Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Technologies

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Banner Glossary of Terms

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Action Menu

A drop down menu listing navigation and command functions.

Alert Box

A window that notifies you of a condition that may impact data. An alert box has only one response. You must acknowledge an alert box before you can do anything else on the form.


In an SQL query, an alternative name for a table or column. For example, you can define a table name alias in the FROM clause of a query: FROM THINGS T, PROPERTY_LIST P This defines the THINGS table alias as the letter T and the PROPERTY_LIST tables' alias as the letter P.


Application Programming Interface. Set of methods through which an application exposes business logic and/or data. APIs enable SCT Banner to communicate with other systems.


An application is a functional area that controls population selections, populations, and variables. All variables and Population Selections must belong to an application. You cannot create a variable or Population Selection without attaching it to an application.

Application Form

Form used to enter, update, or query information. An application form will have the letter "A" in the third position of the form name.


A characteristic. For example, the datatype and size of a column are two of the column's attributes.


These are requirements by groupings. These can be core requirements, major requirements, attribute requirements, or electives. Areas are assigned priorities so that the system knows which area to check first. Areas may be used for prerequisite checking.

Auto Hint

The area at the bottom of the main window where brief information appears about the field the cursor is in. The information may be about the purpose of the field, what you can do next, or how to move to another window or form. Error messages also appear here.

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Base Table

Where the data entered on a form is stored.


A section of a form containing related pieces of information -- usually a single database table. Blocks are usually separated by a solid line, or by separate TABs on the forms.

Block Menu

Enables you to move from one block to another and clear data within a form.


This option found in the Help menu allows you to access Banner documents directly from your computer. These electronic documents look the same as the hard copy versions, regardless of the computer you are using.

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Calling Form

Original form from which you clicked a button and accessed another form. The Called form inherits the security of the Calling form.


Exits you from an Option List or List of Values.


All the areas are attached to the program. No dynamic areas are processed, so there are no options to select a minor or concentration.


A pre-selected web page that can automatically send updated information for immediate display on request. An SCT Banner channel is a channel that links to SCT Banner, Self-Service web pages, or to the web.


Used to enable or disable features or options. When an option is enabled, a check mark appears in the checkbox. When the option is disabled, the checkbox is empty. Checkboxes often represent yes/no conditions.

Clear Form

Clears all information and returns you to the first enterable field in the key information area. No information is saved.

Client-server Architecture

A network architecture in which each computer or process on the network is either a client or a server. Servers are powerful computers or processes dedicated to managing disk drives (file servers), printers (print servers), or network traffic (network). Clients are desktop computers (such as Macintoshes, PCs, or workstations) on which people run applications. Clients rely on servers for resources, such as files, devices, and even processing power.


A component of the database that contains the definition of what kinds of data are to be collected and stored in the rows of the table.


You can retrieve data from your database without using Banner. Some examples of how to do this are the Spreadsheet Budgeting application that works with Microsoft Excel and your database, and SQL commands.


A command you execute in Banner that saves changes or updates you've made to the information. After you use COMMIT in Banner, you cannot undo your changes, unless you write some SQL code that changes the data back and then commits the new change). Before the commit occurs, you can undo your update or change using the ROLLBACK command. Some commands have an automatic commit built in. Examples of commands that automatically commit your changes are ALTER, CREATE, DROP, and RENAME.


The process of checking a studentâs progress against the requirements to meet a goal.


A rule applied to a table or column that restricts the data allowed in any row in the table.

Control Form

Used to define processing rules for application and validation forms at the system level.

Count Hits

In query mode, counts the number of records that meet the search criteria and displays that number in the Auto Help Line.

Creator ID

User ID of the individual who created the population selection. Available for all users who have access to the tables in the population selection.

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A collection of tables used to store data.

Database Schematic

A "map" of related tables within your Banner system. Shows the relationships between the tables as well as the data elements within those tables.


Database administrator, or other high-level technical person at your institution. Some types of problems or issues with your system can only be addressed by this person.

