SEVIS Outages and Batch Communications
SEVP acknowledges the need for more timely communication of SEVIS changes that affect batch users. Software developers need sufficient time to revise their software code and roll those changes out to their clients. The schools and sponsors that use batch also need time to test their institutional implementation of those changes. As a result:
- SEVP agreed to release draft versions of the batch schema to batch software developers at least 90 days prior to a release so they could modify their software to reflect the changes.
- In March 2015, SEVP established the SEVIS Alpha Testing environment to serve as the testing site for batch software developers and batch users. The site reflects future SEVIS functionality. SEVP agreed to give the developers, the schools and the sponsors 90 days to test their software prior to a release that affects SEVIS batch processing, unless otherwise agreed to by the majority of the batch developers.
- SEVP instituted a weekly conference call with developers of SEVIS batch software. This call allows SEVP to communicate directly with the developers about SEVIS changes. It also allows developers to ask questions about the upcoming changes to SEVIS and raise problems they may have encountered.
- SEVP instituted a monthly teleconference with batch users to brief them on upcoming changes to SEVIS that affect batch.
- SEVP posts a Release Planning Guide on the SEVIS Help Hub that allows users to see the content of a planned release. SEVP produces a planning guide for each release and publishes it to the SEVIS Help Hub well in advance of each release. The guides list the functionality included in the release, the resources SEVP is developing or has produced, and the date and time of any system outage. The document is updated as specifics change.
SEVP is unable to predict all SEVIS outages that affect batch processing. Some outages are the result of other U.S. Department of Homeland Security considerations and there may be little advance notice. SEVP is committed to providing its partners with as much advance warning as possible.