Sungard Announces De-support for Banner 7.x in 2010 On Monday, January 19, Sungard Higher Education announced that Banner 9 would be generally available beginning late spring 2010. At the same time, Sungard announced that they would not support Banner 7 past September 1, 2010. Fordham University is currently running Banner 7. The University is actively planning our upgrade to Banner 8. The current target date to upgrade to Banner 8 is February 2010. This will give us plenty of time to complete the upgrade before Banner 7 is de-supported. This is a considerable upgrade, and will require support from Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, Finance, HR, and IT beginning this fall. Why must the University upgrade to Banner 8? • to maintain technical support by the vendor, SunGard Higher Education; • to be up to date with the regulatory releases for the Human Resources and Financial Aid applications in Banner; • to upgrade the existing functionality; • to implement new and enhanced functionality for refining the existing business processes; • to fix existing bugs in the system. When we licensed the Banner software from Sungard, the University made a decision to keep pace with Sungard as they upgraded their software. In making this decision, the University reaps the benefit of functional and technical enhancements introduced in the Banner product. Equally important, the University always uses a vendor-supported version of the Banner software. What are some of the new features of Banner 8? Banner Runs in a Web Browser Banner Version 8 is sometimes referred to as Internet Native Banner (INB) because it has been designed to run within a web browser. This change allows Banner to be accessed more conveniently from off-campus. In addition, it greatly simplifies desktop/ laptop support issues. New User Interface The most noticeable change with Banner 8 is the new user interface. Features of the new user interface include: • Enlarged the Banner forms window to 1024 x 768 • Improved alignment of screen elements • Improved navigation • Replaced the Options frame with Tabs for improved navigation and consistency with Luminis (i.e. MySJU) • Made disabled text easier to read • Enabled user-defined window colors • Provided an option to create personal URL links • Provided the ability to broadcast messages to all Banner users • Provided a new online help button Support for Multiple Curricula This enhancement allows the University to use multiple curricula for a person. In fact, Banner will now support unlimited majors, minors and concentrations for a student. Improved Drop and Withdrawal Processing The University can now control whether or not a student will be dropped from a connected course (e.g. linked course or co-requisite). Standardization of Person Identification Forms Person identification forms across all Banner modules have been standardized for consistent look and feel and, more importantly, for consistency in processing additions, deletions and changes. Improved Integration with Banner Sungard SCT has consolidated Banner programming logic and stored it in the database. This change allows software products from other vendors to work more easily with Banner. These application programming interfaces or APIs significant improve Banner integration with other software products. Common Matching or Preventing the Duplicate Entry of Person Information A new feature called Common Matching allows the University to create a set of shared rules within Banner to ensure that an entity (person or non-person) is truly new to the system before it is added to the database. This feature should reduce the number of duplicate person record entered into the database. Restricted Access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) With Banner 7, the University now has the ability to more effectively restrict access to information about a person for whom he/she does not have a legitimate business need. In addition, the University can mask sensitive information while displaying other mission critical data for a person. Database Upgrades One of the major functional changes in Banner 8.1 is the internationalization of the data. This requires the character set conversion of all Banner data to UTF-8, which is a global data standard. As a result of the UTF-8 data conversion, the length of the name, address, and currency fields will increase. These field-length changes might have an impact on the feeds from and to Banner and also on how this information displays on Banner forms, processes, and reports. What is the recommended web browser when using Banner? Internet Explorer is the recommended browser for Banner. Other browsers like Netscape, Firefox and Safari will likely work, however, they are unsupported at this time What services will be The Banner System will NOT be available for updates by affected during the system users during the upgrade period. Banner upgrade? A copy of Banner 7.x will be available to the users to query information during the upgrade period. Note: The upgrade will have minimal impact on Fordham’s reporting environment (ODS and Webfocus). Will Banner users be The Banner 8.1 test environment will be available to key able to test the new users by August 2009. These key users have been system? identified by business area to test the new release of the Banner applications (HR, Finance, Student, etc.). With technical guidance from Information Technology application support staff, the key users will identify the critical business processes, develop the test plans, and execute them. Note: The test data is a copy of the Banner 7.x data "in production" as of August 2009.
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