Thursday, March 14, 2013

***Resolved*** Account Creation and Gmail Sending Issues

WHAT: Users are experiencing problems when trying to create an ePass account and also are seeing unusual activity when searching for people's names in Gmail.  Additionally, sending e-mails to large groups (e.g., all-students, all-faculty) is resulting in unexpected behavior.

WHEN: 03/14/2013

Current Status: Open

Description: Resolved 3/25/2013:  The underlying issue has been resolved.  At this point account creation, mail lists, and the display names should all be working correctly.  If you continue to experience issues, please contact the Help Desk at 253-535-7525 or e-mail us at  You can also stop in at the Help Desk, located on the first floor of the Library.

Update 3/20/2013: The mass e-mail groups and name issues should be resolved at this point.  (Original issues 2 and 3).  If there are any problems relating to this issue, please contact the Help Desk at 253-535-7525.

We believe that most of the account creation issues have been resolved, but are still working to ensure that the process is functioning fully.  Users unable to create ePass accounts should contact the Help Desk at 253-535-7525 for assistance. 

Update 3/15/2013 3:15 pm:  Systems has identified the root cause of the below issues, and is currently working on correcting the issue.  Due to the volume of data involved with the fix, results take time to correctly display once fixes are applied.

We do not yet have an accurate time frame for resolution at this time.  Now that the cause has been identified, we are working diligently to restore these services to normal operation as promptly as we are able to.

Please continue to contact the Help Desk if you experience issues with any of the below listed problems.  We are collecting user information and will contact you once the issues are resolved.  The Help Desk can be reached by calling 253-535-7525, or by emailing

Original Message 3/14/2013:At approximately 10:00 am today, we received reports of issues with the following symptoms:

1.  Users unable to create ePass accounts.  The Help Desk has received multiple reports of users being unable to create ePass accounts.  Users reported that the process failed at multiple points, but most commonly the ePass tools either would claim that there is no account available for their ID number or the ePass tools would not accept the user's birthdate.

2.  Users display names in the Gmail Autocomplete are not displaying correctly for some users.  Gmail has the capability to auto-complete email addresses based on a person's full name.  Recently, users who have alternate or "preferred" names listed in Banner are showing up only by these alternate names when you use the auto-complete function in Gmail.  (For example, if Johnathan Smith has the preferred name of "Johny", searching "Johnathan Smith" in Gmail does not work, but "Johnny Smith" does.)

3.  Certain mass email groups (e.g., all-students, all-faculty) are not sending to all members of the group.  When sending to these groups, only a handful of email addresses are actually inserted as opposed to the entire group.

Systems is aware of all of these issues and is working to resolve the problem.  They are in the processes of developing and rolling out a fix to these issues.  

Service(s) Impacted: ePass, Gmail

Workarounds: As we continue to apply fixes to the affected services, users should see the services return to normal operation.  Please check the status blog for updates concerning these issues.

Root Cause / Continuous Improvement: The root cause of the issue was related to a communications problem between several pieces of software.  A bug in the way the pieces of software communicated with one another resulted in conflicting information being passed along, ultimately resulting in non-existent or incomplete ePass accounts.

We are continuing to monitor the software to ensure that it is working correctly, and will keep a close eye on it as we progress towards the new school year. 

Check for periodic updates.

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