Friday, June 11, 2021

Request Tracker (RT) moving to ADFS authentication - June 16

Update (June 16, 8:55 a.m.):

What is happening? Request Tracker (RT) will not be moving to Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) authentication today as scheduled due to last minute inconsistencies found during upgrade testing. This update will be postponed to a future date (TBD).

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca, ext. 44357. 


What is happening? 

  • Request Tracker (RT) will be moving to Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) authentication. ADFS is the recommended authentication service for campus.
  • Moving to ADFS will enable these systems to support single sign-on, a service that provides a secure method of accessing multiple web-based systems and applications without being required to log in to each one. Visit the IST Single sign-on website to learn more.

When is this happening? Wednesday, June 16.

What do users need to do? When logging into RT:

  • On the Sign in page, enter your username@uwaterloo.ca and click Next.
  • If prompted to choose an account, choose ‘Work or school account’.
  • Enter your WatIAM password.
  • You will also receive a two-factor authentication (2FA) prompt.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca, ext. 44357. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Central Authentication Service (CAS) maintenance - June 10

What is happening? Various deprecated security protocols and ciphers from the CAS service are being removed.

What is the impact? This change applies to the limited set of applications still using the CAS service. Please note that CAS is a deprecated service and this removal is essential to maintain the security of Waterloo credentials.

When is this happening? The CAS change will be implemented on Thursday, June 10 at 8:00 a.m.

Why is this happening? This maintenance is required to remove obsolete protocols from campus authentication systems.

Action you may need to take before the change: Review your CAS services to verify they can communicate using TLS1.2 and associated ciphers OR prepare to switch to ADFS.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Test of the University's emergency communication system - June 2

What is happening? We will be testing the University’s campus-wide emergency communication system.

When is this happening? Wednesday, June 2 at 11:00 a.m.                                             

What is the impact? Emergency communication channels being tested include:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

POSTPONED: Change to Teams data retention policies

Update (June 7, 2:30 p.m): Please share with members of your team/area/group.  

What is happening? The change to the data retention policies for Teams is being postponed. The new implementation date will be communicated once confirmed. 

Summary of the changes: 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Basic Authentication to be disabled for Office 365 mailboxes - May 25

Update (May 25, 8:50 a.m.): This work is being rescheduled for a later date; more details will be provided once available.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca, ext. 44357.


What is happening? Basic Authentication will be disabled for Office 365 mailboxes. 

Why is this happening? Basic Authentication is being deprecated by Microsoft. Disabling basic authentication will stop O365 mailboxes from bypassing multi-factor authentication, which will prevent unauthorized logins to mailboxes.

When is this happening? Basic Authentication for Office 365 mailboxes will be disabled on Tuesday, May 25. Please note the disabling process will take approximately one hour to run and the change can take up to 24 hours to take effect.

What is the impact? Some users may experience issues with accessing mailbox features after the change is made on the above date. Most issues can be resolved by removing and re-adding your mail account to the mail client. If you experience persisting issues, please submit a ticket to rt@uwaterloo.ca.

Questions or concerns? Please submit to the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca.

Friday, May 14, 2021

WCMS 3 Rebuild project: Invitation to participate in beta 2 testing phase

What is happening? As we continue to move development of our new WCMS 3 website environment forward, we would like to invite you to participate in the next part of our testing strategy, the beta 2 testing phase.

What is beta testing? Beta testing provides a structured approach to testing the features and functionality of WCMS 3, helping to identify bugs/issues/unexpected behaviours that cannot be caught through automated testing processes.

How long is the beta 2 testing phase? The beta 2 testing phase will take place between May 19 and June 8, 2021.

Who can participate in beta 2 testing? This testing phase is open to members of the University Community who have completed the WCMS for Content Maintainers (WCMS 2) training course.

What can I expect during this testing phase?

  • Beta 2 websites will be built in the Pantheon environment and will not contain any content.
  • You may choose to rebuild a WCMS 2 website in WCMS 3 for the following reasons:
    • You want to rebuild a small site to familiarize yourself with the new platform.
    • You want to revamp an existing site entirely.
    • You have a non-standard (FDSU) site that you are eager to get in WCMS 3 and feel the current functionality will cover your use case (Reminder: only standard FDSU sites and some single-page site functionality will be supported in WCMS 3 at launch).
  • Alternatively, you may choose to begin building a brand-new website in WCMS 3.
  • Migration of WCMS 2 websites to WCMS 2 is not supported at this time.
  • WCMS 3 training notes will not be available during this testing phase.
    • Support requests may be submitted to wcms@uwaterloo.ca.
    • Training and support resources, and information on completing required WCMS 3 training courses, will be shared when ready.
  • Websites built during beta 2 testing are eligible to move from development to the live Pantheon environment on or after June 29, 2021.

