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Educational Software Thread, Report Assist in Technical; Hey people just wanted to know that the past year we used report assist 2009 but the company is now ...
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    Report Assist

    Hey people just wanted to know that the past year we used report assist 2009 but the company is now bust i was just woundering what type of report writing software do you guys tend to use? please can i have some feed back please thank you

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Yeah we used to use Report Assist too, not too many glum faces that we won't be using it this year.

    Basically the Assessment co-ordinator knocked up a word template for people to fill in this year.

    Options I looked at included:
    Reportbox (which I thought was excellent)
    Report Plus (which I believe is from the same people as Report Assist - but don't quote me on that)
    Report Rascal

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    If you have Sims have you tried using the report system in that?

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    Report Assist has been replaced by Reportplys - website at EduGeek.net - one of their support people is on this forum sometimes so may well come along and provide more information.

    I am just setting up Reportplus in our school at the moment. I never used Report Assist so can't compare it directly but it seems OK to use.

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    ComputingData's Avatar
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    kaphc is correct. ReportPlus is a good program to switch to if you are already used to ReportAssist. It is not the same program, but has a similar user interface and some of the telephone support staff from ReportAssist also work there.

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    I've been handed ReportPlus to install by one of my schools. Can't say I'm very impressed so far unfortunately. I'm sure it's fine from the teachers side but it's a bit of a nightmare for a tech! There's very little technical information for installation in the manual, none at all for performing a server-based install (as mentioned on website!) and no information on how well it works as a network application with multiple users accessing the same folder.

    One thing that is particulary concerning me is that it's not made very clear at all exactly what information is uploaded to their servers if following the default install instructions. A little rummaging and educated(ish!) guesswork leads me to think there may possibly be pupil & teacher information in this upload, which seems to be plain text over HTML, with a configuration option buried in menus for enabling HTTPS which has warnings about it being in Alpha testing. Not the most impressive thing to find in production software.

    Have emailed their support with a request for clarification, no reply yet though so they are probably busy.

  7. Thanks to smegbrains from:

    conehead (13th April 2010)

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    ComputingData's Avatar
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    smegbrains: Sorry you're having a hard time installing the program. I have a pdf I can send to you if you want to install on a network like ReportAssist did - multiple users accessing subfolders of a shared drive. If yo PM me with an email address I'll send it asap.

    Currently the way a lot of the hubs/school firewalls/proxies seem to be setup, they seem to ban https protocol and only allow standard http over port 80 - that is why it is disabled as default. It would cause more problems than it would solve.

    I've no idea why so-one at support has responded to the request for more information. If you try again (email 'ask', but mark it for my attention (Anthony)) then I'll sort out the information you need.

    Here is some info anyhow : To use the program (without the reportserver save/load system) then no teacher data is sent to our server - only username/password combinations - passwords are sent using a one-way encryption system conbined with a salt string so they cannot be reversed, even if you know a known password and the algorithm used. Usernames do not have to be related to teacher names, that is up to the admin of the system on the schools side.

  9. Thanks to ComputingData from:

    smegbrains (13th April 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComputingData View Post
    smegbrains: Sorry you're having a hard time installing the program. I have a pdf I can send to you if you want to install on a network like ReportAssist did - multiple users accessing subfolders of a shared drive. If yo PM me with an email address I'll send it asap.
    Installation is quite easy considering, however I tend to poke new programs to death, especially those that deal with sensitive information involving our pupils.

    My main struggle is with working out precisely what data gets stored where and how, and what is sent over the internet/network. The instructions make it sound like the initial administrative installation (where once configured you upload "settings" to ReportPlus) also sends the imported pupil data, and teacher information. There are many pitfalls and legal issues with any information going offsite. Could you confirm or deny that this is the case?

    That network guide would be very handy, yes. We are beginning to use Remote Access here so networking is essential for things like this. Sending PM after this reply, I feel that it would be a good idea to make it available for other techs as well on the website for the product, potentially with a technical FAQ.

