Service Alerts

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6/01 - PEAS Self Service Upgrade

June 1, 2017 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The PEAS Self Service application will be unavailable on Thursday, June 1st between 5pm and 7pm to perform a software upgrade

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Wordpress Vulnerability

May 6, 2017 2:00 pm

Updated on May 17, 2017: 

Wordpress 4.7.5. was released.

Applies To: Wordpress <4.7.4

A Wordpress vulnerability in the password reset function might allow attackers to get hold of the password reset link without previous authentication [CVE-2017-8295].
Combined with other vulnerabilities and, depending on the server configuration, a remote attackers may be able to pass extra parameters and consequently execute arbitrary code.
All versions of Wordpress prior to 4.7.4 are vulnerable. Exposure increases if combined with other vulnerabilities (as CVE-2016-10033) so make sure your PHP is running the latest patched version. An exploit is known to this vulnerability.

At the moment this is being written, Wordpress stable version is still 4.7.4. Please stay alert and update it when a patch is available. For now, as a temporary solution, UseCanonicalNames can be enabled to enforce a static SERVER_NAME value. [see link below]

References: [for when a new version comes up]
As always, other basic server security hardening also applies, as 1) making sure you're logging mail transport (if using local MTA) with proper retention; 2) possibly changing php.ini to log mail functions (improved auditing); 3) log monitoring tools to detect an alert unusual activity (i.e., increased mail traffic); 4) off-box logging, among others.

green - services online Website Downtime

May 9, 2017 7:00 am - 7:50 am

The website was unavailable from approximately 7:00a.m. - 7:50a.m. on Tuesday, May 9 during scheduled maintenance. 

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Single sign-on coming to HealthStream May 16

May 16, 2017 8:00 am

Effective May 16, you will be able to log into HealthStream using your Partners username and password. You will no longer need to remember a separate password to complete your HealthStream learning requirements. 

HealthStream is the online learning system used by MGH and Partners HealthCare to administer required annual and departmental trainings.

If you need assistance with HealthStream, or have questions about single sign on, please contact

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GoToMyPC License Renewals due by April 30th

April 30, 2017 8:00 am

Applies to: MGH, BWH, PHS Ergonomics Purchasers (does not apply to DFCI)

All GoToMyPC licenses expire on April 30, 2017.  As the department purchaser, employees will request that you renew their subscriptions before their access expires.    When GoToMyPC users log on to GoToMyPC, a pop-up message reminds them it’s renewal time!

To renew a license, select GoToMyPC -Renewals in the Ergonomics catalog.  Renewal subscriptions costs $84.  You can order for multiple recipients by providing the following information:

  • Name
  • Email Address (Important: Renewals should be placed with the original email address registered with GTMPC)
  • Hospital Site


  • DFCI Employees:  This message does not apply to DFCI employees since existing DFCI GoToMyPC licenses are renewed annually by DFCI Network Services.
  • PHS Employees:  VPN (Virtual Private Networking) is the recommended solution for remote access to the Partners network.  VPN provides a secure solution at reduced cost to our organization. PHS employees at Assembly Row should not renew GTMPC and request a VPN account.   

For more information, review the GoToMyPC License Renewal instructions or open a ticket with the IS Service Desk.


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REDCap: Scheduled Downtime

April 26, 2017 12:51 pm

REDCap ( upgrades to v7.0.14 scheduled for tonight Wednesday April 26th at 8:30 PM EST are complete. REDCap was offline from 8:30-8:45 PM EST.

This upgrade is to apply a necessary patch to address a number of bugs introduced in the upgrade to version 7.0.10. 

If you have any concerns about REDCap being offline at this time, please email

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Coming Soon: Office 2016

April 19, 2017 11:27 am

Partners HealthCare Corporate employees' devices will begin upgrading to Office 2016, which includes the most current versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. Office 2016 is part of the Office 365 suite of applications and online services offered by Microsoft.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

When will I get it?
The date of your upgrade is determined by the last digit of your device/control #:

  • Tuesday, April 18
    • Devices ending in and 1
  • Tuesday, May 9
    • Devices ending in to 9

How does the upgrade work?

