BlazerID Central

This page is designed to answer many common questions about creating and using a BlazerID.

Note: The terms Electronic Phonebook and Campus Directory may be used interchangably in this document and in other BlazerID-related applications.

What is a BlazerID?

A BlazerID is a computer login name that the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has deployed campus-wide. It is roughly equivalent to the screenname/"buddy list"/username identifier you may have used to access online services such as Google, Yahoo, or America Online.

Why do I need a BlazerID?

Many of the network and computer resources at UAB accept or require a BlazerID for login, and the goal is to ultimately have your BlazerID serve as the sole identifier that allows you to securely access all of UAB's online information services and portals.

What services require a BlazerID?

Most major administrative and academic online services on the UAB campus now require that you have a BlazerID. Some examples ....

For everyone at UAB:

  • @uab.edu e-mail addresses
  • UABIT Microsoft enterprise resources, including Exchange mailboxes
  • login to UABwifi (wireless) network
  • download of certain UAB site-licensed software
  • access to the UAB Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • access to restricted library resources (e.g., journals)
  • login to the Blackboard Learn learning management system for academic courses
  • login to the Learning System for regulatory and other required training

For students:

  • login to the BlazerNET portal
  • access to the ResNet residence hall wired network
  • most departmental computer labs
  • class mailing lists, and to receive important information e-mailed from your department, school, and designated UAB support areas

For employees:

  • self-service HR access for updating direct deposit, W-4 tax information, etc.
  • login to UAB ERP applications (Oracle HR and Finance)
  • e-mail alerts from various online administrative applications (e.g., purchase order queue notifications)
  • update of departmental information in the UAB Campus Directory
  • login access to a number of departmental networks and services
  • to receive important information e-mailed from your department, school and designated UAB support areas
  • numerous other online administrative and employee portal applications

For faculty/researchers, in addition to the employee services listed above:

  • automatically generated/managed class mailing lists
  • grant information/submission
  • online grade posting and advising

I already have a Phonebook alias (or @uab.edu address) — what is the difference?

If you have an @uab.edu address, you have a Phonebook alias. If you have a Phonebook alias, you have a BlazerID. There is no difference; it is the same thing. The term "BlazerID" simply reflects its current purpose more accurately.

If you are unsure about whether you already have a BlazerID/alias, you can click on the Do I Have a BlazerID? link to the left.

What is the connection between my BlazerID and @uab.edu address?

The BlazerID is the username (i.e., the part before @) portion of your @uab.edu address. When you register your BlazerID, you are given the option of designating a mailbox or setting up a UAB e-mail account where you would like to receive your mail. After that, when someone sends mail to your @uab.edu address, it will be automatically forwarded to that mailbox. You can reroute this forwarding at any time by using the Change E-mail Preferences screen at BlazerID Central, www.uab.edu/blazerid.

How do I get a BlazerID?

In order to get a BlazerID, you must be associated with UAB as a past, present, or incoming employee or student (students who last attended before 1982 may not be in the computer records). If you are not (or have not been) affiliated with UAB as an employee or student, then you cannot get a BlazerID; there are no exceptions to this rule.

If you try to register a BlazerID, and the system reports that it cannot find you in our records, then the paperwork may not have cleared yet to get you into the system — try again in a day or two. If the problem persists, please click on the Need Help? link on the left to request assistance.

Before trying to register a BlazerID, you need to stop for a moment and carefully consider your choices for both your BlazerID and password. The following guidelines should assist you in successfully selecting and registering them with a minimum of hassle. The system rejects all registration attempts not complying with any guideline below that includes the words "must" or "must not".

For the BlazerID:

  • Must be a combination of at least three and not more than eight lowercase letters or numbers (no punctuation allowed) and must begin with a letter. Capital/uppercase letters must not be included.
  • Must be unique in the UAB Campus Directory — no one else can already have it. If in doubt, go to www.uab.edu/directory and look it up using the lower left search box. This is not fool-proof (the owner may be unlisted) but it will help narrow your choices.
  • Should not contain obscene or grossly unprofessional wording. Once you have set a BlazerID, it can NEVER BE CHANGED, even if you are just a student now and later decide to hire on at UAB as an employee. This is also a consideration if you ever plan to put your @uab.edu address on a resume, business card, letterhead, Web site, database, etc.
  • Should be something you will always be comfortable using as a login name, no matter what UAB service may now or eventually require it. Again, once your BlazerID is registered, it can NEVER BE CHANGED.
  • Unless you expect to remain at your current marital status for the rest of your UAB experience, you should be cautious about using your last name or any part of it for your BlazerID. Even if you get married or (hopefully not!) divorced, your BlazerID can NEVER BE CHANGED.