    Currently the way a lot of the hubs/school firewalls/proxies seem to be setup, they seem to ban https protocol and only allow standard http over port 80 - that is why it is disabled as default. It would cause more problems than it would solve.
    That is fair enough, I cannot speak for other schools but here we can and do use HTTPS for anything that potentially contains confidential information. Making a note of it in a Technical FAQ would mean people specifically looking for it can turn it on. I assume then that it is not really in Alpha testing?

    I've no idea why so-one at support has responded to the request for more information. If you try again (email 'ask', but mark it for my attention (Anthony)) then I'll sort out the information you need.
    Will do when I get in tomorrow, thanks.

    Here is some info anyhow : To use the program (without the reportserver save/load system) then no teacher data is sent to our server - only username/password combinations - passwords are sent using a one-way encryption system conbined with a salt string so they cannot be reversed, even if you know a known password and the algorithm used. Usernames do not have to be related to teacher names, that is up to the admin of the system on the schools side.
    Thankyou for the extra information and the reply.
    Last edited by smegbrains; 13th April 2010 at 10:04 PM.

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    ComputingData's Avatar
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    The guide was written as general instructions, if the school doesn't feel comfortable sending the information in that very last section then they don't need to - they can save the settings to memory stick or as a compressed file for importing to other computers (or they can use the alternative method that I've emailed to you). In fact, the original ReportAssist also allowed the user to save settings to their server via plaintext ftp using a standard MS access file.

    If you're installing remotely then you may like to know that the install has a '-silent' switch, this will install without any messages or windows being opened. If you want or need more switches, please contact me with what you would like them to do and I'll try put them in for you.

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    Has anyone actually got this set up? I've installed it, added all of our class teachers, created a csv of pupils including a field with the teacher details but this hasn't appeared anywhere in the imported pupil details, so I can't associate pupils with their class teacher. I've sent Anthony an email requesting help but I have to get it up and working today.

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    ComputingData's Avatar
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    Hi,

    If you edit the pupil details (there is an edit icon on the left of the pupil list), then there is a pulldown option to select the class teacher. You can also right-click a pupil and set the class teacher that way, or assign a specialist teacher for a certain subject.

    I haven't seen the email you sent? (unless you sent it today - in which case, I've just replied - are you R.B.?).

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    Laserblazer - I had to go through and edit each pupil manually to assign a teacher to them. Be careful with any job shares too, as you have to enter two people as one teacher IYSWIM.

    Not tried assigning specialist teachers yet ... that's an interesting feature which I shall look into for our French stuff.

    Incidentally, I set up our users but have yet to find a way of editting their username or deleting them once they've been set up. Is this possible?

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    ComputingData's Avatar
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    kaphc: If you PM me the details (also include your licence name and the first and last letters of the password) - I can sort the changes to the usernames/delete them for you.

    If you want to mass-edit the teachers allocated to pupils then you can use the pupil-subject matrix - it's on the teacher menu at the top of the screen. It may look very complicated, but it's like a spreadsheet. Just select the teacher, then tick the pupils who are in his or her class (one of the first columns).

    laserblazer: If you email me your csv file, I'll take a look at it and see what went wrong - that way it can be fixed for the future.

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    kaphc's Avatar
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    ComputingData: Thanks, I'll Pm you tomorrow morning when I'm at work and have the details. It's only one username which needs editting at the moment so nothing too onerous :-)

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    @kaphc, I worked out how to do it in bulk and then Anthony emailed me an easier way. That said, and despite Anthony's help, we've thrown the towel in. I managed to upload data to the server via my unfiltered connection but the filters block normal traffic. Along with that, there are a number of features missing from Reportplus that our HT isn't happy about. So, I've blown the dust of the ReportAssist disk and we will us that again this year, with a view to looking at SIMS for the future.

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