IT Services August 2021 Update 

This update is a summary of ongoing and completed projects that IT Services has been working on during Summer 2021.  

IT Services continues to improve upon the StFX services webpage  This page contains quick links to popular applications, a wealth of information in knowledge base articles, and the ability to make service requests for several departments on campus by going to the “Departments” button along the top menu. 

Moodle Quickmail  
Messaging students on Moodle is now easier – the Quickmail block allows instructors and TAs (and students, if the instructor allows) to send email to course members from Moodle. Instructors who use Moodle may find Quickmail to be a convenient alternative in setting up a Class Email List and using Outlook or relying on the old messenger in the Participants area.  

Note: Emails sent from Quickmail are always sent immediately and are sent separately from other Moodle email notifications. Messages from Quickmail are not affected by course members' individual Profile settings for receiving emails as daily digests. 

To learn more about Quickmail, go to and search “Quickmail” in the top right search bar.  

X-Reports has replaced many of the reports previously found on the faculty mesAMIS reports. X-Reports can be found on by going to Quick Links on the left-hand side of the page. 

Available reports include:  

  • Classroom change requests 
  • Faculty Class Enrolment 
  • Faculty Class List Lookup 
  • Faculty Exam Schedule 
  • Grade Change requests 
  For a video tutorial, please go to > Knowledge Base > Software > Institutional Applications > X Reports > Faculty > Using X-Reports

Microsoft 365 MFA 
IT Services has completed the roll out of Microsoft 365 Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for faculty and staff, significantly improving user account security, particularly in the case of a compromised password. 

Microsoft MFA for students will roll out in the fall.  Further details will be provided as we get closer to the date. 

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is now enforced when connecting to the university's Virtual Private Network (VPN).   VPN connectivity is required to access some applications such as Banner.  If you need assistance with configuring VPN, please contact the IT Services Help Desk to request the VPN client and appropriate MFA token. 

Website updates 
The migration of departmental websites from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, which started in April 2021, is complete.  IT Services, along with Communications and Marketing, have successfully migrated 76 websites to Drupal 9 for security and support enhancements. 

Upcoming Oracle and Banner upgrades 
Several database and software updates are required on the Banner systems to remain current with releases for security and support purposes.  These upgrades will occur in October/November.  More information will be shared as dates for the upgrades are confirmed. 

New photo upload utility for incoming students 
A new photo upload utility has been rolled out for students so they are able to quickly and easily get an ID when they get to campus.  Based on supplied guidelines, students can upload a picture of their choosing and pick up their pre-printed ID upon arrival. 

Intelligent Learning Platform
A new method for syncing courses, faculty and student data from Banner to Moodle, that leverages the Intelligent Learning Platform (ILP), will be implemented this fall.   It will allow for real-time drops/adds making for a more seamless transition in and out of courses. 

Classroom updates 
There were a number of classroom technology updates completed across campus over the summer.  These included new projectors, enhanced switching, new screens and updated presentation units.  For technology orientations please visit the IT Services website at 

Work continues migrating data reports from mesAMIS to other platforms including Millenium FAST, MyData, X-reports and TeamDynamix.  The project is anticipated to wrap up in December. 

Student computer loaner program 
Laptops are available at the IT Services Help Desk in the Angus L. MacDonald library on a first-come, first-served, short-term basis for students whose computer is temporarily unavailable. For example, if it has been sent away for service. Due to limited inventory, a loaner laptop is not guaranteed. To reserve a laptop go visit and search for “student laptop loaner” in the top right. 

IT Services March 2021 Update  

This update is a summary of several of the projects IT Services will be working on over the next few months. Many of these initiatives are IT security focused and will help to further protect the institutions systems and data. Some may require updates to the software and configuration on your computer and other devices. Please watch for additional communication on these projects as they get closer to completion.  For more detailed information on any of these please contact IT Services. 


Skype for Business Online Retiring 

Microsoft has announced that Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021 and after that date the service will no longer be accessible.  Skype for Business Online users should transition fully to Microsoft Teams for chat, meetings, and direct Teams calling.  If you have any questions please email, or visit for help with transitioning from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.  

Network Infrastructure Upgrades Ongoing 

IT Services will be performing a series of upgrades to core network hardware and services on campus over the coming weeks. The upgrades will increase network capacity and improve redundancy and reliability.   Work is typically performed before 6AM and we will work to minimize service disruptions. Planned outages will be communicated in advance where possible.  

Moodle Upgrade  

Lambda, our Moodle hosting provider, completed an upgrade to the Moodle environment from version 3.7 to 3.9 on December 22nd, 2020.  The upgraded version contains bug fixes, updates to security, and includes some new features. Full documentation for version 3.9 can be found at 

Changes to Computer Ordering Process 

Effective April 2021 most computers on campus will be included in a new refresh program. Computers will be replaced on a 5-year cycle; you will not need to process a purchase requisition.  

Some systems, including those purchased for research, will not be part of this program. Ordering for those will now start with a ticket to IT Services rather than by submitting a purchase request to Procurement Services. IT Services will work with Procurement Services to order, configure, and deploy new computers. This will allow faster and more accurate service and support from IT Services for new computer deployments, as well as better lifecycle management of computer devices for all users across campus. To order new computer equipment, please use the “New Computer Equipment Request” form on the Services@StFX portal available at 

Security Awareness Training 

The security awareness training platform, Beauceron, is now available to all staff, faculty and students. Everyone should have received an email invitation to log in to the system and take advantage of the content. If you haven’t received an invitation, please contact IT Services to get one. Most cyber-attacks target individual users using phishing emails and similar strategies. This training will help you identify those threats and keep your information safe. ITS will be encouraging use of the system and running promotions with some great prizes for students over the next few weeks. 

Millennium FAST/mesAMIS Project 

The process of replacing the mesAMIS system is underway. Some of the functionality and reporting has already been transitioned to other platforms. Most of the remaining mesAMIS reports will be migrated to a new system called Millennium Fast. The system is up and running and report building has started. It is anticipated that the migration of all mesAMIS reports to the new system will be completed by the end of May. 

Multi-factor Authentication Rollout 

ITS is finalizing the build of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) technology and the roll out to campus will begin soon.  MFA is a technology that requires users logging in to a system to prove their identity using a second verification step.  A typical configuration would require a username and password plus another piece of information such as a code from an app on your phone. The system will significantly improve user account security, particularly in the case of a compromised password. More details will be communicated in the coming weeks.