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MIS Systems Thread, Solus 3 - Why bother for clients? in Technical; Originally Posted by psydii So it does in fact work very close to the way I suggested. Except in cases ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by psydii View Post
    So it does in fact work very close to the way I suggested. Except in cases where devices might be off the LAN in the hours following a server update, it doesn't work very well?
    When a device is plugged back onto the LAN, the agent "should" check the version on the workstation against the version on the server (witch is faulty at the moment, but @matt40k suggests it's fixed in the next release?) If this is fixed, it should work a lot better in the next release. However the issue of users loading SIMS before it's had a chance to update will no doubt crop up.

    What triggers a client update?
    A scheduled roll out (providing the device is online), a manual re-deployment from the DS to the client, or the auto-update function being fixed!

    What happens when a client doesn't get the update and the end user tries to launch it? What are the recovery steps?
    Incompatible database errors I would think. Recovery steps? Redeploy and hope it re-installs SIMS correctly!

    How much control do local admins get on the timing of the server updates?
    You can manually push them out on demand, manually scheduled a upgrade to apply out of hours, or set up the "auto-deployment" feature which will auto-install any new updates/patches between a specified time.
    Last edited by Rawns; 4th February 2013 at 04:41 PM.

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    psydii (4th February 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Look beyond installation and upgrade to support levels - Capita have a first line response team who, from what I can tell, look up your error message in a database and read you the answer. If it isn't in there, you wait a few hours for someone to call you back. That is okay for a lot of issues, but no good when you're half-way through an upgrade and it throws its toys out the pram.
    No different from Facility CMIS support then.


    Specification on the tender: If the client doesn't start promptly and reliably then there is no 'looking beyond...' it's game over.
    Last edited by psydii; 4th February 2013 at 04:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    I must be missing something, as those clients which were turned off at the time of the update did NOT get the update when they turned on. Is there a tickbox somewhere I overlooked?

    Even if they did, it is still limited as often the first thing a teacher does after turning their computer on is open SIMS and do the register. With an MSI or scripted .exe installer, this would be okay as SIMS would already be upgraded, but not so with S3.
    Wouldn't be able to say why it's not happen for certain, would need to have a look, first guess would be needs a reboot - but it hasn't told you, check the pendingfile in the registry if you get a chance. Again, hoping the next release addresses these issues.

    As for installation - perhaps, but you need to factor in hardware and support costs directly - I mean chrome updates every 5 mins but it doesn't require any effort from my end, so it's cheap, where as windows - going from xp to win7 is costly, but it's not something that you do as often as say windows updates. You need to fact in Windows upgrades (from xp - 7) because otherwise you get caught out - part of the reason I like MS schools agreement - so long as you have a rolling refresh program.

    RE: Front line support - yer totally agree, part of the reason I got out was the back-end staff were leaving who I just used to skip to and the people who were replacing them are a bit more of a pretty screen reader. No offense to them, but Capita staff retension is a bit poor - with a few exceptions. Still shouldn't complain, kept most of our schools bought in and thus kept me a job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    Whatever happens, I'll put money on Capita extending SOLUS2 support until mid/late 2014 some time in the future. If they don't, I'll eat a had (made of nachos).
    Too late - See Capita resource number 17910

    You were right by the way...

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    I dont think its very good that you need to rely on other software to patch and update Capita's software on a large scale. Terrible service, but exactly what I expected. Charging for Solus3, don't make me laugh.

    SIMS could be made so much less painful by the latest client also supporting the last version. That way machines can be updated to 100% before the server, the end users wouldn't even notice.

    When was the last time Capita spoke to Microsoft, 1992?

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    sparkeh (5th February 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    I dont think its very good that you need to rely on other software to patch and update
    Umm… ~Points to Sophos~

    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    SIMS could be made so much less painful by the latest client also supporting the last version. That way machines can be updated to 100% before the server, the end users wouldn't even notice.
    That’s actually a really good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    When was the last time Capita spoke to Microsoft, 1992?
    Ah, and suddenly why the PR guys you speak to switch off rather then passing on your idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Umm… ~Points to Sophos~

    That’s actually a really good idea.

