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'Invisible heroes' move mountains to ensure new staff and students will get their University Cards when they arrive

last modified Aug 19, 2021 04:46 PM
Special accolades go to Monty Dawson and Andrew Vella for saving the day regarding printing new students’ and staffs’ University Cards before they arrive for the new academic year.

Crisis averted

For a while, there was the very serious risk of not being able to print almost 10,000 University Cards that control access to buildings as well as acting as ID. That equates to one third of the Cards the Card Office prints annually.

The third-party supplier’s software didn't work correctly, including Oracle database connectivity. Monty and Andrew spent lots of time debugging the software, testing it on site in the RNB and trialling possible workarounds.

They eventually resolved the problems, and averted a crisis. They also wrote a report on the bugs they unearthed for the third-party supplier, who are looking to resolve the issues in their next release.

Project progress

The team continues to work on the new University Card Management system. We had a very successful session with University technical community, where we reported on our progress (see the recording, slides and the project status page).

We have done lots of back-end work and are now concentrating on developing the front-end.

So far, the University Staff API, the University Student API, the University Card API and the University Photo ID API are now in production. The fully-documented APIs are now available to local IT staff who wish to use them to pull Card System data for their own systems. They can be downloaded from the University API Gateway at  (Raven log-in required to see the APIs).


Katya Nikitina
University Card System Replacement project manager