Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the FAMIS System

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the FAMIS System

1. What Can FAMIS Do For Me?

2. How Do I Get Access to FAMIS?

3. How do I log-in to FAMIS?

4. FAMIS doesn’t run correctly when I first try to open it.

5. When I click on the Navigator tab, I get the error "Content blocked because it was not signed by a valid security certificate"

6. I'm having difficulty installing the Java or Oracle updates needed to run FAMIS.

7. When attempting to run FAMIS, I get a pop-up message that says: "Attachment to a running Virtual Machine failed."

8. Will FAMIS work with another browser besides Internet Explorer? Will it work with another operating system, or with a Mac?

9. Why does FAMIS open a 2nd browser window, and what happens to the first one after FAMIS starts up?

10. When I click on a link in another application, such as email, I wind up moving away from FAMIS. How can I get links I click on to open in a new window?

11. I would like to have several FAMIS sessions open at once but am having difficulty doing so.

12. How does FAMIS Email work?


  1. McGill University is using FAMIS as the central repository for space, project, and maintenance information. FAMIS users can use the Reports module to find information and export it to Excel. Users can also use Visual Map to view current floor plans of all campuses. Other FOD personnel will use FAMIS to manage the departments operations and finances.
  2. All McGill staff has access to certain basic modules. Access to additions modules is reserved for employees of Facilities, Operations, and Development (FOD) central office. Contact the Facilities Call Center for more information.
  3. Click the link to access the log-in page. Log-in using your McGill email address and password. Note that FAMIS will only work with Internet Explorer.
  4. FAMIS can only run on Internet Explorer. In addition, the FAMIS Navigator requires both Java and Oracle services in order to run. The first time you run FAMIS, you will have to update those services before FAMIS will run correctly. Please contact ICS at x3398 to have these services installed. You can also refer to the Tutorials page for instructions on “Loading FAMIS the first time”. You can access this page by navigating to
  5. The Navigator will only launch when it is double-clicked. If you single-click on the Navigator tab, you will get a message that says, "Content was blocked because it was not signed by a valid security certificate". Instead of single-clicking on the Navigator tab, you should double-click it.
  6. Many individuals have installed "pop-up blockers" on their desktop to prevent advertisements from popping up when they surf the internet. Unfortunately, a pop-up blocker may prevent plug-in installations from launching properly. To get around this, most pop-up blockers provide the ability to press the CTRL key while clicking a link to allow a pop-up. You may also be able to modify the settings of your pop-up blocker to allow pop-ups from particular locations, such as If you need assistance making these setting changes, please contact ICS at x3398
  7. FAMIS uses Oracle jInitiator to render Forms over the internet. jInitiator uses a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in this process. FAMIS isn't the only Java-based web application and there are different flavors of JVM software, so it is likely that you have more than one flavor on your system. Having multiple versions is not a problem, but sometimes attempting to launch a new application in a window where a different version is already running can be a problem.If you encounter this error, open a completely new browser window and try again. You will not be able to use a browser window that was opened from a window that gives this error.
  8. Most of FAMIS should run on any operating system with an Internet connection and a Web browser with Java 1.1.8+ plugin support. Thus, Mac OSX and Linux running Firefox should be able to run FAMIS. The FAMIS Navigator will only run in Internet Explorer, however. Please note that FAMIS will run on systems that meet the recommended configurations supported by McGill ITS. If you are not using a recommended configuration, ICS may not be able to make FAMIS work on your computer.
  9. Certain modules (including the FAMIS Navigator) spawn a new window for certain forms and reports. You should leave the original window open, don’t log out or close it. When you’ve finished with the second window, it’s better to just close the window rather than click the “Log Out” link from the second window. You should only log-out from the main window when you’re finished using the system.
  10. You need to modify your browser set up so that links open in a new browser window. In Internet Explorer, select TOOLS. Select Internet Options and click on the Advanced tab. UN-check the box titled "Reuse windows for launching shortcuts." Click OK to apply.
  11. You should start additional FAMIS sessions from shortcuts on your desktop rather than from Internet Explorer favorites or links.
  12. This feature allows users to send email messages from within certain FAMIS forms. All email messages sent from the form are saved in its history for future reference. It is not, however, an email management system like Outlook or Yahoo or Google mail. FAMIS can only send emails to other email addresses. In addition, each email is attached to a specific form and you can only find the email if you open that form. FAMIS will work with your email system, like Outlook, but the bulk of your communication will still be done outside of FAMIS.