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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Q & A with ESUP Integration Directors

Answers to help campus and collegiate units integrate their local applications with centralized systems

Change is a common theme for the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP). Some changes will take place centrally and ripple across the University. This may be true for University units with applications or systems that pull data from the three centralized systems, Finance, HRMS, and Student, to meet their needs.

Connecting with these units is the job of the ESUP Integration team. We asked Tim Gagner and Bill Collings, ESUP Integration project directors, a few questions about the integration part of the Program and how they are working with local University units to help them make use of the upgraded enterprise data.

Q: What is the Integration Team responsible for with ESUP?
A: Our main focus is on the system campuses, University units, colleges, and departments with applications or systems outside of the Finance, HRMS, and Student systems that use PeopleSoft (PS) data including real-time and nightly copies of the data, the Data Warehouse, and PS production environments.

So far, we’ve met with technical staff from nearly 50 University units who support their local systems and databases. The purpose of these meetings is to identify the systems leveraging PS data, discuss how the table definitions or data they depend on may change with ESUP, and talk about how these changes could affect their systems or applications.

Q: Why should University units outside of ESUP care about these changes?
A: Table and data changes resulting from ESUP could impact local systems, applications, and databases that pull data from these enterprise systems. Changes to underlying data structures or to the data like those stored for employees, students, and guests mean local units will need to modify their systems or it’s possible their tools will not work properly after launch.

Q: Can you give us more specifics about how the data sources are changing?
A: We are looking at changes in two areas, data value changes and table structure changes.
  • Data value changes - Where the values in a field are being modified for business reasons, we are creating “cross-walk” documents for University units to show the changes between the current production environments and the target environments. For example, if the current production environment has a table with current and historical data in one table but the new environment separates the historical data into a new table, University units will need to know about it.
  • Table structure changes - There are delivered table structure changes between the current production PS environments and the target delivered PS environments.

Q: When will these changes be available for units to see? 
A: The Integration team receives the data changes from the Finance, HRMS, and Student work streams and then we update the mapping documents on the Integration website. Right now it’s looking like we will have changes to the data warehouse complete by late this spring with more information about the nature of the changes in March and April.

Q: What can units do to make sure their systems and applications will work at launch?
A: It’s in everyone’s best interest for these units to connect or stay in touch with the ESUP Integration team to mitigate any data issues or changes prior to launch.  

More specifically, local units need to:
  • test their access methods to the new environments to make sure they can connect
  • check their Structured Query Language (SQL) against documented changes available on the Integration website to see if they need to make modifications
  • check their applications to see if the changes in SQL affect their code
  • participate in the Integration test
  • sign-off on readiness to launch

Q: How do units get the information they need? 
A: For starters they should visit the Integration web page. The page includes a list of University contacts from local units, applications identified by local unit staff using PS data, and data mapping examples to illustrate connections between current and future data structures.

They should also join the Integrating Data, Enterprise Architecture, and Applications (IDEAA) informal Community of Practice. IDEAA is one venue where University staff can discuss ESUP and what changes will be made to the data, processes, and technology.

They can also contact us, Tim Gagner or Bill Collings, with their questions.

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