MySanDiego portal rennovated before registration

By Jackson Somes

Photo Courtesy of Jackson Somes/ The Vista

Photo Courtesy of Jackson Somes/ The Vista

Students registering for classes next semester will be confronted with a surprise. The MySanDiego portal, the website used to register for classes, has undergone a complete makeover. From Oct. 18 to early Oct. 21 the portal went down in order finish updating a brand new version of the portal.

An update to the portal has been long overdue. The last portal was introduced back in 2007. “We haven’t really had an upgrade since then,” Steffanie Hoie said, manager of ERP Banner Student Technologies Team.
The state of the old portal hardware was one of the primary motivators for upgrading the system. “The hardware on the old portal was failing,” Hoie said.

Vice Provost and Chief Information officer Chris Wessells also agreed the state of the hardware was in need of upgrading. “They [the old hardware] were like Frankenstein, we’ve been putting pieces into them in order to make them run correctly,” Wessells said.

Currently, the portal is running on all new technology. Hoie stressed the importance of utilizing the newest software available and latest version of the portal technology. “We’re a little ahead of the curve here, this is the latest and greatest” Hoie said.

The new portal has brought with it several changes in both design and function. The portal is now divided into two tabs, Torero Hub and Torero Life, each composed up separate sub-tabs. The different style of tabbing was done in order to group content a little differently from the previous portal. “That’s what we were hoping to have, a better navigation experience,” Hoie said.

Junior Tony Alarcon confirms Hoie’s hopes of the new portal. “I think it’s easier to navigate and more organized,” Alarcon said.

Not everyone is having an easy time navigating through the new portal though. Junior Jesse O’Neil felt the timing of the new portal was poorly orchestrated considering how close the change came to class registration. “I can’t find the registration tools I need because now they are all scattered around,” O’Neil said.

To some, the new portal change has a minimal personal impact on the registration process. “People are being unreasonably upset about it,” junior Alex Richwood said. “I don’t think the new portal affects registration at all. You can still find all the tools you need before registration starts. With any basic level of human intelligence it should not be a problem.”

Hoie recommends that students login to their MySanDiego portal before their registration times in order to familiarize themselves with the portal.

The new portal will allow for more users to login simultaneously than the previous portal. The previous portal could only handle 300 users logging in at the same time. According to Hoie, a test of 1000 users simultaneously logging in was not a problem for the new portal.

Some students have experienced difficulties with the new portal. “I tried to sign on and it went to a completely blank page; it’s frustrating,” Junior Jake Brouker said. Brouker is not alone when it comes to this technical problem. According to Hoie, many students have encountered the same blank screen when trying to log on to the portal. The solution is a simple clearing of the computer’s cache and cookies. The blank screen was anticipated by Hoie and the ITS Help Desk was alerted about potential students encountering this problem.

There was one unforeseen problem. For a period of two days after the new portal went live, the Torero Mail link was not working properly. The Torero Mail link is the link that would lead a student to their student email account. Hoie said it took two days to locate where the problem was occurring and from there it was a simple fix. “It works now, it wasn’t when we went live,” Hoie said. “That was a little bit of a surprise because we had tested it and again, as I’ve said some things worked and some didn’t.”

One of the benefits of the new portal is the potential for it to be continuously updated without requiring a complete renovation. Unlike the previous portal, which largely hadn’t received updates since its 2007 inauguration, Hoie anticipates staying current with the updates.

This new portal won’t remain stagnant like the previous one. Hoie anticipates that ITS will utilize some of the features the new portal has to offer such as more interactive content. The goal is develop the portal to become more than just a place for links. “We haven’t put a lot of that in there right now but that’s what we’re going to be working towards,” Hoie said, “we’re working on putting more dynamic content in there.”