This document describes certain aspects of information passing between departments of the University as it affects IT Services users and the timing of the various IT Services Registration processes.
1. Source Data - the University Card
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.
On Card renewal,
2. What data is obtained from other sources?
The data sources used are:
2.1. Oxford Student System (OSS)
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
This is used to provide central admin with staff email addresses and SSO usernames. A table is maintained of a mapping of payroll units to IT Services units.
2.3. ITSS register
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.
The register also contains registered web managers.
2.4. Depts/Colleges who run their own mailers
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.
2.5. Clubs and Societies
Information on Sports Clubs is provided by the Sports Federation and used to authorize Sport Club accounts
Mansfield Road Clubs- authorizing data is from the Club
Proctors Clubs- authorizing data is from the Proctors
3. Who sees/uses what data?
Card data is made available to ITSS only by the permission of the Card Office.
4. Timing of Registration processes
Many registration processes are batched and run at certain times of the day. Others eg updating Nexus outgoing sender addresses are effective immediately.
4.1. University Card
Data from the University Card is processes after midnight, Tuesday to Saturday.
4.2. Card dependent jobs
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.
4.3. Mailer table updates
This affects both email addresses changes, new addresses and deletions.
4.4. Remote Access accounts- creation and update
Creation or changes to Remote Access passwords and expiry times are effective on the next half hour
4.5. TSM registrations
TSM registration of new machines via Self Registration, changes to existing TSM registrations e.g. password setting, change of contact are effective immediately
Changes from 'weekly to daily' backup may take a day or so, as there are some manual steps.
4.6. University Card expiry warnings
One month prior to card completion date, warnings are sent at 05.35 if an email address is available.
4.7. Account project time warnings
One month prior to project time on Nexus, Remote Access, Help Centre accounts and TSM registrations, warnings are sent between 01.00 and 5.50 if an email address is available.
4.8. Account expiry and deletions
Remote Access accounts are deleted on project time in jobs that run between 05.15 and 05.25
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
4.9. Mail delivery for IT Services managed units stops at 2 months after Card completion date
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).
4.10. Email address wind down ( for current people)
When a person's University Card affiliation or name changes, the old form is available for a period of 2 months to allow smooth transition to the new email address.
The day after the change is made, the person will be automatically emailed the list of expiring addresses. Two months later, the email address will be automatically deleted.
4.11. Wind-down dates for students ( leaving)
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.
|Year End||End of Trinity 8th Week||Card completion date(a)||Email address fails -2 months||End of Access to OSS -6 months||Numbers(b)|
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
|Card Expiry||Postgrad Type||Numbers|
4.12. ITSS/ Webmaster Register
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
email@example.com 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.
IT Officers/Webmasters are removed from the Register and the mailing lists, when their University Card expires.
The Register is audited once a year- usually in May.
5. Further information
For further information on any of these processes contact firstname.lastname@example.org