UVTS Updated in Mid-December

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Darlene Sprague
National Commissioner Service Resources Chair
darsprague@roadrunner.com

I have been working with the Information Delivery Group tech specialists and our BSA adviser to help support issues with Unit Visit Tracking System. We encourage you to continue to the use the UVTS hotline at 972-672-4389.

Throughout the late summer and fall, UVTS suffered from some performance issues that caused the system to be sluggish, abruptly end sessions, and even prevent users from accessing the system. Many commissioners were patient with the system and the process of reporting problems to the help line. The national commissioner support team participated in many conversations with the IT development team who then relayed issues as they were reported.

After a period of weeks spent on resolving issues that were reported in the current UVTS application, an update to UVTS was released on December 13, 2011. This update included a correction to the Export Visits Summary report so that its output is consistent with the filters that are applied on the Visits page. This will allow, for example, a district commissioner to filter by date range to obtain the number of unit visit reports entered for units during a specific period of time.

Just prior to the December update, the Information Technology Development Office shared the department’s direction in resolving problems with the current UVTS application. They have been working on a solution for you every day. On average, each day and a half, they find a new improvement based on how the applications run on various operating systems and networks. Although the application performance and reliability have slightly improved, they have come to the conclusion that we have a very old, poorly written application, which is exacerbated by updates to server and operating systems and networks for which it cannot adapt. In short, the more they update and modernize around the UVTS app just to run the business, the worse this app performs.

IDG reviewed four possibilities:

  1. Stabilize the app until it can be rewritten. Establish a predictable, stable level of performance that may not optimal. This may mean the creation of old infrastructure, with old unsupported operating systems and network configurations to support the app.
  2. Update the app in the form of work-arounds and patches.
  3. Rewrite the app in the new architecture of our new platforms. This platform will be in SharePoint 2010 and is on the IDG road map as part of District Tools.
  4. Shut down the app until it is rewritten. This is not recommended for many reasons.

They are now working on numbers 1 and 3 concurrently. They meet every day and have dedicated, highly skilled resources focused on a resolution.

The goal of the December 13 update was to support number 1, which is to stabilize the application. The evidence that this goal has been accomplished will come from the use of UVTS by commissioners. The update addressed all issues that had been plaguing the application. We will keep close track of any UVTS-related calls to the commissioner hotline and evaluate to determine if there are remaining issues.

Supported Browsers

We are reaffirming the information that appears on the MyScouting login page. The officially supported browsers are Internet Explorer (7.0 and above) and Firefox (3.0 and above).

We appreciate the patience and forbearance of the many commissioners who have offered their feedback to help us find and correct any problems with the present version of the application.

For technical questions or issues, contact the UVTS hotline at 972-672-4389 or myscouting@scouting.org.