University of the Philippines’ Electronic UP (eUP) Project makes Student Academic Information System (SAIS) to be the new official online registration system of UPLB in lieu of SystemOne for the 1st semester, A.Y. 2016-2017.
A pilot run for SAIS was made during April 2013 in the UP System Office, and two UP campuses: UP Manila (UPM) and UP Open University (UPOU). On October 2013, SAIS was officially launched in UPM and UPOU. Moreover, an online mock enrollment with SAIS was held during the dates of April 26-28 and was extended until May 8 in UPLB.
With a five-year budget of P751.9 million, eUP makes use of imported system software from PeopleSoft Campus Solutions program, which is created and developed by the United States’ Oracle Database.
Big companies such as the Electronic Philippines Long Distance Telephone (ePLDT) Incorporated, Beacon Systems, and Smart Communications Incorporated, are main investors of Oracle and eUP. Under Oracle are five information management systems, which included SAIS.
SAIS has a lot more features than its predecessor, SystemOne, which will allow students not only to enroll in their preferred subjects, but to also pay for fees, to request for documents, and to view unofficial grades. Faculty and staff will also more easily manage enrollment and student requests online.
SAIS and eUP are all part of the “UP Strategic Plan 2011-2017: The Path to Greatness” which intended to turn UP into a globally competitive university alongside other top Asian campuses.
SAIS VS SystemOne
First developed in 2004, SystemOne has been serving for the past 12 years as UPLB’s official online registration system (ORS). Over this course of time, various local IT-skilled students, professors, alumnis, etc. have contributed to develop SystemOne into the user-friendly software it is today.
According to SystemOne Administrator, Mr. Rommel V. Bulalacao, what makes it so user-friendly is its capability of guiding students towards courses in the university, available subjects, allowed number of units to take, and more. “[SystemOne] works in conjunction with REGIST and most of the features na sinasabi nilang student-friendly ay nanggaling din sa REGIST,” said Bulalacao.
However, with the arrival of the new academic year is the arrival of SAIS – a program that is “being used at over 800 campuses in more than 20 countries.”
When asked to compare SAIS with SystemOne, Prof. Bulalacao had this to say, “As a web developer, as an IT practitioner, nung tinignan ko yung site, meron talagang mga points of concern. And I’m not saying this because of my bias for being the administrator of SystemOne and developer ng SystemOne.”
“Kung makikita nyo dun sa first page pa lang, you’re given this warning na yung operating system mo ay hindi supported ng system. It is very rare nowadays na meron kang web application na dependent sa operating system,” added Bulalacao. “That is so 90’s.”
Bulalacao explained that the reason operating systems were developed and upgraded was to patch up the security holes in the older versions and that these older operating systems were no longer as secure as the newer ones. “Now to ask the users to go back and install Windows 7, Windows XP; hindi sya magandang sign…. It’s a web application so it should work regardless of the [operating system].”
Students react to SAIS
UPLB students have various opinions regarding the implementation of SAIS in the first semester. Despite its notoriety in universities and companies abroad, SAIS does not seem to be well-liked within the Elbi campus.
A student from the College of Arts and Science (CAS) has deemed SAIS as a hassle and questioning why SystemOne must be replaced when it was finally operating quickly and smoothly.
Coincidentally, one student from the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) finds the new ORS to be more complicated than its predecessor, saying that SystemOne was more comfortable to use because of the simple user interface.
From the College of Development Communication (CDC), a student states that it was “infuriating… because it was implemented in such short notice even though it is technically and aesthetically subpar.”
Another CAS student disliked the fact that SAIS was not user-friendly and says, “bukod sa sobrang hirap aralin kung papaano gamitin, ay napakamahal – mahal para sa klase ng serbisyong binibigay [nito].”
Many students are still dubious of using SAIS instead of SystemOne due to the imperfect user-experience. With this in mind, Prof. Bulalacao advises the students to study the mechanics of SAIS instead, since it is what is available. [P]
First Published in UPLB Perspective Volume 42, Issue 3