What changes will I see?
This new version offers a fresh look and feel, as well as several new features across all Office applications. Outlook incorporates the ribbon throughout, and includes enhanced features designed to help you work more efficiently.  

Where can I learn more?
Training schedule, FAQs, and other resources can be found on the Office 2016 training & support site.

For help with upgrade:

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Windows 10 Creators Update (build 1703) released

April 12, 2017 10:01 am

Windows 10 Creators Update (build 1703) was released on April 11th and will show up as an update for users on their devices. Read more:

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April 6, 2017 7:00 am - 8:00 am

Research IS & Computing website maintenance took place on Thursday, April 6, 2017 starting at 7a.m. The site was offline for approximately ten minutes. Updates included bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements. 

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REDCap Scheduled Downtime

April 5, 2017 8:00 pm - 8:38 pm

REDCap ( upgrades to v7.0.10 scheduled for Wednesday April 5th at 8:00 PM EST are complete. REDCap was offline from 8:00PM-8:38PM EST. 

This upgradel included a number of new features and bug fixes. These include:

  • Repeating Instruments and Events: REDCap now has the ability to repeat a data collection instrument or an entire event of instruments an unlimited number of times without having to specify the amount needed. This is sometimes called one-to-many data collection, in which a project can have one or more repeating parts. The repeating instruments/events feature can be enabled and set up by clicking the Enable button in the Optional Modules section on the Project Setup page.
    • ​​​Note: A separate Service Alert will be sent next week to fully detail this new feature.
  • Improvement: New interface for Home/My Projects/Control Center pages.
  • Improvement: A zip file containing all uploaded documents (or signature files) for an individual record can now be downloaded from the "Choose action for record" drop-down on the Record Home Page if the user has Data Export privileges.
  • Improvement: File Upload fields that are displayed on reports will no longer display the text "[document]", but will instead provide a "Download" button so that the user can actually download the file from the report.
  • Field name (variable) auto-suggest when typing branching logic, calculations, or general conditional logic (Survey Queue, Automated Survey Invitation, Data Quality rule, report filter’s advanced logic). While typing logic/calculations into the text box, it will auto-suggest a REDCap variable name from your project that is clickable to inject into the text box. If the project is longitudinal, it will also suggest event names to inject unique event names.
  • Real-time validator for branching logic, calculations, or general conditional logic (Survey Queue, Automated Survey Invitation) that allows you to run your logic/calculation on a specific record in the project, and it returns the result. For example, if typing branching logic in the Add/Edit Branching Logic popup in the Online Designer, you can select a record, and it will tell you if the field will be displayed or hidden for that record based upon the record’s currently saved values. When typing calculations, it will return the actually calculated value of the field for a selected record. This makes it easier to formulate your logic and calculations so that you get them right the first time.
  • Preview email - When composing an email on the "Email Users" page in the Control Center and also when composing survey invitations (e.g., the Participant List, Automated Survey Invitations set up), there is now a Preview option for viewing the fully-rendered HTML preview of the email that is being composed. Additionally, there is an option to send a test email to oneself in case they want to actually receive a copy the email being composed before officially sending it to others.

Full release notes available here.

If you have any concerns about REDCap being offline at this time or any questions about these new features, please email

REDCap v7.0: New Feature Release and User Group Meeting

BWH: April 11th 2017 3:30-4:30PM, Thorn Conference Room

Click to register.

MGH: April 20th 2017 3:00-4:00PM, Simches Building Room 3.120, 185 Cambridge Street

Click to register.

This user group session will review the new feature releases and how best to implement and retro fit to production projects. We will also use the time for users to share their experiences and tips/tricks.

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REDCap Email Notification Plugin v2.0

March 15, 2018 1:39 pm

A new Email Notification Plugin (v2.0) has been released to REDCap.

