that are
prepared in external computer systems.
Documentation on this function has been written and
distributed and testing
is in process.
- The GJIM system overview document was updated and
re-distributed for comment.
- The Financial Affairs GJIM test plan was reviewed
and feedback provided to Colleen.
- Sandra and Paul made a
number of minor fixes and enhancements based upon
user feedback and their own discoveries: de-code functions
were added to AC and TAFT, a new TARGET criterion was added to TAFT,
budget category restrictions were added to ET and II,
the format of Entry Number and Company Cost Center were standardized,
a bug was fixed involving the establishment of TARGET reviewers for
TAII, and a problem in processing fields which permitted alternate
input formats was corrected.
- All GJIM programs excluding the TARGET functions were regenerated
to incorporate the latest features of the Program Generator.
Program generation capabilities for the TARGET functions should be
completed in November.
There are currently no
major issues related to the development of the
The primary development tasks remaining for GJIM include
testing the batch functions,
preparing production JCL and documentation for the batch functions,
testing and integrating a text management
facility for attaching notes to GJIM transactions,
and regenerating the TARGET functions using the Program Generator
once this model becomes available.
All programs in the title maintenance portion of the PSB application
were regenerated to bring them up to current standards.
This subsystem will be implemented in production with the
Leave Accounting system since the new Occupation Table is used
by LEAVE. This same table is also used by GJIM to determine the student
or non-student status of a title.
The commodity class-item keyword search was rewritten to
operate on the specified value in a wild-card fashion, finding
all class-items that have a keyword with
that matching starting value.
all programs in the vendor maintenance portion of the UPS application
were regenerated to bring them up to current standards.
Areas of the vendor maintenance subsystem that we plan
to address in November include expanding the number of previous
names that are maintained, implementing the "command
sequencing" function, and analyzing with Purchasing their data
entry requirements in relation to the screen designs.
Analysis of the requirements for automating hourly time sheet
and wage rate approval processing has begun.
Documentation has been prepared regarding the existing system and
is evolving for the new system.
It is apparent that we will be able to offer numerous advantages
over the current system. Some of these will be user conveniences
and others will be quality improvements, some of which are in line
with legal requirements.
There are still many questions and policy issues being debated:
These issues must be resolved so we
can develop an overall system design and begin programming.
- Can we restrict hourly time to be reported by quarter hours?
- Can we require an approved wage rate approval before accepting
hourly time for an employee?
wage rate approvals need to be oriented around Company Cost Centers
or Budgetary Units?
- What needs to be approved and what are the criterion for determining
whose approval is required?
- How can we design a system that includes Cooperative Extension
in Hourly Time Sheet processing if they have been excluded from
Leave Accounting when the Leave data base is an integral part of
the Hourly Time Sheet system?
This system will be the next BASIS II module to be developed.
October activity included the review of requirements defined in
Further analysis will take place in November.
I have combined activity reporting on our Natural Secured
Menus (NSM) architecture and our Program Generator since they
are so closely integrated.
This section will also note other activity directed at providing
system wide support
facilities not addressed under any other specific heading
(e.g., desk based security).
- The Change or Display Current Desk command (CDCD) was modified
to include more information on the display (the current application,
the test vs production environment, and conditionally the desk for
which you have assumed proxy responsibility) and received other
- Kathryn made
several changes to the program
The most significant being the treatment of PF12/PF24 to "flip "
the PF Keys displayed at the bottom of the screen and
a code-reduction change made for determining when valid PF Keys
- Modifications were made in the way we process fields which
permit multiple input formats (e.g.,
Company Cost Centers and GJIM amounts).
The data entered into these fields was being lost when the user
suspended to another function.
A significant number of programs were affected by this fix, mostly
in the GJIM application.
- Paul has protyped the command sequencing capability.
This will provide a facility for application owners to define a
set of commands to be executed in sequence for an application.
Users may then select the desired "command sequence", which will
appear as a list of commands much like a menu, and press the
PF2 key to suspend to each command in seqentially.
This will provide a convenient means to accomplish an overall task
that requires exection of several commands.
- Kathryn has prepared an outline for a "desk management" class
to be offered to authorized departmental representatives desiring to
assume this responsibility.
Based upon feedback received during the desk conversion, there are
about a dozen offices interested in this.
We plan to offer this class in late November or early December.
- Some work was completed on a simple text management facility
that will be used for the maintenance of comments associated with
GJIM documents. It can potentially be used by other applications
since it is general purpose in its design.
Some development remains, as does the testing and integration into GJIM.
November plans for these areas include completion of the
simple text management facility,
providing desk management training,
completing work on the command sequencing capability,
implementing modifications to the NSM Maintenance System into
and expanding the number of action codes permitted per application.
- Kathryn has completed the general purpose proxy authorization
and maintenance function, which will be available as the PROX
command within all TARGET applications.
We have gone to extreme lengths to make this as simple to use as
However, the data management is complex because all proxies are
effective dated, and we do not want to permit removal of proxies that
have been in effect at any time up through the current date.
- The TARGET Administrator (Cathy Renner) and a small group of
Financial Affairs backup personnel received training in the
use of the TARGET Administration application.
Although the system is somewhat intimidating, I feel everyone emerged
with a positive "can do" attitude.
System enhancement requests are expected based upon
further use of the application.
- The initial program generator model for a TARGET function has
been written and is currently being reviewed and tested.
Features have been added to allow reviewers to reject,
with a special rejection code of "I",
transactions which are no longer
This "I" rejection code is only permitted to be assigned to
Note: All transactions are validated when they are intially entered
and will not be accepted if invalid.
Transactions are revalidated with each review since circumstances (other
related data or merely the date of processing)
may have changed after the transaction was initiated.
This rejection code permits identifying transactions that happen
to fall into this situation, even though few are expected.
- Kathryn regenerated the entire TARGET Administration application
and incorporated the latest features available, including special
options for several of the list functions.
TARGET plans for November include completion of the program
generator macros (two are needed, one is specifically for the
scrollable lines that exist on GJIM documents),
implement, where possible, enhancements requested for the TARGET
add a user de-code to accompany the desk-ids shown on the
"Transaction Review Activity" window,
implement TARGET support facilities and the TARGET Administration
application in production.
There are still other "To Dos" for TARGET, but it is doubtful
they will be addressed within the next month.
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this