SITS User Conference 2014

This past summer, representatives from the SSP team attended the annual SITS user conference. (Yes, it has taken this long for us to type up our notes.)

Ruth McCallum and Peter Pratt represented the team in giving a presentation called “Taking e:Vision to a new frontier”. This demonstrated some of the recent work we have done using Bootstrap and other custom CSS/JS. Following the presentation we have been in contact with several other universities who are interested in sharing techniques with us, and hope to keep in contact with them. We were also recognised for our achievements by winning the Tribal University of the Year award for 2014!

University of the Year award
Team manager Defeng Ma proudly displays our University of the Year award

Overall, the conference focused on some of the new functionality and improvements which we will be seeing in SITS 8.7.1 and 8.8.0. Below are some highlights from the sessions that we attended.

New system tools

The newest version of SITS contains significant improvements to internal tools. These include:

  • New features in tasks and improved field validation
  • New style of SITS syntax (with improved performance in parsing)
  • Caching for SLPs
  • Enhancements to Single Sign OnĀ  (SSO) links
  • Advanced options to control user permissions
  • New options for PODs and POPs
  • Enhancements to vistas

Mobile responsive

Tribal will be adding new features in order to make e:Vision mobile-friendly.

  • Enhanced role groups which allow filtering by screen size
  • e:Vision code has been reviewed and is now HTML5/WCAG AA compliant
  • SITS syntax variables for screen size
  • Ability to group style sheets by class


In addition to mobiles, Tribal are also planning on other types of integration such as:

  • Integrating with Blackboard (already a first release with further improvements planned)
  • Creating an exposed API for applicant enquiry/creation
  • Authentication using social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
  • Interoperability with external systems

Admissions working group

This is a user group which is closely tied with UCAS and Tribal. It focuses primarily on admissions staff and processes/requirements of these staff members. Our team tends to be a bit more technically focused, but it will still be useful to receive updates from this group.

StuTalk 2.0 development camp

Demo of new features in StuTalk, including the ability to delete records and monitor event changes.

Demonstration of new Tribal products and solutions

There are a number of new Tribal developments for SITS which were demonstrated at the conference. Since our work is more heavily customised we may not necessarily want to purchase these, but it was interesting to see Tribal’s approach. Some examples of the work that they have done:

  • Integrated enrolment solution using e:Vision, Azorus CRM, and ESD
  • Enhanced Module Registration
  • Rewrite of the Student Scheduler (SST)
  • Responsive timetables
  • Automatic Sponsorship Creation (ASSP)
  • Automatic fee creation and credits
  • Generating commission for study abroad agents
  • Timeless diets
  • Fund Manager component for financial aid
  • Improvements for statutory returns