New Users can access the new feature and plugin URL on our Extensions Page:

Current Users will need to update their Email Notification Project Bookmarks from their current URL to new URL:

If you have multiple DETs setup in your project or would like to test the conversion prior to submitting the new configuration on your production project, please contact

Please convert your Email Notification Plugin by March 24th. EDC Support will contact you for conversion after this date.

Release Notes:

  • REDCap's "piping" feature can be used to pipe data into the email form, including email, subject, and message fields.
  • Triggers can be designated to fire once per Record or once per Record/Event
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REDCap: Infrastructure/Security Update

March 3, 2018 10:55 am

Service Alert: REDCap Infrastructure/Security Update 

We are continually re-evaluating the security of our servers. As a result, we have disabled support for TLS 1.0 and certain encryption ciphers that are considered weak.

If you notice any issues accessing the REDCap application via API or other, please contact

REDCap: API and DET User Group Meeting

BWH: April 24th 2017 10:00-1100AM, Thorn Conference Room

MGH: April 27th 2017 1:30-2:30PM, Simches Building Room 3.120, 185 Cambridge Street

Main Objective: Provide support, best practices, and guidance to REDCap End-Users utilizing the REDCap API and DET

Learning Objectives:

-Learn how to access REDCap's API, DETs
-Learn how to best implement the API, DETs
-Review updates to API features in REDCap v7.0
-Understand the current limitations and when to contact ERIS or Research CORE for additional support

Target audience: Researchers that have evaluated and decided to use REDCap and/or have started a REDCap project. Researchers with basic level programming experience.

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Microsoft Windows Patch Tuesday

February 14, 2017 8:00 am

Did you know that Microsoft regularly releases security patches for its software products on the second Tuesday of every month? How frequently do you update your computer? Here is some guidance to keep your device secure and your Microsoft software up to date and running smoothly.

Do I need to make changes on my computer?

  • Not if you use a Partners standard Windows computer (those with the asset tag, yellow lock and Partners' screensaver). The updates are run for you and devices are usually patched the Friday following Patch Tuesday. Both Microsoft and Adobe products are typically updated at this time. This can change if there is a significant freeze in place. 
  • Yes, you need to run updates if you use a non-standard Windows, Macintosh or personally-owned device for Partners' business. ​It is your responsibility to keep your device and software up to date. 

See HOWTO: Run Windows Updates for additional instructions.

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Monthly Information Systems Maintenance (ISM)

February 13, 2017 12:00 am - 4:00 am

Applies To: All Users

Information Systems Maintenance (ISM) took place on Monday, February 13th from 12:00 am to 4:00 am.

During that time, planned system maintenance and testing was be performed by IS teams. This routine maintenance reduces the risk of unscheduled outages on our computer network and to the Internet.

Impact to systems and applications

  • VPN was available during the ISM.
  • Sunquest was down from 2:00am – 4:00am.  All data will be queued up during the downtime, and transmitted when interfaces are again functioning.  No data will be lost. Please see your site specific communication for your ordering and result verification processes during this time. During the downtime:
    • Sunquest will not be available for any users 
    • Collection Manager will not be available 
    • Labels will not print for any orders released during the downtime 

Impact to sites

  • Services or resources hosted in the Partners HealthCare data centers may be unavailable during the ISM.
  • Your site's IS Management team will provide more detailed communication about planned outages at your facility and will coordinate with specific groups that may be impacted.

Need help during the downtime? 

View the IS Broadcast Archive for additional details. Please contact your IS Service Desk if you have any questions.

View the 2017 IS System Maintenance (ISM) Schedule in the IS Service Desk Knowledgebase (Partners login required).

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LabArchives Log in Issue

January 21, 2017 10:00 am - January 24, 2017 11:59 pm

Users have reported issues logging into LabArchives starting Saturday, Jan 21 - Monday Jan 23.

