IT Services uses the University Card as the primary source of information about people in the University and from it determines entitlement to services. A copy is taken of certain fields of the University Card database each night. The fields of the card data that are used for this are:
From this, IT Services creates a Single-Sign-on account for all eligible people. For units who don't run their own mailers, this will also give access to their email account and we generate an email address to go with it for each affiliation. See Computing entitlements for what facilities we give which status.
Account information and an Activation Code is put in the internal mail. For staff this is sent to the Department, if there is one, and to the College for students. Undergraduates have the College on their cards and a Course name- they have the course code in the dept field. A table is maintained of a mapping between the 'department' field code (including the course for students) and Units in the Registration database and between Course code and Course name.
- existing accounts are automatically extended to the new Card completion date
- a primary SSO username is created or resurrected if none is current.
- status and affiliations are updated
- new email address are created for the new affiliations
- new email addresses are created for name changes
- old affiliations and old names in email addresses are set to expire in 2 months
- access to all accounts is stopped
- email addresses will work for a further 2 months if forwarding or vacation is set
- accounts cannot be extended unless the University Card is updated. IT Services are no longer able to extend accounts beyond Card expiry, because of the need to restrict access to site licenced resources which have legal restrictions. (A short extensions of a few days may be possible- to say retrieve old mail.)
- email addresses which are routed elsewhere, can be extended at the request of IT support, for up to 6 months.
Oxford Student System (OSS) provides the information about the Course for a student for use by Weblearn and departments. The data items we get from OSS are: for courses: course code, course name (3 varieties), course_type, dept. For students- course code, any options ( eg studying Russian), year of course, estimated leaving year, are they finalists?
Projects needing Student data, where the data is merged with IT Services data are: Web Learn (VLE), Oxcort (Tutorial Reporting System), Alumni forwarding, National Student Survey, Departments needing lists eg email addresses of first year lawyers
List of IT people in Colleges and Departments is maintained by IT Services. A person can have responsibilities in many units. Viewing the Register is only available to people on the Register. A person has to be approved to be on the Register. Privileges are given to people on the Register.
Dept and colleges who run their own mailers, provide their email addresses for inclusion on the University Contact Page. IT Services use these lists to register addresses centrally for these depts by matching surname. The departments who currently assign their own email addresses are Clinical Trials Unit, Computing Science, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, Wellcome Trust for Human Genetics.
- Users : Staff and students can see what information we hold about them- usernames, mail routings, TSM registrations, expiry dates.
- real time data for all their own users from restricted ITSS pages http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/
- overnight downloads of data are written to secure web locations and access granted via the IP address of the registered machine for a unit. The data produced is tailored to the needs of the Unit. This enables ITSS to automate jobs based on the latest data available.
- Oxford Student System (OSS): take the email address and Oxford username of students and staff
- GSS and OxCort take the Oxford username and email address overnight. If a Virtual Access card holder has registered an external address via Register an alternative email address , that will be passed to GSS as well.
- Libraries: take email addresses for everyone for the book ordering system
- Central admin: take staff email addresses and Oxford usernames
- Other IT Services services: Course Booking system, WebLearn, OxItems, network services - take Oxford username and email addresses by various means.
- Creation of Oxford username, SSO and Nexus accounts and email addresses
- Update existing accounts on Card renewal.
- Generate lists of affiliation and name changes to be handled manually.
- Generate data for ITSS, Oxford Student System
At 16.00, Oxford usernames are created for those whose affiliation needed to be changed manually and who did not have a current account. This ensures that letters are sent to the current rather than the previous, address.
SSO and Nexus accounts are disabled after project time is exceeded. Nexus mailboxes can still receive mail. The owner can longer access the account, however, Forwarding and Vacation messages will continue to function for 2 months. If neither a forward has been set on a Nexus account nor vacation set up, and the University card has expired, an automatic Vacation message will tell the sender that the mail is unlikely to be read. If the person's University Card is updated with a completion date in the future, the account will be available the next day and the automatic Vacation message removed. SSO accounts are deleted 2 months after project time
At card expiry plus 2 months, mail delivery will stop and forwarding and vacation will no longer work. This will happen each night. This will also apply to all students at the end of the academic year (except for those we can identify as returning).
Because, in general, students have the same completion dates, it is possible to publish the dates when these events occur for them. Students on courses which run longer than the standard term, have longer University cards.
Notes on table symbols.
(a) End of access to mailbox. Mail is delivered and if a forward is set it will be honoured. From 2011, if neither a forward has been set on a Nexus account nor vacation set up, and the University card has expired, an auto-responder will tell the sender that the mail is unlikely to be read.
(c) From 2008, undergraduate university cards were issued only until 30-jun instead of 30-aug as in previous years. Lost or stolen cards were re-issued with the new June end date. The reason was to get a closer correspondence between the card and when the student was 'current' in OSS. Colleges supported it as well as City Council, as it also cancelled the exemption from council tax.
(d) Trinity 2011. Lateness of Easter mentioned in the Gazette. Biochemistry raised a concern about not being able to contact students by email for vivas- their email addresses were extended for 2 weeks. Not mentioned as an issue in 2012.
There are two types of postgraduates. Those on taught courses (GT) and those registered for research degrees (GR). Some of those on taught courses have card expiry dates in June in since 2009, but most have dates in Sep and Oct. New students on research programs are now being given 4 and half year cards to cover writing up, taking their viva and having their degree awarded- this is to cover Home Office visa requirements
The applicant fills in the web form to register as ITSS or webmaster https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/itss/join_itss_reg. An email is automatically
sent to the sponsor (usually the IT Officer for the Unit). The sponsor replies to
firstname.lastname@example.org and as long as the applicant has a current University Card
and an email address, they will be added to the ITSS Register. An overnight job adds the
applicant to the mailing list
web-managers-discuss as appropriate.