Students Staff


July 17, 2018

[Service Alert] Scheduled downtime of database services

The scheduled work that was planned for Saturday 21 July has been postponed.

IT Services will be performing an essential upgrade to one of our student database servers (SERNT72) between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 21 July 2018.

During this time, many student and applicant facing services will be unavailable. This includes but is not limited to:

  • ESIS and attendant student and applicant information systems
  • AppPortal and Web Clearing
  • MyEssex
  • ESF, EAF and ECF on SharePoint
  • The Accommodation booking systems
  • The PocketEssex App
  • FASER, and Listen Again

This upgrade is necessary to prepare our systems for clearing and the next academic year.

Work has been undertaken to mitigate the impact of this upgrade, but if you have any concerns please contact Richard Martin.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

July 9, 2018

[Service Alert] IMPORTANT SharePoint service to be treated as READ-ONLY due to issues previewing, opening, saving, and uploading Office documents

Filed under: SharePoint, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Sharon Steeples @ 9:42 am

UPDATE Tuesday 10 July 13.00pm

User feedback has confirmed that the SharePoint service has been restored as expected. The root causes of the problems are known, and actions are being taken to prevent future reoccurrence.

SharePoint Team


UPDATE Monday 9 July 17.16pm

The SharePoint Team are cautiously optimistic that these issues were resolved earlier today.

We are inviting users to return to working normally with their files, but to report any issues to .

We thank users for their patience, and apologise again for any inconvenience caused.

SharePoint Team


There are still on-going issues with the Office Web Server (OWAS), part of our SharePoint Farm, which we are aware will cause disruption to users.

Our advice is: please treat files in SharePoint as READ-ONLY until further notice. Do not edit online or offline, as we cannot guarantee your changes will not be lost.

Office Web Apps provides the services below:

  • Opening Office documents (eg Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint) on SharePoint sites;
  • Synching Office documents to SharePoint sites;
  • Synching Outlook calendars to SharePoint sites;
  • Uploading Office files edited offline/in desktop applications to SharePoint sites;
  • Previewing Office documents;
  • Previewing Image Files;
  • Previewing and opening PDF files.

Not all files seem to be affected. The issue is intermittent.

Users may also experience an issue with Office files refusing to open in their web browser, and also saying that the file can’t be opened in the desktop application either (eg Word, Excel).

It was hoped that the maintenance work undertaken on the SharePoint Farm on Saturday would have resolved these issues. But it is apparent further remedial action is still required.

The SharePoint Team are investigating this with urgency, and external support is being sought from our SharePoint Support Service as well.

We greatly apologise for any inconvenience caused, and recognise the urgency to resolve these issues for users.

Further updates will be posted here as they are known.

SharePoint Team


The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

July 5, 2018

[Service Alert] Disruption to SharePoint Services for planned maintenance 8:00am to 5:00pm Saturday 7th July

Filed under: SharePoint, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Sharon Steeples @ 4:28 pm

UPDATE 17:00PM Saturday 7 July

The planned maintenance work is now complete, and all SharePoint services have resumed.

We thank our users for their patience.

SharePoint Team


Our SharePoint service will be OFFLINE for approximately one to two hours on Saturday 7 July 2018. This is to allow us to install essential updates to the SharePoint platform software and it is needed to address a known issue with current instability.

The SharePoint service should be considered ‘at-risk’ between 8.00am and 17:00pm on Saturday 7 July 2018, as the exact timing of the offline period is not yet certain. Users are requested to avoid using (and particularly editing) any SharePoint sites or SharePoint-hosted documents, during the ‘at risk’ period to prevent loss of unsaved data.

Services affected include:

  • All sites hosted in the domain (PG EAF, UG EAF, ESF, Agent Online Services, Reporting)
  • All sites hosted in the domain
  • All personal mysites (and OneDrives) hosted in the domain

We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.

Notification will be made to users when the service is restored to full usability.

SharePoint Team

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July 2, 2018

SharePoint Service currently at risk – users may see errors

Filed under: SharePoint, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Sharon Steeples @ 1:38 pm

14.37 UPDATE

The reboot seems to have resolved the problems that had been reported. We believe that the SharePoint Service is no longer at risk. However, investigations into the underlying cause are ongoing.

If users are still experiencing issues, please refresh your browser first, and if the issue persists, report it to as soon as possible.

Thank you for you patience.


14.00 UPDATE

We need to reboot the SharePoint farm boxes. Regrettably this may result in a few minutes of complete SharePoint downtime. This interruption is regretted.
We will wait until 14:10pm to start reboots.


We are currently experiencing issues with the Central Administration service for all SharePoint sites. Users may see intermittent errors, or lose service completely.

The SharePoint Team are investigating with all urgency.

Updates to follow.

SharePoint Team

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April 16, 2018

[RESOLVED]Emergency server maintenance

Filed under: Corporate systems, File storage, SharePoint, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 3:09 pm

The issue with sernt72 has now been resolved and the server is back online.


One of our core servers will be undergoing emergency maintenance from 6am tomorrow, Tuesday 17th April.

This could have an impact on lots of our services and applications, including the systems, listed below, which may be inaccessible whilst we carry out these works.

Please do not contact the IT Services helpdesk during this time, as we will be focusing on the emergency server maintenance.

If services are not fully operational by 9am, we will let you know with a further update on the IT Services  Blog.

Please note that email and internet access should be unaffected.

Affected systems:

  • Accommodation and events management (Kinetics)
  • Attendance and engagement monitoring
  • Car parking
  • Essex website (includes intranet and Enrol)
  • Graduation ticket booking
  • Lecture capture (Listen Again)
  • Mobile apps (Pocket Essex) Campus M
  • Online assessments (Questionmark Perception)
  • Online coursework submission (FASER)
  • Online payments
  • Online Resource Bank (formerly Course Materials Repository)
  • Post Room software
  • Graduate training in Proficio
  • Results Processing System (linked to ESIS) – Student facing
  • Sharepoint (including ESF and EAF)
  • SMS messaging
  • Student document ordering
  • Staff and Student Printing (Papercut)
  • Student records and information database (ESIS)
  • Timetabling – Teaching (CMIS)
  • Timetabling – Exams (CMIS)
  • Virtual learning environment (Moodle)
  • Account and Group Management (User Database/CID)
  • Library Management System (Essex Libraries)
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Identity management
  • External staff interface
  • Cross System Interfaces
  • Uniface
  • Cohort (Occ Health)
  • We are smile (mentoring)
  • Building access control (something we need to come back to)
  • Customer and relationship management (Dynamics)
  • HR management (Midland iTrent inc BO)
  • Library Management System (Sierra)
  • Planet (Estates Management)
  • Research management software (RMAS via Agresso)
  • Sports Centre Management
  • Surveys (Qualtrics and EVASYS)
  • Careerhub


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