MEMORANDUM


Table of Contents

MEMORANDUM
  • Leave Accounting
  • General Journal Interface Module (GJIM)
  • Personal Services Budget (PSB)
  • University Procurement System (UPS)
  • Hourly Time Sheets
  • Travel Authorization
  • NSM/Program Generator
  • TARGET

  • MEMORANDUM

    To:

    BASIS Steering committee
    Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, David Whitmire, David Martinson, and Bob Zimmerman

    From:

    W. David Wimberly

    Copy:

    Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
    BASIS-L discussion lists

    Subject:

    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 others. (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.

    Leave Accounting

    Progress and activities for October included:

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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 balances. They also reviewed and noted corrections for data element definitions, and Katrina updated the system overview document originally written last January.

    6. 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.

    7. Minor changes were made to correct messages and add appointment percent to the catastrophic leave processing function (CATL).

    8. 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.

    9. 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 Accounting system.

    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.

    General Journal Interface Module (GJIM)

    Activity in October included the following.

    1. A second demonstration of the TARGET processing features of GJIM was conducted for a new group of Financial Affairs users.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. The GJIM system overview document was updated and re-distributed for comment.

    5. The Financial Affairs GJIM test plan was reviewed and feedback provided to Colleen.

    6. 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.

    7. 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 GJIM system.

    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.

    Personal Services Budget (PSB)

    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.

    University Procurement System (UPS)

    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. In addition, 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.

    Hourly Time Sheets

    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:

    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?
    Do 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?
    These issues must be resolved so we can develop an overall system design and begin programming.

    Travel Authorization

    This system will be the next BASIS II module to be developed. October activity included the review of requirements defined in 1992. Further analysis will take place in November.

    NSM/Program Generator

    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).

    1. 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 technical enhancements.

    2. Kathryn made several changes to the program generator models. 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 are pressed.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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 production, and expanding the number of action codes permitted per application.

    TARGET

    1. 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 possible. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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 valid. This "I" rejection code is only permitted to be assigned to invalid transactions.

      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.

    4. 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 administration application, add a user de-code to accompany the desk-ids shown on the "Transaction Review Activity" window, and 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 report.