Partners IS has determined the issue is likely due to cookies but they've also made updates on their end.

Action Required:  Please clear cookies, close the broswer and login. If you continue to experience issues, please email

Error Messages being reported:

"opensaml::FatalProfileException at (

SAML response contained an error.

Error from identity provider:

Status: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:status:Responder"


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Web Proxy Server was offline

January 24, 2017 9:30 am - 10:00 am

The ERIS proxy server is now performing as expected.

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LimeSurvey: Unexpected Downtime on Jan. 6 2017

January 6, 2017 9:49 am - 12:49 pm

LimeSurvey ( experienced unplanned maitenance today January 6th, 2017 due to a PostgreSQL database platform issue. LimeSurvey was down from 9:04AM - 11:13AM EDT. 

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

If you have any concerns, please email

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An Update Regarding Apple's macOS Sierra

November 16, 2016 12:39 pm

With the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.2 on December 13, 2016, you may now upgrade to this latest version. Please note that if you choose to upgrade, you must update the following applications after upgrading to ensure Partners services will continue to function. These apps are available for download in the PEAS Self Service application. Visit our Knowledge Base article on Self Service for Macs for more instructions.

  1. VPN - Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client Version 4.3.03086
  2. Citrix - Citrix Receiver Version 12.2.0
  3. Java - Java Version 8 Update 111 (in Internet Plug-Ins)

The PEAS team also recommends that you verify any software that you have previously purchased is compatible with macOS Sierra prior to upgrading.

Apple, and therefore Partners, only supports the current OS and two versions prior, so with the release of Sierra, the only compatible Mac OSs are Sierra, El Capitan 10.11 or Yosemite 10.10. If you are running a Mac OS older than Yosemite, please view our webpage on how to Update Your Mac or contact the Service Desk if you need assistance with an upgrade. Outdated Mac operating systems introduce risk to your data and to the enterprise as they are not patched for security vulnerabilities and do not comply with Partners policies.

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RFA Maintenance

December 18, 2016 10:02 pm - 11:59 pm

This coming Sunday, December 18th 2016 from 10pm to 12pm we will be upgrading the Operating System on our Backend storage system that supports RFA. This is a non-service affecting update so therefore no interruptions in connectivity are expected to occur.

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An Update Regarding Apple's macOS Sierra with VPN & Citrix

November 16, 2016 12:39 pm

There are two enterprise applications used for connectivity that do not work automatically after upgrade. Until fixed, we do not recommend upgrading. For those already using macOS Sierra, please be advised of these recommendations:

  1. VPN. Start your VPN session with Firefox. Firefox is available via Self Service, as well as Once a VPN session is started with Firefox, you may use the browser of your choice to access websites. We are actively working with Apple to resolve issues that surround starting a VPN session with Safari.
  2. CITRIX. Upgrade Citrix to version 12.3. Citrix version 12.3 is required to access (formerly Visit the Knowledge Base for more instructions on installing updates through Self Service.

On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Apple released Operating System (OS) macOS Sierra 10.12 for Mac laptops & desktops. It is always recommended to verify any software that you have previously purchased is compatible with macOS Sierra 10.12 prior to upgrading.

Please keep in mind that Apple, and therefore Partners, only supports the current OS and two versions prior. With the release of Sierra, the only supported Mac OSs will be macOS SierraMac OS X El Capitan 10.11 or Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10.

If you are running a Mac OS older than Yosemite, please view our webpage on how to Update Your Mac, and contact the Service Desk if you need assistance with an upgrade. Older Mac operating systems introduce risk to your data and the enterprise as they are not patched for security vulnerabilities and do not comply with Partners policies.

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StudyTRAX: Unexpected Downtime

November 15, 2016 2:49 pm

StudyTRAX ( experienced an unexpected outage from Sunday November 13th 12:30AM EDT until Monday November 14th 10:00AM EDT.

StudyTRAX was one of the applications affected by the issue that Partners ISCommunications sent an alert for over the weekend.

