Online issues impair ease of registration

by Deborah Bernstein | 9/21/00 5:00am

While the Registrar's Office originally intended this year's registration process to be smoother thanks to the new online drop/add class option, multiple computer problems shut down the Banner Student server for a period yesterday, resulting again in long lines at its office.

Starting Tuesday evening and into yesterday morning, students were either unable to log onto the site to register for courses, or having been allowed to sign on, found the site operating slowly.

Students then had to go to the registrar to drop or add classes to their schedule, instead of being able to do the service online -- a program that was tested during the Summer term but was making its official debut this year.

Students were also not able to check course assignments or schedules, or check-in for the term -- all functions of the Banner Student program.

Phillip Hobbie of Computer Services said it was a combination of factors that led to the problems.

Hobbie said the program's software was malfunctioning, causing extra sessions to be created and as a result, it seemed like there were more people accessing the system than there were in reality. People trying to sign on thus received a message saying that the login capacity had been exceeded.

The move of machines from Kiewit Computation Center to the new facilities in Berry Library could have contributed to the problems as well, Hobbie said.

To solve the problems, Hobbie said the servers were switched to different computers with higher capacities.

Hobbie said the problems were fixed by 2 p.m. yesterday and that Computer Services teams would be looking at the day's events to ensure future problems would not occur.

The Registrar's Office was also affected, despite using different software than students. They were unable at first to log into programs that would help them enter the drop/adds students who could not do so online.

Registrar Polly Griffin said the office was "so disappointed" about the problems but that overall lines at the Registrar were not as long as they had been in the past.

Griffin said that while the Registrar handled some 3,000 transactions in its office, the web program was handling over 1,000 once the server was changed, and that overall the day went smoothly.