Monday, November 11, 2013

Today's Datatel Integration Incident

Today's blog will come in two parts. The first part is an allegorical account of what happened today between Datatel and Blackboard that caused the disruption that lead users to not be able to access their courses. The second part of today's blog will be the official System News regarding the incident that was authored by Melissa Stange.

*Allegorical account of today's Datatel Integration Incident*
Datatel (the system that deals with the vast majority of our user account information) and Blackboard (our online learning management system) are two close friends that go everywhere together and rely on each other's communication. Some,in the past, have called them, "two peas in a pod."
Datatel happens to be an important lady, and though what she has to say is crucial to every SU user, she is very shy; thus, what she says often goes unheard to all but Blackboard. Like a good friend, Blackboard recognizes how shy she is and keeps her out of the spotlight; but he makes sure to relay her words to all SU users in a clear and concise way.
Normally, Blackboard and Datatel communicate incredibly well, and because of that, their friendship flourishes.  Today was a little different, and though they never got angry at eachother, they certainly had a miscommunication.  Datatel was trying to say the right words to Blackboard, but the words did not come out properly!  Blackboard was left without words to relay, and because of that, he thought that what Datatel was trying to say is that he should temporarily deactivate all user accounts. So that's what he did.  Even though, she did not say exactly what she meant to.  

Shortly thereafter, Datatel found her voice again, and told Blackboard what it needed to do to correct the problem.  Blackboard did that, and all was right in the world.

*System News*
This morning the Datatel process that builds the integration table for Bb student enrollment failed due to timing out. This caused a data not to be in the table when Bb tried to update the student enrollment. Thus disabling all student records within Bb for the Fall courses. During this time, the Bb system was up and available for login. All non-grading & student course access was fully functional.

Upon first alert from Micheal Magro at 12:56p, IC Bb Team investigated to find the empty file. The Datatel team, CTL, & Help Desk was notified about the issue. IC Bb Staff were in the process of pulling last night enrollment file to get students back end when the normal integration process created a new good file. Due to the automation everyone had to wait till 2p for the re-activation of the student records.

During the waiting time period, IC Bb team personally responded to every Online Help Desk ticket submitted on the issue, all Bb Support emails received about the issue, IC Bb team responded to all emails received on the issue in our personal emails,  IC Bb Team posted information about what was happening on IC Facebook page, Twitter, & was communicating with Student Life.

When the student enrollments had been restored verified by reviewing user accounts for all who contacted us, an all clear email was sent to CTL, Help Desk, Student Life, IC Facebook page, Twitter, & Bb Support System News page.
IC has already taken steps to avoid this problem in the future and will continue to review the issue to see if there are additional steps that may be taken.  IC apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank all of you who submitted tickets via our online Web Help Desk system ( ).
Bb Support Team

(System News Authored by Melissa Stange)

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