I.T. Times

Volume 6, No 3 Information Technology News of the University of California, Davis November 1997

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Q: I've heard there will be a change in the way I log in to campus computer systems. What is the change, what is the reason for it, and how will it benefit me?

     Cindy Dufern, English Department

A: If you signed up for your campus computing account prior to 9/25/96, your LoginID (i.e., the username you use to access email, Banner or other central campus systems) was formatted as follows: a two-letter prefix ("ez" for students, "fz" for faculty, and "sz" for staff) followed by a sequence of numbers or characters. This is the old-style LoginID.

The new-style LoginID doesn't follow any predetermined format. This allows you to choose a name with more flexibility than "ez123456. " For my new-style LoginID, I might choose a nickname, my last name, or even my old-style LoginID if I wanted to.

There are several reasons for the change. First, for a number of years, faculty, students, and staff have expressed the desire to select LoginIDs that are more comfortable, familiar, or easier to remember. Some already have usernames on departmental computer systems. Changing to the new format forges the way toward creating a "single sign-on" for systems around campus. Single sign-on means logging in only once and then using different, possibly unrelated systems. In order for single sign-in to work on the greatest number of systems, we need to use the most general naming scheme possible.

Computer security is another reason for the change. New campus systems, such as GUI (Graphic User Interface) Banner (the student information system) and DaFIS (the Financial Information System) will use the Kerberos security server, which requires new-style LoginIDs.

How do you benefit? In just a few short years, we all will be connecting to a myriad of systems, databases, and tools in the course of each day. Thus, we would need a number of accounts and authorization procedures. Think of the complexity and annoyance of having to log in with different accounts on each and every system. We're laying the groundwork now to make the future as uncomplicated as possible by allowing you to log in only once in order to use a number of campus computing systems.

If you have not yet selected a new-style LoginID, you can do so easily at the UC Names Web site, where you'll also find frequently asked questions and further information about the change to new-style LoginIDs.

UC Names Web Site: http://info2.ucdavis.edu/ucnames/

     Dan Dorough, Account Database Software Developer

Do you have a technology-related question? E-mail it to ithelp@ucdavis.edu.