The Web and Data Services team is a branch of the Information Technology department that focuses on providing innovative, secure, and accessible web solutions across the UW Tacoma community. This includes solutions that utilize the latest technologies and focus on supporting technical and non-technical personnel.
The team strives to deliver high-quality software to all customers including, but not limited to, Academic & Administrative Departments, Staff, Faculty, Researchers and Students. The Web and Data Services team operates with the master goal of continuing to improve campus operations and contributing to the overall success of UW Tacoma students.
Web and Data Services offers a variety of services to the UWT campus from custom application development, custom data reporting, data integration with third party apps, and application evaluation for new apps coming to the UWT campus.
Explore below some of the services we offer.
Web Application Development
Custom web application development involves creating a custom software application for an organization or department depending on their specific business needs. Finding turnkey applications are expensive, you only need specific features, and none of them perfectly fit your needs or are adaptable over time. With a custom built web application, we tailor the app to fit your current and adapt it to your future needs. It only contains what you what you need and designed on your specific specifications. They are also web based so they work on a multitude of devices with no need to install software.
Examples of web apps we have made:
Web Based Student Information System (SIS) - Replaces the need for Keynes, a specialized software installed on each machine, so needed access to student information is easier.
Student Advising System - A self serve system where students can walk in and request an appointment with an advisor
TLC InQueue Tutor System - This application allows students visiting the Teaching and Learning Center needing tutor help to use their cell phones to login and request help on a specialized list of tutor expertise.
Emergency Assistance Application - This application allows student to request a variety of financial assistance if they are finding themselves in troubled situations.
Event Food Form – This application allows staff to give information about future events and ask for funding from specific sources. The requests are then sent to approvers who are set up to evaluate the request and determine if the request is accepted or denied.
Tuition Exemption Request – This application allows students who work within UW or other state-run agencies to request that some or all of their courses be tuition exempt.
Student Information System/Database Support
Feature enhancement - You can suggest a feature enhancement or addition to the Student Information System. If there is a highly repeatable process that your department needs to do daily, it could be a candidate for inclusion in SIS. Send a ticket to email@example.com with a thorough description of what you are looking for with an explanation of the process and it will be reviewed to see if it is a good fit.
Ad hoc reporting support - We provide support for Ad hoc reports created in Microsoft Access. We can field questions about the creation process and provide some limited support during the creation of new ad hoc reports. Our primary objective in the support of ad hoc reports is to assist in troubleshooting errors and connection related issues.
Drupal Site Development
Drupal is the CMS (Content Management System) that UWT uses. We can enhance your Drupal content in several ways:
Custom webforms and views – Get more out of your user forms with custom formatting and form element animation. Get your results in a view that fits your workflow.
25Live integration – Get data directly out of 25Live and into your web page. If there is a room you want to share the availability with, this is the perfect way to do that.
Standalone Web Applications – The best way to handle complex user interactions and workflows.
Web Services – Do you need to retrieve data from a third party web service or do you have data that you need to make available via a web service? Let us help.
High Security Systems – Do you gather and work with sensitive data? We can separate your sensitive data from the data that everyone on the main page can see.
Custom Application Reporting
IR Web Reporting - We work in conjunction with Institutional Research (IR) to provide custom web reports. These reports are usually useful to multiple departments on campus. Reports that IR creates on a regular basis but rarely make changes to are good candidates for web reports. Requests for these kinds of reports will come through IR. Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate custom web reports.
Custom Application Reports - We can provide custom web reports based on the applications we have created.
Third Party Application Integration and Onboarding
Is there an app you want to use that requires use to UW data or access to UW services? There are a few hoops to jump through, and we’re here to help through the following ways:
Single Sign On – Help enable an app to use UW NetID to log into an app
Data Integration – If an app requires use of UW data, we’ll work to integrate the data with your application
Risk Assessment – We will determine the risk level of applications to ensure that the data that is introduced to a new application is processed appropriately and conforms to UW standards
Documentation – We’ll help with the required UW paperwork to utilize your app. This includes helping with the Data Processing Agreement (DPA) if needed, the IT Special Terms Rider, and navigating the UW Privacy Office workflows that ensures that data is used appropriately and ultimately protected.
Application Market Evaluation
Find a cool product and want to use it on campus? Let us evaluate it for you.
Product evaluation - We help identify your main challenges and find a suitable product based on your essential features and preferences.
Vendor evaluation - We assist in selecting vendors by assessing deployment options (on-premise or SaaS) and evaluating their customer support capabilities.
Cost and licensing analysis - We evaluate licensing structures and calculate the total cost of ownership, including setup costs, ongoing expenses, training expenses, and future projections
Product alternatives - Once you've chosen a product, we explore alternative options, including open-source alternatives, and provide a comprehensive product comparison matrix to aid decision-making.
Privacy review - We assess vendor privacy policies for compliance with data privacy regulations and alignment with university privacy agreements.
Account Provisioning and Training
We can help you get access and trained on the following applications:
Student Information System (SIS)
Custom Applications (Food and Beverage Request Form, Orientation and Registration System, Online ID, etc.)
We Are Project Based
Web and Data Services operates on a project model. Our work comes from requests made by the campus community.
Intake - Projects start with our Project Intake form. The purpose of this form is to collect as much information as possible to be able to evaluate the feasibility of the project.
Evaluation - Once the IT Project Intake Form is completed, it will be evaluated too determine feasibility. Decisions about whether or not a project can be supported are determined by some of the following criteria:
How does the proposed solution address the identified problem? Often times, there are other solutions that may be more appropriate to explore
What resources are required to stand up the proposed solution? This includes resources such as financial, technical, personnel, and time needed.
Can the proposed solution meet appropriate governing requirements? We will identify whether or not the solution conforms to UW policies regarding data use, including FERPA, GDPR, the UW Data Use Agreement, and general business continuity.
Road Map and Requirements Gathering- Once a project as been approved, we'll work with you to create a road map of what to expect over the development process. This way, you know what's going on in between communications. We'll also take time to gather the requirements from you so that way whatever is implemented as a solution meets your expectations.
Implementation - When the road map and requirements are complete, we'll start developing/implementing our solution. This is where we do all the magic to try and make your solution into reality.
User Acceptance - Continuously throughout implementation, we check in with you to ensure that what we are creating is both what you expected, and work for your needs. We focus on collaboration and the ability to be flexible throughout the development process. This allows for (some) additional requirements and changes to be made after initial requirements are gathered.
User Acceptance Training - This is when we sit down with you and the users of the system to train you on how to use it. We may identify a few minor bugs at this time.
Hand off / Release into Production - Once we have trained all users, it's time to turn the system on and pass responsibility off to you, the end user. We will continue to provide support for the solution throughout it's life.