Dialog Box

Appears when you must chose from two or more responses. You must acknowledge a dialog box before you can do anything else on a form.

Direct Access

A field on the Banner main menu and ffrom the File Dropdown option, that allows you to access forms, menus, jobs, and QuickFlows directly by entering their seven-character code.

Disabled Field

Cursor is not allowed in the field and if information exists, it is displayed in grey text


Using the down arrow key, moves the cursor to the first enterable field in the next record, moves you lower on a List of Values, or moves you lower in a pull-down list..

Drop-Down List

A drop-down list shows three or more values for a field. Any field with a down arrow icon contains a drop-down list.


Use the mouse to move the cursor over an object. While holding down the primary mouse button, move the object to its destination.

Dynamic Help

Traditional help that allows you to access the Help form for assistance with forms, blocks, and fields.

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EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

A way to electronically send information to another institution. Has become superceded by new technology.

Edit Menu

Contains functions used to edit text items.

Enabled Field

Cursor is allowed in the field and information in the field is displayed in black text.

Enter Query

Puts the form into query mode and lets you enter search criteria to see what information is already in the database. ENTER QUERY appears in the Status Bar.


A table or a group of tables. In Banner documentation, the term "entity" is often used interchangeably with table.

Execute Query

In query mode, searches the database and displays any records that match the search criteria.


From forms and windows, exits you out of the form or window. From menus, exits you out of the system. From query mode, cancels the query and takes the form out of query mode.

Exit with Value

See "Select".

Exit without Value

See "Exit".

Extracting data for reports

You can retrieve data from your database without using Banner. This option must be enabled for a form by the DBA. Some examples of how to do this are the Spreadsheet Budgeting application that works with Microsoft Excel and your database, and SQL commands.

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Fine-Grained Access Control. Oracle technology upon which Value Based Security(VBS) and Personally Identifiable Information(PII) are based.


A data element within a block. For example, an address block may contain the street, city, and state fields.

File Menu

Contains standard SCT Banner and Oracle functions.

Flat files

A file of organized text data that isn't organized in a formal database format (in other words, without rows and columns)


A screen used to query, enter, and/or update information.

Form header

The header of each Banner form is the title bar of the form. The header contains the descriptive form name, the 7-character form name, the release number, and the database name from the Installation Control Form (GUAINST).

FRM errors

Error that occurs in your system due to the functioning of a form in your Banner system. You'll see the error message either in a pop-up window on your screen, or on the dialog line near the bottom of your Banner window.

Function keys

Function keys are specific keystrokes or keystroke combinations that are equivalent to a selection on a menu. For example, at your institution, pressing F7 might be equivalent to selecting Enter Query. To find the keyboard equivalents at your institution, click the Show Keys button on the toolbar or select Show Keys from the Help pull-down menu.

Functional Form

A form/screen used to query, enter, and/or update information.

Formatting Commands

Formatting commands include the appearance of the letter such as margins, tabs, underlines and centers. These are not necessary if you are using a word processing software to produce your final product.

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Grading Schemes

Valid set of grades that the sending school uses when grading its courses.


Banner uses the color gray to denote disabled items such as menu items and fields. If your GUI environment allows you to change the colors of window elements, the color of disabled menu items may be different.   (“grayed out” is used to describe unavailable items).


Groups are a subpart of areas. An area may be electives and the group will further define what the electives are (e.g., Humanities elective, Social Science).


Graphical User Interface -- Windows driven software.

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Banner has online help available for selected forms. The online help assists you in completing tasks related to the form that you're using.

Help Menu

Contains various help tools including the image displayer, calculator and calendar.

Hierarchical Menu

Access forms through the main menu hierarchical structure.

Horizontal Toolbar

A toolbar is a set of icons (pictures) that represents shortcuts for performing common functions. Banner offers both a horizontal and vertical toolbar.