If you have any concerns about this downtime, please email

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REDCap Scheduled Downtime

November 10, 2016 2:34 pm

REDCap ( upgrades to v6.15.11 scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 15th at 7:00 PM EDT are complete. REDCap was offline from 7:00-7:50PM EDT.

This upgrade includes a number of new features and bug fixes. These include:

Improvement: Users may now download and upload arms and events as a CSV file on the “Define My Events” page, as well as download and upload the instrument-event designations as a CSV file on the “Designate Instruments for My Events” page.
Improvement: New option to download charts displayed on the "Stats & Charts" tab of the "Data Exports, Reports, and Stats" module. The charts will download as PNG image files.
Live Filters for reports: Any report can now have up to 3 fields that can be designated as a Live Filter. The Live Filters are displayed as drop-downs when viewing a report at the top-right of the page, and selecting a Live Filter will cause the report to be re-run in real time using the Live Filter value as a filter.
Responsive design of REDCap web pages: Now has a more flexible and responsive user interface to conform to and fit screens on devices of all sizes.
New action tags:

  • @DEFAULT - Sets a field's initial value: This action tag allows a field to have a specified default value when viewing the field on a survey or data entry form that has not yet had any data saved for it (i.e., when the form status icon is gray or when a survey has not been started).
  • @HIDEBUTTON - Hides the 'Now' or 'Today' button that is typically displayed to the right of date, time, and date/time fields.
  • @APPUSERNAME-APP - In the REDCap Mobile App, this action tag sets a field's value to the app username of the current mobile app user - i.e., their username in the mobile app, which is not necessarily the same as their REDCap server username that can be captured using @USERNAME. NOTE: For use only in the REDCap Mobile App.

Enhanced radio buttons and checkboxes for surveys: A new survey option "enhanced radio buttons and checkboxes" can be found on the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer in which a user can enable the feature so that radio buttons and checkboxes are displayed differently on the survey page, in which they appear as large animated buttons that look more modern and stylish than traditional radios and checkboxes.
Create custom public survey link: On the "Public Survey Link" page in a project that utilizes surveys, users now have the option to create their own custom public survey link that begins with "" (e.g.,, in which the custom URL will simply redirect to the public survey in their project.

Full release notes available here.

If you have any concerns about REDCap being offline at this time or any questions about these new features, please email

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Upgrade your Apple iOS devices

September 18, 2016 2:00 pm

On 10/24/2016 Apple released an important patch (10.1, followed by 10.1.1) for their mobile operating system (iOS).

This update fixed multiple vulnerabilities that might lead to remotely acquiring control of your device. Updates for macOS (10.12.1) and watchOS (3.1) are also available.

We urge you to update your personal and business iOS (iPhones, iPads, etc) and Mac devices at this time. To do so:

  1. For iOS, tap Settings->General->Software Update
    1. If you see: “Your software is up to date”, you do not need to do anything.
    2. Otherwise, tap “Download and Install” to receive the update.
  2. For Mac OS X, launch Apple’s App Store from the Apple Menu Icon-> App Store, then click updates in the Menu.  Proceed to download and install all available updates.

Apple advises all customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits.

Additionally, be aware of any unusual text/multimedia messages you might receive, treating them in a similar way you do to avoid phishing attacks: Do not open suspicious texts, photos or links. Delete them right away. If you're unsure, please contact your Information Security Officer for advice.

Please contact the IS Service Desk with questions or concerns.

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Matlab Access Issue

October 3, 2016 9:17 pm - October 10, 2016 12:17 am

Matlab users -

The license server issue is affecting all versions of Matlab, not just 2016a as first thought.  ERIS engineers have identified the server issue and are working to resolve.  We will keep you updated on resolution.

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RFANFS Unexpected Downtime

September 29, 2016 5:34 pm - 8:34 pm

The server had to be rebooted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 5:35p.m. EDT to resolve an issue with the server. Users should verify they can connect correctly to the server.