For the password:

  • Must be a combination of at least 15 but not more than 32 letters and numbers, including at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and a numeral. Punctuation can also be included, except for blanks, equal signs (=), and quotation marks (' or ").
  • Unlike the BlazerID, the system allows both capital/upper and lowercase letters but the capitalization is important; it must be entered exactly the same way each time you login or the system will not recognize it.
  • Must not be derived from a single dictionary word or your BlazerID.
  • Must not be derived from your phone number, social security number, or date of birth.
  • Should not be derived from your family members' or pets' names.

What if I want my BlazerID to be longer than 8 letters? Why can I not use capital letters? Google/Yahoo/AOL do not have these restrictions! I don't want a nonsense @uab.edu address!

Sorry, but these limitations are necessary to accommodate the wide variety of computer systems which now or may eventually utilize the BlazerID. Several of them are incapable of accepting a login name longer than 8 letters, and not all recognize capitalization, so we had to go with the "lowest common denominator". (Note that regardless of how someone capitalizes your @uab.edu address when sending mail to you, it will always get delivered — BillyBob@uab.edu is treated the same as billybob@uab.edu.)

The Campus Directory does have a feature called mail-only aliases, described below, which relaxes some of these restrictions and can allow you to publish a more desirable @uab.edu address.

Why can my BlazerID NEVER BE CHANGED?

Besides updating your entry, BlazerID Central does many other things in the background when you register a BlazerID. Specifically, the system distributes your BlazerID to a number of other UAB directories and establishes accounts for you in various online services. To change your BlazerID, someone must manually track down and remove it from all these dependent systems, and that requires a significant amount of time and staff attention.

Furthermore, as time passes, your BlazerID propagates into other places such as address books, security clearances, and file servers. If it changes, then anyone who has been sending mail to your existing @uab.edu address will no longer be able to reach you. If you have been granted computer access based on your BlazerID, it will be revoked. If you have a computer account with data files stored on it, they will no longer accessible (and could even be deleted outright). If you have taken online courses, then your academic progress may be lost. Put simply, changing your BlazerID means you will be out of business for a while.

If you change marital status, and simply want a new @uab.edu address to reflect that, you can utilize the mail-only aliases feature in the directory, which is described below. Your BlazerID (what you use for login) will remain the same, but you can give out an updated @uab.edu address.

Why am I required to follow all of the "must" rules to create a password?

One of the biggest dangers in the online world today is for someone to hijack your identity by finding out one of your passwords. If a hacker can break into your BlazerID by easily figuring out its password, they can cause all sorts of problems. Once they have obtained information visible only through your ID, they can potentially access and exploit your financial and other personal records. Closer to home, if they have your ID, they can post bogus information into our databases on your behalf, look at your grades, do further hacking under your name, and so on. It is vitally important that you select a BlazerID password that is easy for you to remember, but almost impossible for anyone else to guess.

One way to do this is to pick two words and separate them with a number or punctuation mark. Another approach is to think up a phrase and then use the first letter of each word (being sure to throw in a non-letter somewhere) to make up the password.

OK, OK, I understand. Now, how do I get a BlazerID?

If you skipped down to here because you are impatient, you really need to go back up to the first "How do I get a BlazerID?" question. You will save yourself many headaches by being prepared before proceeding beyond this point.

You should also be aware that your access to all UAB network and online services, including your BlazerID, is governed by the Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources policy (AUP) and any other relevant employee, faculty, and academic policies. You must agree to abide by these in order to complete the registration form, and you will be subject to any of their stated disciplinary actions if you ever use UAB's electronic resources inappropriately.

