AU continues efforts to restore education database, records processes
Story at a Glance
AU reports progress in rebuilding crashed database|
CDSAR system failed May 13
No firm schedule for fully operational system
AF testing centers resumed tests June 9
Posted 6/10/2010 Updated 6/11/2010
by Phil Berube
Air University Public Affairs
6/10/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Air University officials here are reporting some progress in the rebuilding of a computer system that processes a large piece of Air Force education after it crashed in mid-May.
The Course Development, Student Administration and Registrar system, or CDSAR, was designed to support professional military education, specialized courses for professional continuing education, career development courses, the Weighted Airman Promotion System and warehousing and distribution of distance learning courses for the Air Force. CDSAR was designed and built in the early 1990s.
While teams of technicians are working on the hardware and software portions of the system, others are manually updating course completion records and providing work-around options for the multiple tasks normally handled automatically by the system before it failed May 13.
"At this time, we don't have a firm date for a fully operational system," said Col. Anthony Zucco, director of education logistics and communications for Air University. "However, since the system went down, we've been able to institute manual processes in most cases.
"For example, course completion update actions, such as the recent graduation for both Air War College and Air Command and Staff College students and the recent Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard lieutenant colonels board, were achieved," he said. "In addition, to lessen the impact to Airmen, we're not waiting for CDSAR to come back up. We're implementing short-term software work-arounds to cover processes through new programming or leveraging other Air Force capabilities."
For students who have to take exams at testing control facilities, specialists in the Air University registrar's office have provided guidance to staff members at these testing sites across the Air Force on how to administer the exams. All officers and enlisted members can resume testing as of June 9.
Registrar officials ask Airmen to contact their TCF specialists for testing updates and guidance if they are enrolled in the following courses: Squadron Officer College Course 20 and Course 28; any enlisted professional military education; CDCs; and any specialized courses.
The majority of the disruption to WAPS ordering and delivery actions will be in-house inventorying, tracking and processing, said Chief Master Sgt. Brye McMillon, Air University command chief.
"WAPS program managers at base levels are still able to request materials via a request letter as outlined in the WAPS catalog," he said. "Airmen can contact their program managers should they have any questions or need assistance. The WAPS material will go out Air Force-wide to cycle 11E eligible personnel as normally scheduled, the only difference being that the material will be labeled and mailed 'by hand' versus automatically by the CDSAR system."
A significant work-around to update personnel records was achieved recently, Colonel Zucco said.
"Working with the Air Force Personnel Center, the move of the CDSAR interface with the Military Personnel Data System to another Air University system was successful," he said. "The nearly 3,600 transactions held in the queue when CDSAR went down can now flow to and update those military records.
"Meanwhile," he added, "as we continue to write new software code to replace other lost processes in the CDSAR system, our priority is to continue to work with customers to ensure they establish manual work-arounds, where possible."
Active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard officers with questions concerning their education records can e-mail their questions to the Air University registrar's office at email@example.com.
Active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard enlisted servicemembers with questions concerning their education and career development course records can e-mail their questions to the Air University educational support services desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Airmen -- regular Air Force, Reserve and ANG -- with questions about the status of their personnel records can contact the Total Force Service Center at 1-800-525-0102.