The day finally arrived. After what seems like countless hours of work and a huge amount of effort by the team (mainly because it did involve countless hours and a huge amount of effort!), APMS launched formally on Monday.
An email was sent to all academics informing them of the launch, but I know this kind of launch can often be fairly quiet in that it can take a few days or even longer before people actually start logging in and using it. However, I know from the logs that quite a number of people, mainly academics, have been having a look around the system which is very positive. I have even had a couple of queries about the programmes in it and how changes can be made to those programmes, which is great.
One glitch we came across quite late relates to external examiner email addresses. APMS integrates with our Active Directory (AD) for its login credentials and along with University staff, External Examiners have user accounts in our AD that get transferred into APMS. External Examiners will need to access APMS to approve modifications to programmes, and to submit annual monitoring reports for the programmes they examine. An integral and crucial feature of APMS is that it emails users to let them know when something has happened that involves them or to notify them that something is waiting for them to do. This notification process uses what is known as the ‘Primary email address’ in AD. We want to make sure these emails go to External Examiners ‘real’ addresses (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), but for various reasons it isn’t feasible to enter those as the primary email addresses. Instead we need to use a secondary email address field, and Worktribe are looking at how to pick up email addresses from different AD fields depending on the group the user is a member of. Hopefully we will have all of that sorted out in a few weeks, but in the meantime if we need to notify any external examiners of anything waiting for them (which is fairly unlikely for now) we can use manual workarounds.