This project’s main goal is to create a Faculty integrated information system and was put forward to fulfill the Faculty’s information requirements (either specific, aggregated or statistical data).
The system takes data from external databases currently and provide a growing set of integrated “views” of that information, either statistical or operational, easing access and understanding to decision-making staff, students, academic staff and different areas of the Faculty.
This system is currently used by the Engineering and Water Sciences Faculty of the Littoral National University (located in Santa Fe, Argentina) and is continuously under development.
The external databases include SIU-Guaraní (for managing academic activity information, used by 39 institutions across the country, with 161 academic units implemented and 44 more which are in the process of launching it), SIU-Mapuche (which assists Human Resources management, integrating areas of Staff and Payroll through a single electronic file and the procurement and contracting system).
The development team is also working to include a new information source, called SIGEVA (for managing scientific research information, including articles and financial data), in addition to in-house external databases (such as teacher attendance sub-system) and file repositories used by the system itself.
Custom integrated information modules
Info-FICH also has proprietary modules, aimed at either complementing information from other sources or at creating and managing new information repositories.
These custom-made modules handle different kinds of data, such as periodic email updates for all College members, scientific transfer projects and Academic Counsel documents, while avoiding data duplication and achieving a unified, integrated information set.
One of the most popular modules is the one used to create and manage each subject’s year plan, where information about each plan, including teacher groups, contents, activities, etc.
After validation from academic reviewers, the year-plan is published to the Faculty’s Website, where students and general public can download it as (generated on-the-fly) PDF files from the Faculty’s Website.
Development started on 1 September 2010, after the initial phases of analysis and complete infrastructure design. The development platform used includes Apache’s HTTP Server, PHP and MySQL, with a strong use of jQuery/AJAX on the frontend, to provide a simple yet powerful user experience.
Smarty was used to generate and display the site”views”, making a strong effort to develop using open-source components, in line with current government directives.