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Sybase Success Story: Creating Informational Unity . . .

. . . at the Russian Economic Academy of G.V. Plekhanov

The most powerful impact of the system is how communication has changed across the Academy. Information about students, teachers, schedules, and curriculums are now stored comprehensively in an electronic system. This affects every single process beginning with the student's application for acceptance through to graduation. Students can build a personalized curriculum, teachers have access to successful teaching modules and methodologies, administrators can manage business and operational decision-making, and the public can access Academy information online. Perhaps the best measure of the system's success is that application and graduation rates have increased due to the high quality of education management through the UEPC system.

The UEPC system enables students to prepare a personalized schedule and have the option of including extracurricular classes and activities that may not be included in their chosen discipline. Giving students the ability to develop their own class schedule saves many hours in administration. This feature enables the Academy to serve a larger population of students, and allows students to take advantage of everything the Academy has to offer.

Achieving Goals with the Right Technology Resources
The long process of design, requirement-gathering, and implementation reveals the scope of the project. The Academy's IT team faced many challenges: disparate systems, manual and complex processes, information stored in multiple formats, and the integration obstacles inherent in a mixed environment. The Academy chose PowerDesigner, Adaptive Server Enterprise, Sybase IQ, and PowerBuilder to tackle these issues and implement this long-planned extensive project.

From the project design to implementation, Sybase technology forms the foundation for the UEPC system. PowerDesigner models the data and processes, helping to visualize the overall information requirements. Adaptive Server Enterprise uses T-SQL, which significantly simplifies the process of data manipulation and provides a great deal of flexibilty for the application developers. This common language capability allowed for integration across systems and data structures. ASE serves as the primary storage of students' personal information including course results curriculum and course standards, and student information such as address, age, and passport information.

In developing the code, PowerBuilder's fully automated GUI development provides additional flexibility - which is very important for any educational management system. Using this unique feature, the IT team was able to develop code for use across multiple systems - ensuring consistency and commonality across processes. Rounding out the Sybase implementation, Sybase IQ allows robust report generation across three dimensions: faculty, year, and contingent parameters (academic excellence, student nationality, faculty tenure, and scientific achievements).

A Model for Other Educational Organizations
The unique feature of the UEPC system is its orientation on the educational process, specifically on students and curriculum management. The architecture was specifically designed to support the unique and demanding requirements of an overall educational system. This design has proven to be the right decision as the number of educational organizations interested in the UEPC System seems to grow every year.

Victor Romanov summarizes the UEPC system's significance, "The Academy believes that the UEPC system positively impacts the educational process in terms of professional knowledge. More than a half of the programmers in the IT department are students of the Academy studying Information Technology and supplementing their course learning through our internal technical projects. They all now have hands-on training and experience in building a world-class educational process system. And the Academy benefits from the increased efficiency, integrated systems, and improved delivery of educational programs."

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PBDJ News Desk monitors the world of PowerBuilder to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the PowerBuilder and i-technology space.

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