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MIS Systems Thread, Serco Progresso/PHP related query, can anyone help? in Technical; ...
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    Serco Progresso/PHP related query, can anyone help?

    Dear All,

    Me and my colleague are VTLE Developers at The Radclyffe School in Oldham, Manchester.

    The Radclyffe School currently uses Serco Facility as our MIS, we we’re due to move to Progresso around June/July, however I now know this has been put back to the October Half Term at the earliest.

    We have a number of applications that rely on the interrogation of school/student data that were put in place by a previous developer (these are standalone programs that are part of a wider ‘school intranet’). Myself and my colleague will be responsible for updating these applications in accordance with the data move. Progresso have provided us with their Web Service API documentation which states the methods we’d need to use in order to get at the school data. The Web Service is Microsoft/ C#.NET based and thus the examples given in the documentation, of course, use C# .NET as the language of demonstration. However, all of our existing applications have been written in PHP.

    At present, neither myself or my colleague are well versed in C# .NET. We know that it is possible to connect to the API using PHP as it uses SOAP, so we're assuming that the PHP application will act as a client of the Web Service. We’ve worked through a few PHP Web Services tutorials in preparation but in terms of the specifics of connecting to this particular API, we have no idea.

    There doesn't seem to be any documentation or even vague guidelines as to how to proceed, and we’ve tried contacting Progresso who are unable to provide any information.

    I was just wondering if or anyone out there has done this or something similar before? Perhaps you are doing it or exploring it right now? If so, would you be prepared to share your insights with us?

    Thanks,

    Patrick.

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    You might find some help on here but Advanced Learning won't help you code. The idea is they provide the framework for the API and then you use SOAP to interface with it. I think our plan will be to pay someone to do this and leave us the source in the hope that future editing we can work out, without having to do it all from scratch. It's really not something I'd take on without some fair amount of experience. That might not be the answer you want, but just an opinion; it might be better to start planning for that now than maybe coming to that realisation later on when you're really pushed for time.

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    For the facility (not progresso) api we came up with the following using php on linux, this is just a test script we used to check we could access it :-
    Code:
    <?php
        $soap_request  = "<?xml version=\"1.0\"?>\n";
        $soap_request .= "<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap=\"http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/\" xmlns:xsd=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" xmlns:xsi=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">\n";
        $soap_request .= "  <soap:Body xmlns:m=\"http://webservice.api.serco.ie\">\n";
        $soap_request .= "    <m:GetStudent>\n";
        $soap_request .= "    </m:GetStudent>\n";
        $soap_request .= "  </soap:Body>\n";
        $soap_request .= "</soap:Envelope>";
    
        $header = array(
                "Content-type: text/xml;charset=\"utf-8\"",
                "Accept: text/xml",
                "Cache-Control: no-cache",
                "Pragma: no-cache",
                "SOAPAction: \"urn:getStudent\"",
                "Content-length: ".strlen($soap_request),
                );
    
        $soap_do = curl_init();
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_URL, "https://<ip address>:8443/API/services/WebService" );
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 10);
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT,        10);
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true );
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, false);
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYHOST, false);
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_POST,           true );
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS,     $soap_request);
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER,     $header);
        curl_setopt($soap_do, CURLOPT_PORT, 8443);
    
        if(curl_exec($soap_do) === false) {
            $err = 'Curl error: ' . curl_error($soap_do);
            curl_close($soap_do);
            print $err;
        } else {
            $test = curl_exec($soap_do);
            curl_close($soap_do);
            print $test . "<br /><br />";
            print 'Operation completed without any errors';
        }
    ?>
    Last edited by PyROm; 18th June 2013 at 09:28 AM.

  4. 2 Thanks to PyROm:

    Marci (18th June 2013), markberry (18th June 2013)

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    We've just filled out the paperwork for access to the API. We are going to see how we can integrate it with Moodle initially and then we'll look at integrating with other things such as Sharepoint.

