International Resource Information System (IRIS) web site

The International Education Programs Service’s (IEPS) IRIS website administers 14 international education programs and serves as the point of collection for required grant reporting from both institutions and fellows. In addition to grant reporting, the IRIS system features public download capabilities, and data retrieval and administrative functions. CDS² inherited the IRIS website in 2007 and immediately began the process of improving the system.

Before the transition, IRIS utilized a physical system running Windows 2003 supported by an Oracle database. To better suit the future of the system and allow for the addition of new capabilities, we successfully migrated the Oracle database to a MSSQL 2008 R2 database and replaced the physical server and operating system with the latest Cloud Computing technology running Windows 2008. These changes, along with many others, brought a new level of flexibility, security, and stability to the IRIS system.

We also added new automation to the IRIS system--a new helpdesk, e-mail failure automation, and enhanced reporting features. The new helpdesk system allows users to create new tickets through a web form or e-mail. Each ticket is tracked throughout its resolution, and a full history is available to both support personnel and system evaluators. The e-mail failure system provides IRIS with the ability to handle its own returned e-mail, by notifying the user that the intended recipient’s account has an issue and requires review. The enhanced reporting features minimize dependence on a database administrator while making the IRIS system more user friendly, and have decreased the burden on developers and allowed administrators to have more independence in accessing data.