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UAB IT successfully helped UAB School of Optometry migrate over to a SQL server earlier in 2022, improving security and adding backup services. 

Over the course of 42 hours, team members from UAB IT’s applications and consulting services planned and performed a seamless migration to the new server.  

“It took 42 hours including strategizing, preparing applications for cutover, implementation, and remediation of post-implementation issues.  A vast majority of the time was invested on the front end to keep the implementation and subsequent steps as efficient as possible,” said Doug O’Neil, a software developer for UAB IT.  

The server the school uses now is under constant surveillance of the Infra-Data team, the virtual machine is being backed up constantly off-site meaning that if disaster recovery had to occur it would not be hard to do. UAB IT originally inherited the School of Optometry’s fleet of application data in 2020 and the unit was using an old SQL Server box from 2008 that needed an upgrade.  

“In the past year, we have sought to retire all physical database boxes on this platform across IT, and this one, while not ours, was included in that effort to enhance functionality, security, and reduce downtime,” said O’Neil.  

A SQL server is a relational database management system that can support multiple items used in information technology settings. SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is a standardized programming language. It can be used to build and communicate with databases. The new server is where all the stored data from the broad spectrum of Optometry applications are recorded. This includes everything from applications for admission to payment of deposits, and even keeps records of alumni.   

With UAB IT’s 2016 SQL Server, IT was able to create a test instance for the databases. This is an advantage they did not have before in order to develop new applications and test them without affecting “live” production data.  

“Being able to run a fully functional and robust development database allows application enhancements to happen with more thorough testing, and provides a safe area to test reported issues without affecting actual records – a big win in development & troubleshooting,” said O’Neil.