UMass WISE About WISE
  • Goals
  • Team
  • System Architecture


  • Web Information Systems for Everyone (WISE) is a system developed to make up-to-date information widely accessible to the University of Massachusetts' students and employees.  WISE was designed to provide customers with a quick and convenient way to access their information located in administrative computer systems with their desktop computer.  The popularity of the World Wide Web and the myriad of web sites providing dynamic, interactively based information made it the perfect interface for this information exchange.

    The WISE Team Photo
    The Original WISE Project Team

    Get to know our Project Team...

    The WISE project is a collaborative effort among many of the administrative offices at the University of Massachusetts:  University Information Systems (UIS), the Office of the Amherst Undergraduate Registrar, the Amherst Graduate School, the Amherst Continuing Education Department, the Amherst Financial Aid Office, the Amherst Bursar's Office, the Boston Office of Registration and Records, the Boston Graduate Admissions and Records Office, the Boston Division of Continuing Education, the Boston Financial Aid Office, and the Boston Bursar's Office. UIS warehouses the administrative data for all of these offices, therefore the union is a natural one.


    Goals

    To improve service to our customers by providing access to administrative and student data warehoused on the administrative mainframe that:


    The Team




    System Architecture

    WISE is based on a system developed by the University of Delaware, and is comprised of several pieces of hardware and software.   All University of Massachusetts student academic information resides in databases running in the MVS operating environment on an IBM 3090 mainframe.  This computer performs data warehousing and processing for administrative departments of the entire University 5-Campus System.  These include, Administration and Finance, Human Resources/payroll, accounting, and purchasing, as well as for the university's student data systems, ie:  Registrar's Office, Financial Aid, Bursar's, Admissions and Housing.

    IBM 3090 Mainframe   IBM 3090 Mainframe  IBM Logo Hardware
  • 64 Mips 128 MB ext. mem.
  • 128 MB main mem.
  • 108 GB disk drive storage
  • 3275 FECC
  • 3 line printers (2000LPM)
  • 2 laser printers (80PPM)
  • 683 local terminals
  • 814 remote terminals
  • 400 gateway terminals
  • >100 tn3270 connections
  • Software
  • MVS-ESA 4.3
  • CICS/VS 2.1.2
  • OS/VS COBOL 2.4
  • COBOL II 4.0
  • SAS, Rel. 6.08
  • EMC2/TAO
  • System 2000, Rel. 11.5
  • Netview/ESA
  • Viewcom 4.1

  • Hardware
  • SPARC version 8.85
  • 64 MB RAM
  • 2 2.1 GB SCSI hd
  • 10 MB/sec 10-baseT NIC
  • SUN 4mm DAT tape drive
  • Software
  • SUN Solaris 2.5
  • Common Desktop Environment
  • Netscape Commerce Server 1.2
  • SUN Sparc 5 SUN
    Sparc 5
    running
    Solaris 2.5


    While the administrative IBM 3090 Mainframe holds all the data made available through the WISE system, ie: student schedules, grades, bills, etc..., the SUN Sparcstation 5 acts as the actual WISE Web Server.  It uses the Netscape Commerce Server to accept HTTP requests from web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and others that support Secured Sockets Layer (SSL).  The communication between the SUN Sparcstation and the IBM Mainframe is accomplished with software developed by the University of Delaware, which they have graciously provided to the University of Massachusetts free of charge!

    Spiffy animated system diagram WISE Architecture
    A simplified explanation of WISE, the diagram to the left displays how the WISE system returns information to your web browser:

    Information flow begins with your PC attached to the Internet which establishes a connection to the WISE Web Server (SUN Sparc 5) using the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

    Each one of these connections includes requests from the client (web browser, ie: Netscape) to the server for data and a subsequent response from the server which then transmits data back to the client.  This entire conversation is protected using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), one of several industry-wide specifications for data encryption.

    The system then uses a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) program to communicate with custom-written servers on the mainframe which retrieve data from the various databases.

    This information is HTMLized and then passed back to the SUN box running the Netscape Commerce Server which encrypts the information and "serves" it back to the web browser, where it is displayed on your desktop.


    Web Information Systems for Everyone