What is the mainframe?
The University of Florida mainframe, also referred to as the North East Regional Data Center (NERDC), Student Admin, and GATA, is a conglomeration of now-outdated super computers that have run the business and student-related processes of the university since the early ‘70s. Most, but not all, of these processes have been migrated to a new Student Information System (SIS).
When will it be decommissioned?
Access will be removed June 24, 2019, for mainframe data and NERDC “green screens” and Student Admin (EAGLE) and other areas. It is important to note that coordinated efforts with key offices and data users have been underway for years to move information, processes and services off the mainframe. The vast majority of legacy systems have already been transferred and converted, and important information archived.
What does this mean to the UF community?
This will be an “invisible” process for students, and most staff and faculty already are using alternate means to access and manipulate data, such as through Enterprise Reporting, web services, the ESODBC warehouse, or the UF Data Lake. These groups should not be impacted when the mainframe is decommissioned June 24, 2019.
Should I be concerned? Who should I contact?
UFIT is tracking many remaining mainframe interactions and reaching out personally to those we know of who are not already engaged in the transition or taken care of via automatic processes. If you cannot identify the source and/or nature of your data interactions, first contact any related core office (i.e., Office of the University Registrar, Academic Advising, Financial Aid, Graduate School, Student Financials), or your unit’s IT staff. If they feel your interactions are related to the mainframe and have not been addressed, or suspect they are related to third party or homegrown applications that import “person” information, such as name, GatorLink ID, and email address, email firstname.lastname@example.org for routing to the appropriate area.
Can you give me some examples of how this impacts common data interactions?
What about reports that I use?
Reporting and Analytic tools such as Cognos, Tableau and D3 convert raw and often-cumbersome data into consumable and interpretable information. This refined information is essential for federally mandated reporting, as well as other indispensable university reporting. Enterprise Analytics is the newest version of the Cognos reporting and data management product suite, providing UF with report authoring, interactive (drag and drop) dash-boarding capabilities and data modeling capabilities, as well as the ability to collaborate and share datasets between users and across departments. We note that the connectivity of the new system allows for current and archived information to be pulled into Enterprise Reporting and Analytics easier and more effectively than before, and remind you that nearly all information sourced directly from the mainframe is now out of date. Read more at https://data.ufl.edu/data-management/enterprise-analytics/.
Where can I read more about data and find additional resources, such as documentation and how to sign up for targeted data listservs?
UF faculty and staff can sign into https://data.ufl.edu/ for detailed information, resources and contacts.
Also see our regularly updated Archived Data Reports and Paths.