2016 Year in Review

Intro

eduTrac SIS (etSIS) has been downloaded 6,215 times which is 625 more downloads than last year. Below are some other statistics you may be interested in as well.

  • # Commits to Git: 197
  • # Forum Topics: 101
  • # Forum Replies: 747
  • # New Users: 169
  • # Lines of Code: 580,000+
    • PHP: 253,318
    • Javascript: 168,899
    • CSS: 98,096
    • HTML: 58,679
    • Other(s): 3,559

As you can probably tell from the stats above, etSIS has had a productive year with regards to development.

2017 is going to be even better starting with the major release of 6.3.0 in January. All of the code in this release has been updated or enhanced in one way or another. Many of the changes won’t be noticeable right away because some are setting the foundation for new features down the road, while others will be noticeable such as database changes, screen changes, etc.

The biggest new feature for 2017 is the Business Rules Engine (BRE). I am certain that you are going to love the new business rule feature. Business rules is a feature that has been on the roadmap since etSIS’s conception, and I think it is going to greatly enhance the system as well as increase productivity.

Why is the business rules engine such a big deal? Business rules gives you the flexibility to create a logical framework for business operations. Staff members won’t need to concern themselves with day to day situational decisions. By using business rules, you can cut out the middle man. It’s a taste of artificial intelligence!

For example, if you are using the Financial module, you are aware that during the first time a student registers for a particular term, a bill is automatically generated. However, at the moment, it only adds tuition and you will need to manually add other fees to a student’s bill. With the implementation of business rules, this can happen automatically based on certain criteria that needs to be met.

Please note that although business rules will be present in 6.3.0, they won’t be fully implemented/integrated until 6.3.1. Furthermore, once the BRE is fully implemented and integrated, we can begin to make serious headway with degree audit. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a BRE, check out the articles in the footnotes1.

Besides the new business rules feature, below are some other exciting changes to look forward to in 2017.

  • Degree planning and audit using business rule engine.
  • Attendance tracking and reports.
  • SMS with Twilio.
  • Communication management revamp using NodeQ.
  • New error logging api fully integrated.
  • Better SSL support.
  • Password reset request.
  • Enhanced security for secure cookies.
  • Email template for system emails.
  • Gradebook revamp with reports and importing.
  • General Ledger fixes.
  • National Student Loan Clearinghouse (NSLC)
  • FTP for NSLC files.
  • Enhanced form layout for some screens.
  • Rename some db tables.
  • Moving graduate data to new tables.

Webinar

Because of the amount of background updates and the addition of a business rules engine, a free two hour online webinar is scheduled a week before the 6.3.0 is released. Attending this webinar is highly recommended.

Release

eduTrac SIS 6.3.0 is due to be released on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

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