Here it is! A slightly-belated, much anticipated explanation of myUMBC's issues last week. Short story: myUMBC didn't exactly "break" per se, but it was acting a little flaky due to a couple of separate, unrelated circumstances. The symptoms were: sporadic session timeouts, where users would click on a link and get reprompted for username/password, even if they had not been idle; and also on Friday, there was some weirdness with registration, where myUMBC was not allowing students to register even though their appointments had already passed, making them allegedly eligible.
Both of these issues were caused by time inconsistencies on separate back-end systems. The first issue was due to the Oracle database server time being off 1 hour (not accounting for daylight savings time). The second was the fault of the HP 3000 mainframe, our back-end system of record for all student data. The time on this server was off by 22 minutes, causing the HP to report incorrect student registration appointment times.
There was no correlation between these two separate incidents. Both should now be resolved. I'm writing it off to those wacky leprechauns who live under the floor in the computer room.
Some users also noticed flakiness with the Degree Navigation application last week. The app was giving sporadic "internal server error" pages. This was related to incident #1 (the time discrepancy on the Oracle database server). The Degree Navigation code had a bug which caused it to barf out when it encountered a session timeout condition. This has now been fixed as well.
Hope that all made sense.. It's Monday and I'm still half awake!