How do I participate in beta 2 testing?

You may submit a request to https://uwaterloo.atlassian.net/servicedesk/customer/portal/2/create/753.

Notice a bug or issue with your site? Please submit any bugs and/or issues using the reporting form, https://uwaterloo.ca/building-the-next-wcms/acceptance-testing/beta-testing-bug-report-form.

Questions or concerns? Please submit to the team via wcms@uwaterloo.ca.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Quest is moving to Oracle Cloud

What is happening? The University’s student information system Quest will move from its current on-premises environment to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The Oracle Cloud offering is pre-configured and tightly integrated with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, the foundation on which Quest is built, and comes with Oracle’s database software Cloud Manager, a tool that enables optimization of resources, streamlines processes, and improves performance.

Why is this change being made? Oracle's next-generation cloud infrastructure will provide a modern, high-performance environment for our Quest system. Leveraging real-time data analytics, the student information system team will be able to quickly scale development and production environments to meet demand. This leading-edge technology will ensure the Quest support team is in the best position to respond to feature and functionality requests, better supporting and enhancing your overall experience. Visit the project web page to view a full list of benefits.

How will this change impact me?

  • There will be no change to visual elements within Quest, or in how students and/or employees interact with the system. 
  • This work will impact Quest's infrastructure only (i.e., work will be completed "behind the scenes").
  • Once Quest has been moved to the Oracle Cloud environment, hosting of Quest data will move from the University's on-premises data centres to Oracle Cloud's secure Canadian data centres, hosted in Toronto and Montreal. 

How secure is Oracle Cloud? The continued privacy and integrity of Quest student information is and will continue to be the project's top priority. A security review and two privacy information risk assessments have been completed and no issues or risks were identified.

This project will take a security by design approach, where Security Information Services will participate throughout the duration of the project, helping to design and review system configurations, conduct regular security assessments, and review and measure risks against the NIST-800-171 security standard. Summaries of this work will be made available on the project site.

Learn more

You are encouraged to visit the Quest moving to Oracle Cloud project page to learn more about this work, view the privacy and security assessment documents, see the project timeline, and project FAQs.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) now available for students

What is happening? Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), a Microsoft Azure-based system for virtualizing operating systems and applications, is now available for students to use for lab computers and software.

What is Windows Virtual Desktop used for? Windows Virtual Desktop is a Microsoft cloud-based solution that gives users remote access to desktops and applications. WVD can be used as an alternative to, or augmentation of, physical computer labs.

How do users access Windows Virtual Desktop? Students that have been given access to a department’s virtual lab can access Windows Virtual Desktop by logging in to www.wvd.uwaterloo.ca

How do I set up a Windows Virtual Desktop environment? IT support staff can enable Windows Virtual Desktop for their department or faculty by submitting a request to rt@uwaterloo.ca. Visit the Windows Virtual Desktop service page for more information.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Inbound mail record to be updated - May 15

What is happening? The University’s inbound mail record will be updated to route email sent to uwaterloo.ca addresses through the Cisco Cloud servers.

  • Current mail delivery path: Internet (i.e., external individual/organization) > Mailservices > Cisco Cloud servers > Office 365/Exchange
  • Planned mail delivery path: Internet > Cisco Cloud servers > Office 365/Exchange/Mailservices

When will this change take place? Saturday, May 15 between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.

What is the impact? No end-user impact is expected.

Note: If desired, individuals may test unique mail delivery configurations following the above maintenance window.

Questions or concerns? Please submit to the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Resolved: Users unable to access Teams - April 27

Resolved: Users should be able to access Teams again as expected. If you are experiencing persisting issues, please restart your Teams client.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.


What is happening? Some users may intermittently be unable to access Microsoft Teams through both the web and desktop client. Microsoft is investigating the issue; updates will be provided when available.

What is the impact? Users may experience degraded performance with multiple features. These include but are not limited to:

  • Can't send or receive messages 
  • Can't join meetings 
  • Some channels may not appear 
  • Can't join channels 
  • Can't join chats 

What do users need to do? Users experiencing issues should restart their Teams clients. 

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.

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