At this point, you can click on the Register BlazerID link to the left.

The BlazerID registration form is asking for my employee/student number — what is that?

If you are a UAB employee, then you have a 7-digit Oracle employee number. If you are a UAB student, then you have a 9-character Banner ID number which starts with the letter 'B'. The registration form should accept either of these.

If you are an employee of a UAB Health System affiliate such as HSF, UABHS, CEFH, etc., you will need to enter your Social Security Number (SSN). SSN will also work if you are a UAB employee or student, and you do not know your Oracle or Banner ID.

Some persons are assigned a temporary 999-xx-xxxx identifier, or are listed in official records with a 9-digit but non-SSN government assigned ID. If you have one of these identifiers on file with UAB, the form should accept it.

Please note, if you have an ID badge, any number on the badge is probably not what you need to enter in the BlazerID registration form.

If you have trouble getting the registration form to accept your employee or student ID, please click on the Need Help? link on the left to request assistance.

What is a UAB e-mail account? What does it have to do with my BlazerID?

In October 2002, UABIT implemented a new central Microsoft Exchange mail service, providing e-mail accounts to all active UAB faculty, staff and students. These accounts offer a number of benefits, including the ability to access your mail through the Web as well as any standard e-mail client. Up to a certain size, there is no cost associated with these mailboxes; larger mailboxes are available for a nominal fee. More information can be found at www.uab.edu/it/email

If you have not already been assigned a mailbox by your department, you are encouraged to apply for a UAB e-mail account during the BlazerID registration process (or click on the Get a UAB E-mail Account to the left afterwards.) Your BlazerID and password will serve as the username and password to access your mail.

Why is my directory entry "suppressed"?

This is the equivalent of being "unlisted" in your telephone company's White Pages directory. It means that even though you can see your own information, and you can receive mail sent to your @uab.edu address, no one else can look you up or see your entry in the Campus Directory. The fact that you are unlisted is determined from official UAB records, as described under the next question, and must be modified similarly. At this time, unfortunately, there is no way to request your entry be only partially suppressed; for example, we cannot show your name and e-mail address while not displaying your home phone and address (this is mainly a concern if you are a student). If you are a student and your entry is suppressed, you will not be listed in the student section of the printed Campus Directory.

Some of my information in the directory is wrong! How do I change it?

There are some profile fields in the directory which you can change yourself, but information such as name, office address, office or home phone number, department and title, is supplied from official records. For further details, see the View/Update Profile and Need Help? screen at BlazerID Central, www.uab.edu/blazerid

The Campus Directory only shows my @uab.edu address, even though I set/changed my mailbox address. Why??

One of the primary reasons for implementing the @uab.edu service was so people can give out that address and not worry if their actual mailbox changes. This is especially beneficial for those who want to put their e-mail address on business cards, brochures, letterhead, and such. If we were to display your actual mailbox, then someone would likely pick that up as your permanent e-mail address, and if you moved to a different department or server or mailbox username, they would no longer be able to contact you.

What if I forget the password for my BlazerID?

Click on the Change BlazerID Password link to the left.

As promised, more about "mail-only aliases"!

In order to allow your @uab.edu address to have more than an 8-letter username, and to accommodate any marital status changes after you register your BlazerID, the UAB Campus Directory allows you to create up to three mail-only aliases. As their name implies, these are solely intended for mail forwarding and cannot be used for authentication — only your BlazerID (which is considered your base alias) will be accepted when logging into directory-enabled services.

Unlike your BlazerID, mail-only aliases can have up to 16 letters and numbers, and may include both capital/upper and lowercase letters (still no punctuation, though). Any of the three (or your base alias) can be selected as your display alias — this is what is shown as your e-mail address when someone looks you up in the directory. Regardless of how many mail-only aliases you create, and which of them you may choose as your display alias, all of them will forward to the same mailbox as listed under your directory entry.

To use or find out more details about this feature, visit the Change E-mail Preferences screen in BlazerID Central, www.uab.edu/blazernet.

Have more questions? Need more assistance? Got a suggestion?

If you are having a problem with your password, click on the Change BlazerID Password link to the left. Otherwise, please use the Need Help? link.

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