Officially kicking off in September 2017, Technical Services has been working to complete the migration of our FIS active directory to the University-wide active directory. We are happy to announce this migration has been successfully completed on time! This has been a monumental undertaking, and we would like to thank you all for your cooperation and patience during this time.

  • Joining the centralized active directory allows for better-integrated security and use of a single sign-on (Fewer passwords to remember!)
  • Increased integration with the University community will streamline implementations and collaboration with other University departments, schools, and units
  • 48 business services located on over 300 servers were migrated, and many were improved during the transition to include upgraded hardware and software

Thank you for your support!

What is Haptic Technology? 

Haptic technology is the technology of adding the sensation of touch and feeling to computers. When virtual objects are touched, the seem real and tangible. Haptic senses links to the brain’s sensing position and movement of the body by means of sensory nerves within the muscles and joint. For example, when you touch an app on your smart phone, although the app is not there your touch where you see the app causes it to vibrate.

Uses of Haptic Technology

Arts and design: Haptic technology is used in virtual arts for to create virtual instruments, create real-time sound, or give touch feedback relating to the “surface” they are sculpting.

Virtual Reality: Most commonly virtual reality is used to create a 3D model and design that are intended to give customers a real-world experience of games they may play. Companies are currently working to make full-body or torso haptic vests for use in immersive virtual reality so that explosions or bullet impacts can be felt.

Future of Haptic Technology

Medicine: Haptic interfaces for medicine can used to help in minimally invasive procedures as well as perform remote surgeries. It is also used to translate the sense of touch into an image. This is useful when looking for trigger points in muscles.

Robots: There are robotics being created to use the sense of touch, pressure, and position. Haptic technology is used to reproduce the strength, delicacy, and complexity of the human grip. It also helps to create awareness in a human environment.

Holographic interaction: The haptic feedback allows the user to interact with a hologram and received tactile responses as if the holographic object were real. This allows the hologram to adjust for each humans experience making it more real.


Full technical and functional assistance for all systems, hardware, and software supported by FIS will end at 5:00 PM on Thursday, December 21, 2017 and resume at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.  As in prior years, only emergency technical and functional support will be available during the Winter Recess and will not include such things as development work, web updates, equipment moves and installations, loaner equipment requests, application configuration, software deployments, training, or new account creations.

To receive timely service, it is important to follow the instructions below to initiate a request for service. Please do not call, leave a voice-mail message, or e-mail a FIS staff member directly to initiate a request for service. All requests will be responded to during the hours listed below according to the levels outlined in the Service Level Agreement. When requesting service, it is important to provide a telephone number where you can be reached during the support hours.

Support Hours

Date Hours of Operation
Friday, December 22 Closed
Monday, December 25 Closed
Tuesday, December 26 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday, December 27 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Thursday, December 28 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Friday, December 29 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Monday, January 1 Closed
Tuesday, January 2 Resume full operations at 8AM

To initiate an FIS request for service, use the following methods:

Online Phone*
During Operating Hours
Outside Operating Hours
FIS Support Portal
Submit a ticket for all requests
FIS Emergency Support Hotline
Dial 412-624-FIS1 (3471)
FIS After Hours Critical Support Hotline
Dial (866) PITT-FIS

*Please call this hotline if the portal is unavailable or there is a critical issue that needs attention immediately.
**Please call this hotline outside of operating hours for issues that severely impact immediate productivity.

To initiate a PRISM request, use the following methods:

Online Phone
Submit a Help Ticket Dial 412-624-HELP (4357)

Happy Holidays from FIS!

No matter which browser you are using or how up to date the browser is, inevitably, you will find a website that doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Many of the issues you are seeing can cause issues with printing, interactivity, or animations.


Webpages are programmed using a few different languages. These languages have standards that manufacturers and developers must follow in order for their products to be compatible with the browser. Most of these standards are introduced after innovations, and they can change the way a browser needs to function. These standards are different for each language, and this affects browsers differently, whether that be Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Chrome.

