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What does going from Banner 7 to Banner 8 mean?
Banner is a software application written by SungardHE that uses an Oracle database to gather, store and present information through forms (INB), reports and web self service (UNCGenie). Every 18-24 months the vendor (SungardHE) releases a new major version to deliver functional and technical improvements to Banner. UNCG must implement these versions to retain support from the vendor and to remain in compliance with Federal Regulations (i.e. Financial Aid, Tax Laws).
Why does Banner need to be down so long?
Banner has a number of modules, General, Student, Financial Aid, Accounts Receivable, Advancement, Finance and Human Resources. Each of these modules contains 100's of forms (screens), that store data in 100's of tables. With the change from Banner 7 to Banner 8, the underlying Oracle Database moves to a new "character set". This requires that over 100 million of rows of data in thousands of tables be converted to the new "character set'. A number of forms are changing, and a number of other tables and programs are being updated. This work must be performed while no one is logged into the system.
By taking Banner down at midnight on Friday, IT staff can work around the clock over the weekend to implement the changes and run the character set conversion. Then IT staff must verify that a number of related systems properly re-connect to the updated environment. These systems include, UNCGenie, Workflow, TouchNet Payment Gateway, ADS, UnixAFS environment, WebFocus, Application Explorer, I3, NOLIJ and more.
All of this work over the weekend is to prepare the system for Client Acceptance Testing on Monday by a designated set of client representatives. Once they verify that all critical aspects of Banner 8 are functioning, Banner (and Banner based services) will be made available to the campus by 7am Tuesday morning.
Many faculty and some staff are away during Spring Break. Why make the change when people are not here?
Due to University operations and the need for extended downtime, there are limited windows where it is possible to perform a major change like this, with the least amount of risk. The timing was selected to minimize disruption to student services and financial processes including payroll.
Will Blackboard be down during this time?
Blackboard itself will remain available as normal with the following exceptions:
What are the changes from Banner 7 to Banner 8?
In addition to the character set conversion Banner 8 finalizes a transition, begun under Banner 7 to "New Curriculum" which affects how data about student major is stored. Some forms and processes across all modules have been enhanced and Banner centric administrative offices have been learning about and testing the changes to incorporate them into daily operations.
Will the screens change? Do I have to get re-trained?
Banner 8 has the same look and feel as Banner 7. Most screen names remain the same but some have added or changed functionality. Enrollment Services offers end user training on Banner [see http://utlc.uncg.edu/workshops/] Click on Banner General Training for offerings.
How will I start up Banner 8?
Go to http://inb.uncg.edu. Follow the prompts. If you need help see the information at http://banner.uncg.edu/inb/. For help with browser compatibility and Java components with Banner 8, please consult the following PDF: http://banner.uncg.edu/banner8/faqs/B8_Browser_Comp_Java.pdf
Will my password change? Do I have to get another account?
No. The Banner password you are currently using will work after the change from Banner 7 to Banner 8 is complete. If you need to reset your Banner password after Banner 8 becomes available, do so via http://reset.uncg.edu. You do not have to get another account to use Banner 8.
Will UNCGenie change?
UNCGenie will look and function the same.
Will my ODBC connections (for Access Reporting) change?
Existing ODBC connections will not be affected by the change to Banner 8. However UNCG is encouraging campus reporting users to transition from MS Access to using WebFocus. For more information click here.
Will Banner be faster/more reliable under Banner 8?
Application and database performance depend on a number of factors: concurrent users, network speed, server memory, server processor speed and server disk speed among others. Banner 8 introduces a new "character set" to the Oracle database. SungardHE has indicated that some programs may run longer under the new character set required by Banner 8. ITS is working very closely with the vendor as the vendor releases optimized versions of Banner 8 code designed for efficient execution under the new character set. Users may experience differences in application or batch job "speed". ITS will be closely monitoring performance and work to tune the environment to maximize performance while maintaining the reliability and fail-over capacity.