University of California, San Diego

May 18, 1998
Route to: Campus Managers and Departmental Security Administrators
SUBJECT: Web-based "Link Family" replaces the OMNIS-7 Systems
About a year ago I sent you a message regarding our plans for migrating
the OMNIS-based Administrative Computing browsers to the Web (see original
message below). I am pleased to inform you that most of the tasks have
been completed and that we now have in place a full set of Web-based
services, affectionately known as the "Link Family" products.
- StudentLink (http://studentlink.ucsd.edu) replaces the Classes and
Student Browser.
- FinancialLink (http://financiallink.ucsd.edu) replaces the Financial
Ledger and the Purchase Order Browsers.
- EmployeeLink (http://employeelink.ucsd.edu) replaces the Employee
- UCSD Directory (http://www-act.ucsd.edu/teldir/telhome.html) replaces
the Phone Directory Browser.
The migration of the two other Omnis-based systems (transactional Time
Keeping and Graphical IFIS) to the Web will be completed before the end of
this calendar year.
The Link-Family services were designed to have a common "look & feel" and
be as easy-to-use as possible. They are available to authorized users who
have access to the Internet and to a Web browser (Netscape Navigator or
Internet Explorer versions 3.0 and above).
These products were designed, developed, tested, and installed by many
talented people across campus who enthusiastically partnered to deliver
these services in a very short period of time. I encourage you to use
the systems and send us feedback on your experience. By their nature,
these systems will evolve over time and will be as good as the feedback
that we receive.
Elazar C. Harel
Assistant Vice Chancellor - ACT
University of California, San Diego
April 8, 1997
Route to: Campus Managers and Departmental Security Administrators
SUBJECT: Migration from OMNIS-7/DARWIN Systems to the Web
Dear Colleagues:
After much thought and campus consultation, we have decided to devote
significant ACT resources to developing Web-based tools which will, within
one year, replace and extend the functionality of the existing OMNIS-7
systems (also known as DARWIN Browsers). Given resource and time
constraints, we will have to freeze all new OMNIS-7 development and we will
not upgrade the current systems for support of new operating systems (e.g.,
Windows NT 4.0).
ACT is fully committed to supporting the existing OMNIS-7 products until
the appropriate replacements are available. To that end, we will keep
maintaining the systems and will fix production problems if and when they
Information about the background and rationale for this decision is
described in Appendix A below and is also available at
http://www-act.ucsd.edu on the ACT Web site by clicking on the OMNIS/Browser button.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by
email at eharel@ucsd.edu or by phone at x43396.
Thank you.
Elazar C. Harel
Assistant Vice Chancellor - ACT
Many of you are currently using administrative computing systems which are
based on OMNIS-7 technology. These include the DARWIN Browsers (Financial,
Student, Employee, Purchase Orders, and Phone), Graphical-IFIS, Merit
Allocation, and the online Time Keeping systems.
OMNIS-7 was purchased a few years ago, when it was the leading graphical
client/server development tool, especially for organizations which required
multi-platform workstation capabilities (i.e., Windows and Macintosh). The
OMNIS-7 browsers were developed by ACT and were successfully implemented,
with several hundred active campus users currently utilizing the systems.
This technology has served UCSD very well, but it will not scale up as we
transition to a much larger level of cross-platform computing (e.g.,
extending access to faculty and students). Potential problems include
incompatibilities with new operating systems, complex installation
procedures which require technical expertise at the user offices, having to
wait for the application to be updated if there have been changes, and
relatively high costs.
Over the last few years we have all seen a dramatic shift in computer
technology, with the Internet becoming a household commodity and the
World-Wide-Web (e.g., Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer) becoming the
de-facto user interface standard. The Web has many advantages over other
traditional client/server technologies, primarily when it comes to
ease-of-use, common navigation, low support cost, and simple maintenance.
As some of you know, a partial migration from OMNIS-7 to the Web has
already begun with the implementation of the Web-based Phone Directory on
InfoPath and with the StudentLink system which currently provides secure Web-based student and class information to eligible students, faculty, and staff. Over the next few months we will complete the migration of student-related functions and will discontinue the OMNIS-7 Students & Classes browser. Similarly, we will soon start developing "FinancialLink" and "EmployeeLink".
If you would like to have a glimpse at the look-and-feel of the new
systems, please take a look at StudentLink at http://studentlink.ucsd.edu
on the
In order to complete the transition within the given aggressive timeframe
and within our limited resources, the current OMNIS-7 version (3.2) will be
supported as is and will not be upgraded. This means that OMNIS-7 systems
will not be usable with Windows NT 4.0 unless the workstations are
configured with a dual-boot option to also run Windows 95. The new Web-based
applications which will replace the OMNIS-7 systems will be available
within less than one year from today (no later than April, 1998). To assure a
smooth transition, we will continue to support the OMNIS-7 systems until
January, 1999.