Each browsers has different engines. These engines process the code written for different websites you may visit. Each browsers engine will interpret and render a webpage in a distinctive way. That means the exact same website can look and function differently across browsers.

This leaves developers balancing on a tight rope. They try to reach a compromise when coding based on the relative popularity of the browser that most of their customers use. Because of this, many small issues will arise across different browsers.

To make matters worse, there can be issues with a website in different versions of the same browsers. For example, if Chrome adds a new standard to their engine it may break a website that was once working in Chrome. Developers have to try and catch these changes and update their websites before the customer notices the problems.

All of this will cause hiccups in functionality; however, FIS provides access to several browsers to combat this problem. If a website doesn’t work in one browser, there is a very good chance it was built for the next.


  1. If your website uses Java, don’t use Chrome. Chrome does not support Java integration with their browser. For example, PRISM uses Java and will not function correctly in Chrome.
  2. Support for Internet Explorer has ended. Because Microsoft is moving to Edge as their default browser, the support and updates from Internet Explorer have stopped. This means that you may see a drop in functionality with this browser, especially when browsing to sites that are updated regularly.
  3. We have experienced more printing performance issues with Firefox than the other browsers so, if you printing reports from PeopleSoft. You may want to use a different browser.
  4. Use the browser that you prefer. There is no right or wrong to your choice. Some people prefer Chrome because it syncs with your Gmail account and other’s use Firefox because it is the most customizable.
  5. Create favorites for the websites you need that work in each browser this will assist in remembering which websites need a specific browser to function and you can quickly access them.
  6. Ask FIS if you need any assistance, we are always happy to help you troubleshoot issue, set up bookmarks, or teach you about a new browser.

The holiday season is here and we will be searching for the perfect gifts for many people in our lives. Shopping from the convenience of our own home is one of the greatest benefits of the internet. You don’t have to wait in line, stand in crowds, or even take off your pajamas. With this convenience, comes many cyber criminals creating fake shopping websites, sending phishing emails, and trying to steal from others.

Spot Fake Online Stores 

Criminals can create fake websites that replicate the look of real sites or using the names or well-known stores or brands. When you are searching online for the lowest prices, you may find yourself directed to one of these websites. Below are ways to help identify fake websites:

  • Shop with reputable merchants.
  • Research the website. There are many independent sources that will give grades to websites. Places like Reseller Rating or Better Business Bureau can be very informative. Even entering the the URL into a search engine and looking at results can be informative.
  • Check the merchant’s customer information and return policies. Do not provide a vendor with personal information or bank account numbers. Make sure that they will support you if you package is stolen or missing.

Your Computer and Mobile Device

Protecting your device is just as important as shopping at legitimate websites. Make sure to always install the latest updates and run up-to-date anti-virus software. This makes it much harder for a cyber criminal to infect your device. On top of that, if you have children, let them use a secure device. Not one where your credit card or bank information is stored.

Be Sure the Transaction is Secure

When you are in the checkout process, the web site should be using encryption called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL ensures secure transmission of your credit card information across the internet. You can tell if the web site is using SSL by look for https: (rather than http://) at the beginning of the web site’s address in the browser.

Your Credit Card Information

Never send your credit card numbers via e-mail. Although it is generally safe to enter your credit card number on a secure web site, it is not safe to send it through e-mail. E-mail is sent through the internet in clear text format, so it’s possible for someone other than the vendor to see it.

Keep a record of your transactions. Print or store the copy somewhere for your records. Check your credit card statements to verify you were charged the proper amount. Also, keep any e-mail confirmations about your order for later reference.

Consider using credit cards that generate a unique card number for every online purchase, such as PayPal, which do not require you to disclose your credit card number to the vendor.

Taking Action

If you do have a problem with an online vendor, first attempt to work it out with them directly. Don’t just rely on e-mail; call them as well. If you cannot resolve the problem to your satisfaction, contact your back and ask them to stop the payment. You can also use an online service such as SquareTrade to resolve your dispute.

