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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Web version in Technical; This is Capita's resoning AGAINST having a web based version of SIMS .net - what do people think of this? ...
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    mark's Avatar
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    SIMS Web version

    This is Capita's resoning AGAINST having a web based version of SIMS .net - what do people think of this?

    extract from "Remote Working"


    Internet Browser Applications

    CES made an active decision not to deploy browser based applications within schools because of many factors,

    · Incompatibilities between browser versions and vendors

    · Restricted scope for user interface design

    · Poor integration with other applications

    Internet browser applications suffer from some of the problems of Thin Client configurations

    · Each time the user requests data from the server, the entire screen is
    resent back to the client application along with the data requested. This
    requires a higher bandwidth than a clientserver application which only
    requires the data itself.

    · Browsers use HTML to describe their screens and data content. This
    protocol is uncompressed and text based which is part of its strength;
    but it is also a very inefficient protocol for transmitting data and screen
    descriptions. In addition to this the server cannot carry out the kind of
    clever compression algorithms used in Thin Client configurations
    because browsers aren’t equipped to cope with partial or compressed
    data.

    · There is a single server within the network generating screen layouts
    and integrating them with the requested data, for every user, in
    response to every request, on an ad-hoc basis. This over-centralisation
    can lead to tricky deployment (an Internet server is required) and
    requires further load balancing between the internet server and the
    database server.

    Browser based applications are best used when one of the following is needed

    1. Anonymous access where the user doesn’t have or doesn’t want to
    install the application software (as is the case with Parents Gateway).

    2. The destination operating systems cannot be known by the system
    designers.

    Recent developments mean that it is possible that the future of internet browsers as an application hosting environment may be narrowed even further4 to that subset of applications designed for use by the public on the public internet.

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Interesting Pearson went the opposite way and their new MIS Phoenix E1 is entirely web based.

    Ben

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Well exactly Ben.

    Quote Originally Posted by capita
    · Each time the user requests data from the server, the entire screen is resent back to the client application along with the data requested. This requires a higher bandwidth than a clientserver application which only
    requires the data itself.
    Surely if it's client side (ie javascript) no data is sent back, and server side, data goes back.

    Isn't this comment nonsense?

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    · Incompatibilities between browser versions and vendors

    · Restricted scope for user interface design

    · Poor integration with other applications
    All nonsense... Interface design comes down to skill and decent designers - SIMS.net is not the worlds best interface and could very easily be implemented as a web interface. Browser requirements would just be like any other requirement (ie. SIMS.net requires .Net v2, so a web app could require IE7), or it could simply be written in any of the cross browser capable languages. And integration all depends on how you do it. If it is done via ActiveX controls then it can integrate just fine. If they are just discussing things like the reports then why not use industry standard export types?

    · Each time the user requests data from the server, the entire screen is
    resent back to the client application along with the data requested. This
    requires a higher bandwidth than a clientserver application which only
    requires the data itself.
    Welcome to 2007... Technologies such as AJAX have been around for a good few years.

    · Browsers use HTML to describe their screens and data content. This
    protocol is uncompressed and text based which is part of its strength;
    but it is also a very inefficient protocol for transmitting data and screen
    descriptions. In addition to this the server cannot carry out the kind of
    clever compression algorithms used in Thin Client configurations
    because browsers aren’t equipped to cope with partial or compressed
    data.
    Wow, absolute tosh. Have they not heard of XML? And compression can take place just fine...

    · There is a single server within the network generating screen layouts
    and integrating them with the requested data, for every user, in
    response to every request, on an ad-hoc basis. This over-centralisation
    can lead to tricky deployment (an Internet server is required) and
    requires further load balancing between the internet server and the
    database server.
    Huh? So the single SIMS server situation is not centralised? This is more rubbish.

    Browser based applications are best used when one of the following is needed

    1. Anonymous access where the user doesn’t have or doesn’t want to
    install the application software (as is the case with Parents Gateway).

    2. The destination operating systems cannot be known by the system
    designers.
    Rubbish. That's all I can say on this really!

    Recent developments mean that it is possible that the future of internet browsers as an application hosting environment may be narrowed even further to that subset of applications designed for use by the public on the public internet.
    Huh? What??

    Well I have to say that that was the most ignorant and useless pile of nonsense going. It is based on concepts that are at least a decade old and seems to be written by someone who has absolutely no knowledge of web technologies. Why am I not surprised though?

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Its a bit worrying that they consider Parents Gateway to be anonymous considering the sensitive data it can output!

    Eclipse Library software has gone completely web based too. Ok it's not quite in the scale of SIMS but that looks impressive and seems to work very well.

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Obviously the Capita bods have no clue whatsoever

    They clearly don't understand web services, XML, HTTPS, Javascript, AJAX and sessions if they can come out with that utter tosh.

    Poor integration with other applications
    That comes with SIMS by default anyway!! :P

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Quote Originally Posted by webman

    Poor integration with other applications
    That comes with SIMS by default anyway!! :P
    lmao

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Be fair, SIMS is quite integrated into Microsoft Office

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Hah yes, so much so it's a requirement! If they can make Windows, .NET, and Office a SIMS requirement; I don't see their problem with making a certain browser a requirement. Eg. just develop it with Firefox in mind - atleast it's free and cross-platform!

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Lets face it, MS are only starting to wake up to the idea that there maybe something in web services
    probably in 5 or so years time Capita will wake up too, meantime everyone else will have moved on.

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Out of interest where did you get the document from and when was it written?

    With Learning Gateway Capitaes are going more down the web route than ever, so I suspect this may not represent their current position on web technologies.

    Everyone can change their mind after all, the guy at IBM said "I think there is a world market for about five computers."

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Well as someone who has tried to implement SIMS and Facility/Eportal into the curriculum.

    I can say from experience that as staff can enter information via a single web interface in Eportal. It gave Eportal a huge advantage over SIMS Profiler/Assessment Manager/SIMS.net inter face in terms of ease of deployment and staff training time.

    In fact just do not get me started on trying to train staff to use Profiler/Assessment Manager!

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Out of interest where did you get the document from and when was it written?
    That was sent to the Secondary Techs in my LA from our SIMS support guy in answer to the question about the possibility of a move to web access.

    He said that this represented Capitas' opinion on it. The document was written in 2004.

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    Surely if Serco can manage a functional web-based sytem (ePortal) then Capita could do it. There's no reason not to IMO...just laziness and unwillingness to invest. What they have there are excuses not reasons.

    I moved away to uni before i could witness the implementation of ePortal into the curriculum for much more than VI Form registration. From what i can gather it's being used for lots of things from registration in lessons to behavioural management and daily notices etc. I think it was taken quite well by the staff from what i can gather but it does help having it in a web-based form as opposed to software so that when staff go home then they can update the daily notices and marks etc etc.

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    Re: SIMS Web version

    I believe both Bromcom and CMIS are web-based. If they can do it, why can't the mighty Capita?

    Maybe Capita got Bil Gates to write the above document at around the same time he denounced the internet as a passing fad?

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