UW Information Technology’s (UWIT) Information Management (IM) division (formerly the Office of Information Management) released to the University community a new component of its Financial Web Service (FWS): the Requisition resource. This new data set provides campus developers programmatic inquiry access to near-real-time requisition data stored in the University’s central systems. The Requisition resource builds upon FWS’ existing budget and organization resources, to which it naturally relates.
This work could not have been accomplished without a unique and very successful partnership between the Office of Research Information Services (ORIS) and UWIT-IM. ORIS’ System to Administer Grants Electronically (SAGE) has a critical need for programmatic access to a small portion of the requisition dataset: the budgets associated with a requisition. However, SAGE staff understood and promoted the value of delivering the full dataset instead. To achieve this, ORIS contributed full-time development resources to do all of the coding and initial testing and UWIT-IM provided data expertise, developer support and quality assurance. This shared-development partnership was very successful and is a great example of how generic, reusable business services can be built that realize broader business needs, rather than just those of an individual project.
This was all achieved on a very short timeline without interrupting other higher priority work for any of the three participating teams. The mutually goal-oriented approach to “doing the right thing” technically resulted in excellent cross-team synergies. This was manifested both in the ultra-short duration of the planning/implementing/release process and the quality of the overall product. It also allowed for excellent cross-team pollination of ideas/technologies. The UWIT-IM web service code framework and authorization scheme, developed by Application Integration Services, was a valuable tool in facilitating rapid development and deployment.
This experiment was so successful that we all look forward to future similar collaborations moving forward.