    We also use Groupcall & Biostore which integrates really well and allows us to connect Progresso to our Cashless catering, printing system, AD & door access control.

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    Just altered the code above as I relaised I had cut off the end of one of the lines. We currently use facility along with a lot of web pages we made to get better reports out, however they all use mssql. We were looking at moving to progresso a while ago so started work on soap for facility to make it easier to change when we switched, however then the reports came in about the problems with progresso, so we held off switching. We are in the process of changing headteachers (current one is retireing) and the new headteacher`s school has recently switched from facility to sims, so not sure what we will be doing now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyROm View Post
    We currently use facility along with a lot of web pages we made to get better reports out, however they all use mssql.

    You won't need to export data from Progresso to get better reports out. The reporting engine in Progresso is built on Microsoft SQL Analysis Services and is very powerful. You can get almost anything you want out in a report in pretty much any format.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwan View Post
    Progresso have provided us with their Web Service API documentation which states the methods we’d need to use in order to get at the school data. The Web Service is Microsoft/ C#.NET based and thus the examples given in the documentation, of course, use C# .NET as the language of demonstration. However, all of our existing applications have been written in PHP.
    Any chance you could forward me a copy of that? Despite asking countless times, we seem to be getting nowhere in laying our hands on that particular documentation...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marci View Post
    Any chance you could forward me a copy of that? Despite asking countless times, we seem to be getting nowhere in laying our hands on that particular documentation...
    What's your email address? I will forward it onto you.

  10. Thanks to pwan from:

    Marci (18th June 2013)

  11. #9
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    ...PM'd...

    EDIT: Ta muchly fella!
    Last edited by Marci; 18th June 2013 at 10:34 AM.

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    Hello all,

    I'm Patrick's colleague at The Radclyffe School. Firstly, many thanks for your responses. To be honest, both myself and Patrick are new to SOAP/web services in general. It was revealed to us recently that after a struggle, a colleague in the IT department managed to pull some Progresso data through using a VB.NET script. My recent focus has been to try and understand his code and investigate if the same could be achieved using PHP. I've been researching WCF and PHP integration and experimenting with the SOAP class (native to PHP5) but I may be heading in completely the wrong direction. I'm aware that it's very unlikely that it's going to be that simple. Marci, I'm assuming you are in the process of switching to Progresso too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marci View Post
    Any chance you could forward me a copy of that? Despite asking countless times, we seem to be getting nowhere in laying our hands on that particular documentation...
    You have to sign a couple of docs including an NDA before they will give you access to the API and give you the documentation.

  14. #12
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    Marci, I'm assuming you are in the process of switching to Progresso too?

    AFAIK, we signed up to progresso practically the day it was announced... but we've been messed about & the date's been put back so many times now that I think management have given up and are now intending to look at other options.

    You have to sign a couple of docs including an NDA before they will give you access to the API and give you the documentation.
    Ah... another snippet of info that never made it's way back to me from whoever was making enquiries at this end.


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    Can you point me in the right direction for this paperwork to access the Progresso API, please? I'd like to direct Pearson / Fronter to it so they can sort out integration with the API if possible.

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    We're in transition and I was asked if I wanted access to the API by our PM. I'm assuming he will send the documentation as there's only one vague doc on Firstline.

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    Hi guys,

    Just to clarify; it's a slightly different process for partners than it is to schools. Previously, we would give schools access to the API upon signing some documentation (quite rightly said, including an NDA), and we have a partnership program which had some commercials involved around it. We have now changed our partnership program which makes it much easier for 3rd parties to use the API for the benefit of our users. If anyone would like any further information please just get in touch with your account manager. If anyone has any problems with contact their account manager, please contact me. I'm not sure I can really post my contact details here on the forum as it may be frowned upon, but feel free to PM me.

    Mic Sanderson
    Customer Success Manager
    Advanced Learning



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