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Notifications Framework

By Christo Saunders posted 01-18-2016 03:17 PM

  

Notifications Framework

Author: Christo Saunders, Senior Specialist Developer – University of Cape Town

Overview

This blog’s purpose is to make users aware of Notifications Framework within Campus Solutions, and will give a brief overview of What it is, Why or How you can use it for your institution’s benefit. Included are some use case examples, navigation, pros and cons and useful references.

What is it?

Campus solutions provide a couple of communication options for students and faculty staff within the system. Warning messages, reports and CommGen’s, just to mention some of Campus Community communication methods.

Notifications is just another method of communication. This is not a replacement for CommGen and it is not an Approval workflow engine (AWE).

The common use of notification framework is for direct messaging (alerts, email notifications, SMS and worklist notifications).

Notifications is a built in configurable process. Its efficiency and effectiveness are enhanced through the usage of generic templates or component specific templates, data population queries, or it can be triggered by system events.

Notification Framework is based on triggers and batch processing. With notifications you can send out real-time communications while the users access the system or in batch. There are a couple of methods (types) that can be used, depending on your needs or the level of your system configuration.

  • emails
    • This is the most common and effective method
    • Emails will contain navigational URLs that will allow the user by clicking on the URL to access the page that requires action.
    • Emails support preferred language - based on the sender’s language. {People Code Function – SetLanguage ().}
    • Emails by User or email address
  • SMS
    • This process is similar to the email process
    • Provided you have SMS capabilities enabled
  • Alerts
    • This process is perhaps one of the biggest benefits for faculty administrators, receiving alerts based on system action requirements and completion of functional processes.
    • Feeds into message catalog.
    • System-Level Notifications
    • Alerts can be send to Worklist by Role or User
    • Alerts can be scheduled (for example: daily alert monitoring but sending emails only every second day)
    • Students can also receive alerts specifically based on their application data. (Outstanding Actions or Event notifications)
  • Worklist entries in Workcenter

Some practical examples (Use case suggestions) for notification usage: (Why?)

  • Admissions:
    • Notify students via email if their applications are incomplete.
    • Notify users of deadlines that are approaching, for example Clubs and Societies enrolment end dates
  • Student Records:
    • “An Item has been added to your Work List”
    • Used as follow-up communication method between Student and supervisors.
  •  Student Fees:
    • Send Email to students with outstanding fee debt (when students access the system)
    • Notify the Fees office of unposted GL’s that require action
    • Notify accounts receivables of transactions that are in error
  • Financial Aid:
    • Notify students based on mid-year progress that they are in danger of losing Financial Aid – Performance based tracking
    • Notify students via email if their applications are incomplete(Send reminders - based on checklists not completed).
    • A notification of an applicant’s status to Admit/Pre-matric/Program – so that the FA form can be assessed for eligibility.

Navigation to the configuration. (How?)

Define template variables on a component

  • NAV: > People Tools > Workflow > Notifications > Template Variables > Define Template Variables

Define component data variables for the template

  • NAV :> People Tools > Workflow > Notifications > Template Variables > Define Template Variables > Component Data Variables > Edit

Define component URL variables for the template

  • NAV :> People Tools > Workflow > Notifications > Template Variables > Define Template Variables > Component URL Variables > Edit

Define external URL variables for the template

  • NAV :> People Tools > Workflow > Notifications > Template Variables > Define Template Variables > External URL Variables > Edit

Define additional recipients of notifications for each template

  • NAV :> People Tools > Workflow > Notifications > Template Variables > Additional Recipient List

 Pros & Cons

  • Template configuration can only handle level 0 and level 1 component buffer level (So component data in level 2 will not be considered, and some kind of development will be required to accommodate these requirements – Perhaps adding derived fields on the component or page)
  • Template variables does not indicate the true order in which they will appear in template, it’s determined by the sequence specified in the message text defined in the template page.
  • Value displayed on the communication templates is exactly the same value that the user will see on the online page (If Xlat or Prompt table values are used then it will show the value that was used on the page. Example: “UGRD” or “Undergrad”. Date fields will be displayed also in the date format (date mask) as it appears on the online page – The format for component variables on the template will appear as follows: %C1, %C2 ……)

 References:

Oracle Global Support Documents:

People Books:

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