The Original WISE 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.|
To improve service to our customers by providing access to administrative and student data warehoused on the administrative mainframe that:
Our UNIX guy, James is employed by the University of Massachusetts University Information Systems (UIS) office as their Unix and VMS Systems Administrator. For this project, his responsibilities include the SUN box's system administration, installation and configuration of the Netscape Commerce Server.
Have you noticed the cute WISE WIZARD logo? Well as our resident graphic artist all-around Web designer - not to mention Olympic level volleyball player, Flak (as he is affectionately called by his adoring fans) designed the logo as well as other WISE graphic elements, web site flow, and page layouts including this ABOUT page.
Ed is one of the University Administrative IBM mainframe system administrators/programmers. He was responsible for some mainframe programming, MVS system support and design, installation and configuration of the mainframe servers.
The inspiration for our first idea for a WISE logo, HOWELL THE OWL, Howell has been invaluable in his participation in the original WISE system design, SUN system administration, UNIX programming, and Netscape Commerce ServerInstallation. He is currently employed by University Information Systems as a Technical Support Analyst.
A Senior Systems Analyst for UIS and the WISE project team leader, Karen, who originally hired Marc and has lived to regret it, had the inenviable job of trying to keep the rest of the team in line. Besides that small miracle, she programmed most of the system, servers, and modified the CGI programs in C, coordinated the project, and was instrumental in its original design and implementation.
Marc, the Registrar's Office Network Specialist and omnipotent computer-god, was involved in a wide range WISE issues. He participated in the original design and implementation of the WISE system architecture, performed CGI programming, designed the HELP page, and helped determine page layouts and web page flow.
The newest members of the WISE team:
These University Information Systems programmers are writing
the application programs to extract the data from the UIS databases, format
it for the World-Wide Web, and pass it on to the WISE servers. Currently,
this group includes Ann Adeletti-Reneris, Cheryl Ferriter, and Don Plante.
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||
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!
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