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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

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Starting at the end of last semester, Webadvisor has been crackling with large increases of students seeking grades, to change their classes or look up their schedule. As almost any student or staff member knows, the spike in activity has all but shut down webadvisor.

Webadvisor was shut down on January fifth for maintenance to try and increase the number of users that could use the system at any given time. However, come Monday the system faltered again. The reasoning for the disruption of service is an error from a software upgrade.

With webadvisor basically down the average student has no recourse but to wait in line. Problems such as this are often difficult to foresee. Without the ability to simulate or create the type of traffic that happens during the change of semesters, there is no way to know exactly what the website is going to do.

Thecannon.ca was updated in September and also experienced glitches. As websites replace tangible systems, the intermittent break down during real-world testing is is the price to be paid for eventual efficiency.

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  1. Posted by: Jonathon on Jan 9, 2008 @ 1:10am

    Money well spent upgrading from the old version of web advisor (that always seemed to work at the end of December) to the new version!

  2. Posted by: Gregory on Jan 9, 2008 @ 1:34am

    Now what people fail to realize is that the university is not completely to blame for these problems, such a large update to the system most likely would have been imposed by the developing company. – And WebAdvisor is an out-of-house developed system!

    With systems as large as WebAdvisor updates are known to fix issues and are bound to create new problems – the damning part is developing companies have the power to impose new version and upgrades to the clients even if their existing system is working. They can easily say you have to upgrade in order for the developing company to maintain support and warranty etc. As far as I’ve heard this has basically been the case, the American company that manages WebAdvisor came out with the updated system and said here you go. Yes we all are suffering the results and not a soul here is happy that the system we are dependant upon without and alternative is screwed but give the CCS department a bit of slack if not a little support … Don’t keep bitching to fix the system that they ARE trying to fix but provide better alternatives so that when this happens we aren’t completely in the dark.

  3. Posted by: Craig Cohen on Jan 9, 2008 @ 10:14am

    You can esily say its not the universities fault and they are not to blame, but does a manager get blamed when his team fails? certainly! I pay good (and usually excessive ammounts of) money to be able to check my grades (which for many is EXTREMELY needed info for course selection) and it has failed. The university should just revert back to the old working system. why mess with something that works!

  4. Posted by: Marc T on Jan 9, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Craig: I'm assuming they can't go back to the old version. I'm sure they would have preferred to do that much earlier on (like in December) if they could.

    Gregory: If it wasn't the school's fault don't you think they'd blame the real culprit? Nope, they screwed up and now they have to eat it.

    Really though it's the students who are getting screwed. I think we can come to a consensus about that. The school should explain the situation very clearly and who is at fault. We deserve at least that.

  5. Posted by: on Jan 9, 2008 @ 5:14pm

    Hi folks,

    Just wanted to let you know that the CSA has been in close communication with the Registrar and the Chief Information Officer regarding this issue. I have expressed to the administration the concerns of students regarding this situation. They assured me that they are doing what they can in the short run to try to make the system work. I understand that there will be another attempt to fix the system Wednesday night. We will be following up with the administration to determine (a) just exactly went wrong and (b) how it can be prevented in the future.

  6. Posted by: j on Jan 9, 2008 @ 6:58pm

    I'm just wondering if CCS bothered load testing the new version of webadvisor before deploying it. Certainly they know what kind of traffic they'll be getting throughout the year, I don't think its unreasonable to think that they should've made sure it could handle the increased stress on the servers.

  7. Posted by: Gloria on Jan 10, 2008 @ 10:57am

    I'm not bitching as there are ways around webadvisor, and I know they're doing all they can to make things easier on us. I just think they could have picked a better time to do the switch, and have it tested before the bulk of the activity in end of December came around.

    I think the Add/Drop period should be extended just like the tuition payment deadline was.

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