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Visual images used to perform an action or respond to the system. Icons are small squares that contain a picture. They represent one or more actions that can be performed for the associated field or record. You can use iconic buttons to access a form or window related to the record or field where the cursor is located.

Information Block

Displays data about the information entered in the Key Block. Area where you enter information prior to updating a record.

Internet Native Banner (INB)

The "back-office" method of interfacing with Banner. INB access involves being able to see the Banner forms through a J-Initiator client. Only limited staff have INB access.


Banner products have the ability to interface with each other for the purpose of sharing information and making transactions.

Inquiry Form

Used to look up existing data.

Item Menu

Enables you to move from one field to another, and clear and duplicate data within a form.

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Visual images used to perform an action or respond to the system. Icons are small squares that contain a picture. They represent one or more actions that can be performed for the associated field or record. You can use iconic buttons to access a form or window related to the record or field where the cursor is located.

Job submission

The way Banner runs reports or processes. For example, let's say you want to find all students who have outstanding parking fee balances. You would "submit the job" by entering your criteria for the report and then telling Banner to go into the database and find the matching data.

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A column or set of columns in a table that identifies a unique row of data.

Key Block

Appears at the top of each Banner form and used as the query criteria required to access data.


A keystroke is the act of pressing a key or a group of keys on your keyboard. Many actions in Banner can be accessed by using keystrokes. To determine which keystrokes are available at your organization, select Show Keys from the Help menu bar item.

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Letters contain a single paragraph (for downloading for word processing), or they contain a series of paragraphs (for printing a letter via SCT Banner).

Letter Code

A letter code identifies the name and description of the letter.


List of Values. A list of possible field values which are displayed by pressing the List of Values (LOV) button next to the field.


The software platform that provides a web interface, in this case to Banner. At the University of San Diego it forms the basis for MySanDiego. If someone refers to an interface as being present in Luminis, that means it is accessible online, probably through MySanDiego.

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Maintenance Form

Used regularly to reflect changes/updates that will effect information in Banner.

Menu Bar

Located at the top of the screen, below the form name and Title Bar, the Menu Bar has a list a series of options (eg. File, Edit, etc) available on a specific form.


Appears at the bottom right of a Banner form and indicates more windows for this form.

My Banner

Allows quick access to forms, jobs, menus, and QuickFlows that are most important in your daily work.

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Naming conventions

A set of rules for naming forms, jobs, and tables in Banner.

Next Block

Means to move the cursor to the next information area (block) that has at least one enterable field.

Next Record

Means to move the cursor to the first enterable field in the next record of the current block. If the cursor is in the last record, a new record is created.


Requirements may be attached to the program, but the system will dynamically go out and check the student's major, minor, and/or concentration and find the appropriate areas to check. If an area is attached to a program and it does not match the student's qualifications, the area is discarded. Selection of areas to be selected comes from the qualifiers in the Area/Group Requirements.


Entity identified to the SCT Banner system, such as a vendor doing business with the institution.


Indicates that the field has nothing in it. Different from zero, which is a value.

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A set of common rules used in many different population selections and variables. Objects are not required, but they simplify data entry and provide some consistency.

Object Search

Access a form, job, or QuickFlow if you know part of its name, description, or type.

Online Help

Provides online information for forms, windows, blocks, and fields. Available for selected forms only.

Option List

Dialog box displaying two or more items to choose from.

Options Menu

Varies from form to form. Has the ability to take you to other blocks and windows within the current form or even outside of the current form.

Options Pull-down

The Options Pull-down is the second  pull-down on the menu bar and shows all your navigational options. The options depend on the current location of your cursor. Some options take you to other windows or blocks within the same form, other options take you to other related forms.


The database management software used by the Banner system to store, manage, and retrieve information.

Oracle errors

Error that occurs in your system due to a function of the Oracle database. You'll see the error message either in a pop-up window on your screen, or on the dialog line near the bottom of your Banner window.