    Ah, and suddenly why the PR guys you speak to switch off rather then passing on your idea
    I can choose to use Sophos or not.... I dont!

    I've had a decent amount of success with SCCM 2012. Something like 60% of laptops done by the start of the school day immediately after the server updated last time round. Still get the usual people that will start up SIMS and leave the error message up (and deny it)... even the ones that delete the IT email before reading it but even pre-patching with new versions that support old would sort them out! It would also stop fire-fighting and take away almost all time constraints from the deployment side.

    If the PR guys are saying MS are consulted for software solutions, tell them the ini files in the windows root havnt been supported for about 20 years :P
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 5th February 2013 at 10:53 PM.

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    Well hopefully they'll do something in SOLUS3 that will prevent them opening SIMS whilst it's upgrading, my idea was to replace pulsar.exe with a dummy file - perhaps allow users to customise it you can put something like "read you email you stupid fool" - only with more swears. Still if you could run the newer version with the old database, the “PendingFileRenameOperations” wouldn’t be an issue – unless they never switch their laptop\desktop off… oh wait, they do… (not kidding – had a call about why SIMS didn’t work when the desktop has been in hibernate over the summer holidays!!)
    Can’t argue on that one, bit p1ssed off they go off and create add-on modules like InTouch rather fixing the core product just because it makes them a quick bit of money – in the long run it’ll cost them – kinda glad they made Discover a standalone application. Take this example why do they have an old version of NLog and log4net – they do the same ruddy thing, just lazy.
    Oh and the sims.ini file – they do like Sage does, the use the workaround approach to keep legacy support – ie you can move it into the application directory (ie c:\program files\sims\sims .net\sims.ini) and it’ll use that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Still if you could run the newer version with the old database, the “PendingFileRenameOperations” wouldn’t be an issue – unless they never switch their laptop\desktop off… oh wait, they do… (not kidding – had a call about why SIMS didn’t work when the desktop has been in hibernate over the summer holidays!! Oh and the sims.ini file – they do like Sage does, the use the workaround approach to keep legacy support – ie you can move it into the application directory (ie c:\program files\sims\sims .net\sims.ini) and it’ll use that.
    Actually had the same hibernate, after about 1/2 hour of being awake (and on the phone at the time) it shortly started rebooting with essential windows patches, then picked up the SCCM SIMS update.

    FMS does the same, will they change when XP is no longer supported? or do they run longer support for certain paying customers?

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    "run longer support for certain paying customers?" - No, we're all treated the same in that respect. If an LA wanted to be prompted and push a new version they might work with them resolve it but it wouldn't be anymore then getting on the UAT list. If it was me, I'd have a pop up that said, hey you need to upgrade as a warning, then 2 releases later force it not to open. They'll continue to overlook the fact you’re on an old version of windows until a major bug appears, most likely when they move to .NET 4.5 or above. So basically we’ll get a few rants about how no-one told there school that they need to move away from over 10 year old operating system in a few release –just basing this on past experience.

    Sims.ini in FMS folder – think so, but FMS is on par with ONE\EMS (the LA version of SIMS). I try not to think about it. Don’t get me wrong the finance people I’ve spoken to like it, just from a technical point of view it’s written in a programming language that very few people use nowadays and numerous crooked bits stuck together. Which means they have to outsource the coding (as I understand it) for larger changes – don’t get me wrong India has some very talented programmers, but they are very prescriptive. One example was when I had to get a little app code reviewed by one of them and he couldn’t understand why I’ve written an app that read the connect.ini to get the server and database, then prompted for the user\pass when finally running a single stored procedure – he though just asking them to run the stored procedure was enough. It’s the whole silo thing again, Nova-T was great because it was written by a teacher, for a teacher. It’s one of the reasons why large software firms make developers work on the helpdesk for at least 2 weeks when they start – so they understand that simple little change that to them seems completely stupid actually prevents hundreds of calls to the helpdesk.


    Will they change the SIMS.ini? I’d hope, but I’m betting it won’t happen till Sims 8 which will be Azure. On the plus side at least all the Academies having to relicense is meaning FMS is likely to get Azure first – again, all rumor with regards to Azure. SIMS 8 could just be the same thing only more touchy.



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