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December 2011 Archives

New U of M Sign In Pages, Effective February 15

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 5 a.m. (pending approval by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Change Approval Board), OIT will upgrade the University of Minnesota sign in page and its authentication platform. As a result of this upgrade, the following significant change will be noticed:

New Sign In Page

The newly designed sign in page offers significant improvements. It has been updated to meet University branding standards, to accommodate screen readers, and to display on mobile devices. For a visual demonstration of the changes, compare the following:

Posted on Friday, Dec 16, 2011 | Permalink

MATLAB on Sale to all U of M Students

OIT has announced that all University of Minnesota students enrolled in at least one credit are now eligible to purchase a one year MATLAB license. MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables you to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages such as C, C++, and Fortran. It is used primarily by Computer Science students. Qualifying CSE & CFANS students will continue to have access to a license free of charge through their college.

To learn more about MATLAB and see it in action, visit the MATLAB site.

To purchase the software at the discounted student rate, visit the U of M MATLAB Software UTools page.

Posted on Thursday, Dec 8, 2011 | Permalink

Spotlight on Aaron Caveny

Each month ITSS highlights a different member of the staff to let you get to know some of the great people who are working "behind the scenes" to make technology work for our campus. This month the spotlight is on Aaron Caveny, Technology Support Professional. Aaron Caveny joined ITSS in October as a full-time staff member.

What Aaron does for ITSS

Aaron's primary focus is desktop support for Windows and Macintosh customers in the areas of email/Gmail, web browsers, Active Directory, mobile computing, networking, and general software. Aaron's office is located in Kirby Plaza 166D and he may be reached at or 726-8864.


Aaron brings a variety of technical and leadership skills to ITSS. He worked for six years at Citon Computer Corp in Duluth in a number of service and support roles.  He is a graduate of UMD with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Information Systems. 


Aaron enjoys the outdoors, specifically the BWCA. He has lead numerous trips to the BWCA in both summer and winter months. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.

Interesting Facts

Aaron is married to Wendy Caveny and together they have a 15 month old daughter named Evelynn. Aaron and Wendy have a 7 year old German Shorthaired Pointer named Bagley along with two cats. An all white cat named Boo and an all black cat named Spook.

Posted on Monday, Dec 5, 2011 | Permalink

Enterprise Data Warehouse Server Replacement

The Data Warehouse server will be upgraded to an Exadata server on December 18, 2011. This may or may not have an effect on how you access the Data Warehouse Tables. Listed below are different scenarios of accessing the Data Warehouse and how these scenarios are affected by the move to the Exadata server.

Access to DWPROD via Data Warehouse Web Query Tool (WQT)

For users who access the Data Warehouse tables using the WQT (, this change should be seamless and you will not do anything different.

Access to DWPROD via System or Server

If you access the Data Warehouse through another server, the server will need to be authorized by its IP address in order to access the Exadata server. Only servers whose IP addresses have been submitted to OIT will be able to connect to the Exadata server. Please email the IP address of the connecting server to Phil Husby at

Following migration to the Exadata server, if your server's IP address should change, the new IP address will need to be shared with OIT by sending the new IP address to OIT-BI-

Direct Access to DWPROD via PC or Laptop

If you are a user who directly connects to the Data Warehouse tables using another software product on your PC or laptop, such as Toad, SQL Plus, MS Access or SQL Developer, you have two options for making a connection.

Option 1:

You must first log into the OIT VPN software application prior to making a connection with your software product. Once you are logged on to OIT VPN, you will remain connected until you disconnect from OIT VPN or shut down your computer. In order to install the correct version of VPN on your PC/Laptop, please go to Downloads and Guides web page and use the instructions below to download, install and configure OIT VPN.

  • After installing, open the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client. In the "Connect to" field, enter and click select.
  • Three new fields should display below: Group, Username, and Password.
  • In the Group dropdown, select AnyConnect-OIT03-VP001.
  • This requires you to login with your M-Key.

Option 2:

If you need access to any UMD servers while you are connected to the Data Warehouse, you will not be able to make this connection while using the OIT VPN software application. In this scenario, which overrides the need for using OIT VPN, you will need to contact ITSS at to have your PC IP address put into an IP address range that will allow connection to the new server.

You will also need to set up the connection profiles to the database instances for the new Exadata server on your PC or laptop. The connection profile information for the test database is:

    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(Host = 1521))
      (SERVICE_NAME = dwtst.oit)))

The connection information for the production database is currently being determined by OIT and will be released when finalized. Please contact the ITSS helpdesk , extension 8847, for more information about the connection profile information for the production database, or you may also contact Debbie Wing,, if you need more information to configure your connection to the new server.

When your configuration is complete, be sure to try accessing the Exadata test system and test the queries that you normally run. Please complete your testing in early December in order to allow time to fix any issues that are found.

Posted on Monday, Dec 5, 2011 | Permalink

UCard Campus Cash Changes Coming Spring / Summer 2012

ITSS is working with the Business Office, Library, Auxiliary Services, UMD Stores, and Chemistry to upgrade to a new technology for campus cash. The new technology will still allow use of the Ucard, but the cash value will live in a secure database instead of being magnetically written to the card.

For the past thirteen years, UMD has supported a method of spending, using the UCard, that relies on a magnetic strip on the card storing cash value. Students, faculty and staff use this by putting cash value on their card at one of several cash-to-card machines around campus and then expending that value by printing in the labs, making copies in the library, purchasing chemistry supplies, and parking in the pay lots. The technology we currently use to do these types of transactions is no longer supported by any vendor.

We will work to publicize this during Spring semester to encourage users to expend as much of the value from their cards as possible by the end of Spring 2012. There will be a process to move cash value from the old system to the new one, but it will require end users to visit an exchange station.

More details will be shared as they emerge. Please contact jdavis if you have any questions or concerns.

Posted on Monday, Dec 5, 2011 | Permalink