noticeboard.ru.ac.za

2010/03/02 - P2000 Access Control Upgrade
As part of the new library project, the current Johnson Controls P2000 access control system will be upgraded from version 3.6 to version 3.8. This is a major upgrade that makes a number of changes and introduces new functionality.

The upgrade was originally going to happen in January, but we vetoed this because of the dependency student registration has on the system. We've held off as long as we can to allow the bulk of the 2010 students to be registered, but the library project now urgently requires the upgrade to take place. As a result, Johnson Controls is on site and the change is scheduled to happen during the course of this week.

During the upgrade, the access control system will continue to operate normal. People who have existing access rights should continue to be able to get in
and out of doors, and the system will continue to buffer information as if there was a network outage. You will, however, be unable to log into the P2000 application or make any changes to the system. (i.e. no cardholders can be added to the system, and access groups for existing cardholders cannot be changed).

Once the upgrade is complete, you'll more than likely need to install a new version of the client on your computer before you can re-connect. We'll try and schedule with our support staff that they assist you and that this happens as quickly as possible. (We only became aware that this would be necessary this morning.)

There are a number of Rhodes-specific parts to the system (taking on of students from the student records system, updating of the public flag for new
cardholders and badges, postgraduate access to BraŠ lab). These will probably not work immediately after the upgrade, and will require some redevelopment. This will most likely affect the Student Bureau's ability to print student cards. It may take us the remainder of the week to resolve these problems.

Please could you try and ensure that any urgent changes to your access requirements are completed during the course of today.
It turns out that the changes to P2000's management information system interface (what we use to interface with our systems) are more complicated that we initially imagined. As a result, we haven't managed to re-instate any of the MIS functionality we used to have, and are in contact with the vendors as to how to best resolve this.

The following depend on the MIS interface and are known not to work:
  • expiry of student badges (cards)
  • adding new students (students who registered after 2 March do not exist)
  • setting of cardholders or badges as public. Whilst not strictly necessary, this catered for the situation where operators forgot to set this flag themselves.
  • automatic assignment of access groups (such as for BraŠ lab or the Library)
  • manual bulk additions

The following are known to work:
  • normal operational functions within buildings (assigning of individual rights, etc)
  • addition of new staff (with the caveat about the public flag)
  • replacement of badges for any existing cardholders (i.e. replacing a lost student or staff card, etc)

It is likely to take some time, perhaps several weeks, before the previous MIS functionality is restored -- doing so involves completely re-developing this functionality from scratch, a process that took several months in the first instance. The list above provides a rough indication of how we'll prioritise this development.
QUOTE
  • expiry of student badges (cards)
  • adding new students (students who registered after 2 March do not exist)
  • setting of cardholders or badges as public. Whilst not strictly necessary, this catered for the situation where operators forgot to set this flag themselves.

The above issues should now be resolved.
QUOTE(guy @ Mar 10 2010, 07:55 PM)
  • automatic assignment of access groups (such as for BraŠ lab or the Library)
  • manual bulk additions

Note that neither of the above functions currently work, and may not work for a few weeks yet. They're particularly complicated to implement, and require that we're able to completely reverse engineer the database structures of the newly upgraded access control system.

In the interim, the Information Technology division is not in a position to assist people with ad-hoc changes. In particular, we cannot grant newly registered students (or students who's academic status has changed, or new staff) access to either the BraŠ lab or the Library 24 hour reading room. Students or staff in this position will need to make alternative arrangements (such as using one of the other laboratories on campus) until the automated update process is re-instated. At present we cannot say when this might be.

Students and staff who registered and had access to these facilities prior to 2 March and who have subsequently replaced their cards should still get access provided that the Student Bureau issues the new cards correctly. Unfortunately it appears this isn't always the case, and sometimes cards are issued without preserving the existing access rights.

Note the last five digits of the barcode on the back of your card should match the card number (printed in the bottom right corner of the back of your card, preceded by an asterisk). If these do not match, your problem is not related to the above upgrade -- your card has been incorrectly issued and the card number recorded in the system is wrong. If this is the case, please contact the Student Bureau and ask them them to re-issue your new card correctly.
QUOTE(guy @ Mar 10 2010, 07:55 PM)
  • automatic assignment of access groups (such as for BraŠ lab or the Library)
  • manual bulk additions

These now work.
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