INB: Banner On-Campus
Sungard-SCT's BANNER system is our mission-critical student and finance database. It houses current and historical records for students and alumni, as well as fiscal data for the College. In one way or another it touches virtually everything that goes on at Dowling.
In this newsletter we review some of the key resources you can use to master Internet-Native Banner (INB), which is the version of Banner that we use on-campus. In a future newsletter we will cover BannerWeb which is accessible from anywhere by anyone with a Dowling network account.
Hardware, Software, Networking
Banner is a very large database management system based on Oracle. It is housed on an IBM p630 server with external, expandable SAN storage that replaced older equipment last year. Since it is the College's primary, mission-critical system, we make backups on a nightly basis, and the system itself backs up on a minute-by-minute basis using "transaction logs".
Your PC interacts with the Banner server indirectly. Through a special program called "jinitiator" that runs through Internet Explorer, you open the network-delivered Banner 6 PROD icon on your desktop, and your PC connects through our local network to an intermediate server that manages the exchange of data between you and the Banner server. Having an intermediary increases security, improves throughput, and gives us the ability to provide redundancy.
Learning to Use Banner
Each functional area is responsible for training its own staff. Because Banner's reach is so vast, we have found that it is best to limit the scope of training to the modules relevant to each person's work. Here are the functional areas, and the primary "data owner" who should be your first contact for training and other "how-to" questions:
Finance: Julie Agnes x3137
Financial Aid: Diane Beltrani x3385
Student (Registration, Billing, etc.): Diane Kazanecki-Kempter x3271
Advancement: Rosemarie Guarini x3377
Human Resources: Ann DiMola 3373, Bea Carroll x3022
For a number of years we have used the first three modules; this year we are in the process of expanding our coverage to include Advancement, which helps us keep contact with our alumni, and Human Resources for various position control functions.
How Do I Get In?
For security reasons INB passwords are assigned and managed separately from other login credentials you may have at Dowling. If your job functions require it, your department coordinator will request that Administrative I.S. create Banner access for you. Once you are given your login name and password, you can click the Banner 6 PROD shortcut on your PC desktop, or browse to this location to login (on-campus only). If you have difficulty logging in please contact the Banner Hotline at x5033, or the Help Desk at x3445.
You should change your password as soon as you login... more on that shortly.
How Does Banner Work?
INB houses a large Oracle database arranged as multiple tables, each with many rows of data containing one or more fields. Oracle manages your password, and manages your permissions to view the various fields, rows and tables in Banner.
You cannot see or change things that you shouldn't. For example, if you are permitted to update student addresses in the "Student Records" section or "module", this does not mean you are permitted to enter purchase requisitions in the Finance module -- each module's permissions are granted "as needed" according to the role you play in Dowling's organization.
You access information using "forms" - screens that display fields from tables you need for a particular function. When you type the form name in the Direct Access field at the top of the screen (next to "Go"), Banner displays that form and opens the appropriate Oracle tables, and waits for you to enter data.
We mentioned that you should change your password as soon as you login for the first time. The form for changing passwords is named GUAPSWD; please refer to ban-pswd.html for detailed instructions.