Focus: Integration

May 7, 2010

In lieu of our normal cross-divisional “High-Five” structure, we are honoring three accomplishments by the Integration Department this week.

Integration, whose stated goal is “building capacity through innovation,” remains focused on constructing and enhancing our layers of “middleware” between the host systems and our applications. Toward this end, Integration recently demonstrated their dedication to operational efficiency with the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) innovations, cross training improvements, and Network Account automation.


A major push this summer is the implementation of Emory Mobile, which will enable users to view important class information on their iPhones. The key to making this work is to enable the new app to communicate with PeopleSoft (PS).

Kelly Bray (Integration) recently succeeded in using the ESB to create the connections between Emory Mobile and PS. In a joint effort with Steve Wheat (Enterprise Architecture), Kelly set up the integration code that accounts for how PS handles object-based queries from the ESB.

This standardization (called “abstracting”) is groundbreaking because it will allow the further integration of all three PS products: Human Resources (PeopleSoft HR), Enrollment Services (OPUS), and Financials System (Compass).

Training symbolTraining

In the area of training, Erika Buchholz (Integration) cross-trained and improved coverage between the Emory Shared Data (ESD) and Identity Management (IdM) teams.

As one of the newest “ticket managers” on the IdM team, Erika worked to become an expert in another groups’ area, namely, the EDM group. She made very good use of the departmental Wiki for various tips and tricks needed to perform the extra role.

As a result, productivity is improved because of the added expertise and increased coverage. Now instead of carrying the support pager every three weeks, team members get an extra week off before taking on the intensive coverage duty.

Automation symbolAutomation

Chris Alexander (Integration) recently automated the very arduous task of resetting NetIDs. What once was a difficult 10-15 manual steps, incorporating communication with somewhat unreliable ID tools, is now an automated two-step process.

The ID Team closely monitors NetIDs and Emory policy clearly states that an ID can only be changed in the event of a legal name change, an offensively generated ID, or a typo via the HR Onboarding process.

Despite the rarity of this event, the new automation is a big improvement because Chris used to be the only person on campus who could make these changes and they consumed his time. Now others in the department can share the duty more easily.

So, congratulations to the Integration Division for striving to improve their portion of our IT business.