Origination tag

A unique value that identifies a fixed asset at your institution (a desk or a set of chairs, for instance). Used to track depreciation and related expenses throughout the useful life of the asset.

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Paragraphs within banner contain text, variables and formatting commands. If the letter is to be downloaded (exported) to MS Word or WordPerfect, then it will only contain variables.

Paragraph Code

A paragraph code identifies the name and description of the paragraph.

Parent-Child Relationship

If a parent form has been assigned to a child form, the parent cannot be deleted without deleting the child first.

Permanent tags

Used to track assets in the Fixed Assets module of the Banner Finance System.

Personal Menu

A personal menu includes the forms, jobs, menus, and QuickFlows that are most important in your daily work. You can access your personal menu from the main menu. It is tied to your Oracle User id.

Pop-Up Window

Dialog box, alert box, or list of values that appear in a separate window.


The Person Identification Master or PIDM is an internal key field stored in the Person Identification table (SPRIDEN). The PIDM may represent a student, vendor, employee, beneficiary, alumnus, or other entity. All tables that contain person or entity related data must store the PIDM but not necessarily complete records. This relational reference method makes Banner a powerful and efficient tool for data storage and retrieval.


Personally Identifiable Information. Way of restricting an SCT Banner user's access to information specifically for which he or she has a legitimate business need.


A set of SCT Banner IDs used for reports, processes, and letters. A population is uniquely identified by an application, selection ID, creator ID, and user ID.

Population Selection

A set of rules used to select IDs from the Banner database for reports, processes, and letters. A population selection is uniquely identified by an application, selection ID, and creator ID.


Website that is a starting site for users when they get connected to the Web or that users tend to visit as an anchor site.

Previous Block

The previous information area that has at least one enterable field. If the previous area is another window, then that window is opened.

Previous Record

Means to move the cursor to the first enterable field in the previous record.

Primary key

A column or set of columns in one table that uniquely identifies each row in the table. Each row in a table has a value in the primary key different from that of every other row in that table.

Product Links

Access contents of various SCT Banner products directly.


The goal or objective against which to measure student progress.

Pull-down List

Used to select a field value from a list of pre-defined values. A down arrow in the right side of the field indicates that the field has a pull-down list.

Pull-down menu

A list of menu items that is displayed when the menu item is selected. Pull-down menu items are used to select common Banner and Oracle functions.

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Qualifiers define the persons to whom the area applies and includes student characteristics such as: campus, college, degree, departments, major, concentration, minor, and student attribute.


A question in Banner that looks at the data in the Banner database for an answer. Banner queries use SQL (Structured Query Language), which is an English-like set of commands for defining database objects.

Query Menu

Contains the functions use d to search for information in the database based on specific criteria.

Query Form

Used to look up existing data, but can only be accessed from another form.


A technique that lets you access a set of forms in a specific sequence. Activating a QuickFlow opens the first form in the chain. When you exit that form, the next form automatically opens.

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Radio Button

Used to select one of several options. Only one radio button can be selected at a time.


A collection of information stored in a database table as a single unit. One or more records may be included in a single block.

Record Counter

Displays the number of records viewed and the number of records in total.

Record Menu

Allows you to work with records within a form.


Chunks of information grouped together on forms in sections that make up a logical unit.

Relational database

A collection of tables connected together in a series of relationships so that they model some small part of the real world.


A command that removes all changes since the last Commit or Save. Rollback is the same as Revert to Saved in other applications. On validation, application, and inquiry forms, Rollback returns the cursor to the first enterable field on the form. On query forms, Rollback returns the cursor to the first enterable field on the calling form. Rollback is also referred to as Clear Form.


A component of a database table that contains the actual data organized in columns.


A set of values used to define an outcome. For example, Academic Standing Rule. Or in CAPP, a rule is an option to select one or more courses from a group of courses. Instead of placing it in the area, you set up a "rule" and then attach the rule to the area.

Rule Form

Used to set up user-defined rules for calculations and parameters to process data.

