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Wed 2 Aug 2006 04:00 AM

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Sun’s portal sheds light on UAE-U staff and students

A portal giving staff and students access to information from the UAE University’s (UAE-U) enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is to be created using technology from Sun Microsystems and SunGard.

SunGard’s Luminis Portal will provide users at the university with direct access to information, such as examination results and class schedules from the UAE-U’s SunGard Unified Digital Campus ERP system.

The deployment of the ERP system was completed in April this year and the portal is on target to be completed by the beginning of next year.

Michael Dobe, chief information officer at UAE-U, described the project as a huge undertaking for the university.

“This is the most important effort in terms of the university’s business practice that the university has undertaken in a decade,” he claimed.

“There are 16,000 students, 2,000 staff and a thousand faculty members so it’s a total of about 19,000 users of the system that will all be provided with a set of new services which they did not formerly have direct access to,” he added.

The system will be run on Sun servers using the Sun Solaris operating system, with the database being provided by Oracle. Sun’s Java Enterprise System will provide the integrated web, mail, and calendar and directory services of the portal.

Dobe described some of the ways in which users at UAE-U will be able to take advantage of the new system and the single point of access it will provide to data on the university’s ERP system.

“Students will be able to access their transcripts, their grades, their schedules, their registration information and faculty will be able to access their class schedules, it will be linked to their e-learning system and the staff will be able to get access to information like pay stubbs or the status of their accounts at the university,” he said.

According to Dobe, the service the university was providing to its users was insufficient without this direct access to the ERP system and under the new system staff workloads will be lessened. “The lack of a portal and the lack of an integrated business information system caused deficits in service, which we are addressing through the implementation of this integrated business information system,” he stated.

Tarek Ayass, regional manager for education and research at Sun Microsystems, said the implementation would be showcased as a Sun Centre of Excellence initiative.

“We are planning to turn this installation into a Sun Centre of Excellence that we can reference worldwide,” he claimed.

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