Finally, you can file a complaint to the state Attorney General’s Office, post your experience on a site like Reseller Ratings, or contact the Better Business Bureau.



02 Oct / 2017

New PRISM Website

PRISM is the University of Pittsburgh’s Enterprise Financial and Human Resources system.

PRISM is a comprehensive suite of web-based applications which provide innovative solutions to streamline University business processes and transactions. PRISM allows self-service access for faculty and staff to manage their personal data online from anywhere, such as benefits and address information.

Access PRISM applications and training demos anywhere from your mobile device

PRISM’s integrated applications include Purchasing, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, P-card Redistribution, Research, Human Resources, Payroll, Benefits, and Time Keeping.



Between the crtl and alt on the lower left of your keyboard, resides the Windows key. Some of you may know that pressing the Windows key opens the start menu but, did you know that there are a variety of other shortcuts that you can use to increase your productivity. Some of our favorites are listed below.

Windows key + L: Lock your device

Windows key + [Left][Right]: Position windows on your screen. For example, if you press Windows key + Left, it will position the current window to the left half of your screen. If you use Windows + Up afterward, the current window will be placed in the upper left quarter of your screen.

Windows key + D: Show the desktop and minimize all programs. If you press it again, it will reopen all your programs.

Windows key + [1][2][3][4][…]: Open the programs that are pinned to the task bar. For example, if Word is the third program on your taskbar and you press the Windows Key + 3, then Word will open.

Windows key + Alt + Number: Open the right-click menu for the app pinned in the number position on the taskbar.

Windows key + A: Open the Windows notification center (only on Windows 10 devices).

Windows key + E: This will open the file explorer. This is how you get to your H: and K: drive.

Windows key + X: Opens a start menu that will quickly take you to task manager, control panel, and other useful settings.

Windows key + [+][-]: Zoom in or out on your current window.

Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Maximizes the active window vertically while maintaining its width.

Windows key + Up: Maximized the selected window.

Windows key + Down: Minimizes the selected window.

Are there any you like to use? Comment below!




FIS and the University have many options for where you can save your files. To help you navigate through all of these options, we have written an article that details in which situations you should choose one option over the other. The article will also help you assess what information you should be saving and where you can save it. Follow the link below to learn more!

Where to Save Your Documents and Files

When you receive Windows 10, you may notice a new feature on your toolbar. This is the Task View pane. Task View allows you to see all of the programs that are currently open on your desktop and you will be able to toggle through them. However, this feature also allows you to create additional desktops.

Using multiple desktops can allow you to better organize your programs and job functions. You may want one desktop to keep your email and Skype for Business chat. On the next, you can have Excel, PRISM, and Word open. This can help you to organize your actions and see multiple things without having to minimize what you are working on.

To get the task view:

  1. There are multiple ways to get the task view open. You can click on the Task View button on the task bar.
  2. You can also press the Windows Key + Tab

To create a new desktop:

  1. In the Task View pane, click New Desktop to add another desktop.
  2. To open a new desktop quickly, you can press the Windows Key + Ctrl + D

To move items to the new desktop:

  1. To move a window from one desktop to another, open the Task View pane and then right-click the program you want to move. You will then see an option that says Move and select the desktop that you would like to move it to.

To move between desktops:

  1. When you want to move between each of your desktops, open the Task View pan and click on the desktop you want to move to.
  2. You can also do this by pressing the keyboard shortcuts Windows Key + Ctrl + Left Arrow and Windows Key + Ctrl + Right Arrow.

To close a desktop:

  1. Open the Task View pane and hover over the desktop you would like to close. After a few seconds, a small X will appear in the upper right corner. Click the X to close the desktop.
  2. You can also close the desktop you are currently in by pressing Windows Key + Ctrl + F4. Please make note that this will not close the programs you have open. They will be moved to the first desktop.


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