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Scroll Bar

A horizontal or vertical bar that appears at the side or bottom of a Banner form window. Clicking the arrows at the ends of the Scroll Bar will move the window and display additional information.

SCT Banner Bookshelf

Tool that lets you access SCT Banner documentation directly from your computer. These electronic documents look the same as the hard copy versions, regardless of the computer you are using.

SCT Banner Main Menu

Provides an overview of the menus, forms, jobs, and QuickFlows in SCT Banner.

SCT Banner Product Suite

All-encompassing internet-native software applications for the higher education community.

SCT Banner XtenderSolutions

Allows you to open Banner Xtender Solutions based on the context of the current form and shifts to the Xtender Solutions Application. Note: You must be a valid Banner Xtender Solutions user and have the Legato product installed.

SCT Banner XtenderSolutions-Info

Retrieves desired information from Banner Xtender Solutions and returns it to Banner in "silent" mode without leaving. Note: You must be a valid Banner Xtender Solutions user and have the Legato product installed.

SCT Luminis

A standards-based platform that combines portal features, infrastructure, and enterprise applications, enabling you to give constituents centralized and customized web access to campus information.


The way in which Banner keeps unauthorized users from making changes to the system. Generally set up by your DBA (or other high-level technical people) via various forms within Banner. You're not allowed to access these forms. Sorry! Also controls the codes that you're able to use when you enter information via a Banner form.


Choose an item by double-clicking it with mouse or clicking the Select button.

Self-Service (SSB)

SCT Banner product that provides students, faculty, alumni, and staff with secure access to information in a familiar, easy-to-use format over the Web, by phone, or kiosk. Self-Service can also be used as a general term referring to the way information is accessed. Self-Service Banner is sometimes referred to as SSB.


These codes are used within areas or groups when there are alternate choices to fulfill a requirement. Take this or this or this, etc.

Show Keys

When accessed, provides a list of functions and associated keystrokes for the current field or form.

Site Map

Lists links for product menus and the menus or forms contained one level below.


Structured Query Language. Used by SCT Banner to ask for information from the database.

Status Line

The status line is displayed at the bottom of a form and provides information about the number of records displayed and whether all records have been displayed. The * denotes that all records have been displayed.

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The Oracle structure that holds information inside a database. A table organizes information in columns and rows, so the information is easy to manipulate; for example, you can sort, filter, find, combine, or add information.


Unique identifier used to represent a specific semester and year. The term is a six digit number with the first four digits representing the year and the next two digits representing the semester. For example, 199920 represents the Spring 1999 semester.


Boilerplate text surrounds the variables and is formatted via formatting commands. This is not used if you will be using a word processing software to format and write your final output.

Title Bar

Located at the extreme top of a Banner form, the Title Bar displays the full name of the form, it's seven character identifier, the software version number and the database name.


Located under the Menu Bar at the top of a form, the ToolBar contains icons that represent shortcuts for performing common functions.

Tool Tip

Small popup box (formerly Bubble Help) that appears when the cursor moves over a button, link, graphic image, or tab. Provides short, additional bits of information about a given object, without cluttering the screen with unnecessary data.

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Unified Digital Campus. Environment in which you are continually connected to the information and resources you need.


User ID that is running the population selection. Can be the same as the creator.

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Validation form

Used to create choices in Rule, Application, and/or Query forms.


Banner variables are lines of SQL code which are rules for extracting the information that you need. SCT delivers hundreds of commonly used variables, such as those that will extract a personâs name, address and other basic information. Variables can be written to extract any data that is in Banner.


Value-Based Security. Way of restricting an SCT Banner user's access to insert, update, delete, or select rows of information based on specific values associated with individual items of information in SCT Banner.

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Special character that represents one or more other characters.


A framed, rectangular area within a form. A Banner form can have one or more windows.

Window Menu

Allows you to arrange the display of the open windows of a form.

Wizard Form

Use to give step-by-step instructions for completing a task in SCT Banner.

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