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MIS Systems Thread, Scholar Pack in Technical; Hi All, Quick question for those of you that have some experience with this system. Can it produce an export ...
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    Scholar Pack

    Hi All,

    Quick question for those of you that have some experience with this system. Can it produce an export file that in compatible with the LA's Capita One system. Facility can produce a file, Sims can (when it works) and with a couple of schools moving from Sims to ScholarPack it would be interesting to know what information can be exported

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    Hi Banjo

    I can confirm we produce Capita Education Service (CES) files compatible with LA's systems. We also support many other file formats the LA or DfE require.

    As a competing MIS company however, we would like to see much more work on open standards in this area. Many schools are locked in SIMS simply because the LA insists on receiving data in various Capita formats (hence our reason for supporting the file format) and do not offer schools the relevant support should they wish to change MIS system. Luckily for us, with the market slowly opening up more and more and the advent of frameworks like IMLS, the days of Capita only files and monolithic LA systems provided by Capita are quite possibly numbered..

    Rich

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    'eh? B2B was based on CTF. EMS certainly used to support directly CTF, I'd be surprised if One doesn't. These days I doubt many schools are 'locked into' SIMS simply because of how the LA would like data.

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    Many of the LA's our schools deal will only accept files in CES format or other Capita specific file formats. Although CES files are very similar to CTF files the point still stands that they are not an open format recommended by the DfE for data exchange.
    Last edited by scholarpack; 16th July 2013 at 07:20 PM.

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    Other Capita specific formats? Blimey - just how many are there?

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    It differs in different parts of the country and obviously I can't go into too many details but at least 50% of our LA's need a CES file. Not only that but when we build CES files based on the latest schema, sometimes they get rejected because the Capita One system the LA is using is restricted to import only older versions of the CES file, and we have to modify our export routines to support older versions. There are various other data exchanges some LA's require like attendance code data and assessment data in SIMS B2B specific formats.

    You can see how we would simply prefer everyone to just use the CTF (which is more comprehensive than the CES file anyway) and perhaps extend that where necessary. In the meantime we happily build these specific files for LA's if that's the dealbreaker when a school wants to move to us.
    Rich

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    I think your after B2B Open - http://www.capita-one.co.uk/files/on...nd_process.pdf - and addresses tends to me one that springs to mind, the format tends to vary and B2B (v3) is rather rubbish at dealing with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scholarpack View Post
    You can see how we would simply prefer everyone to just use the CTF (which is more comprehensive than the CES file anyway) and perhaps extend that where necessary.
    B2B files were built round CTF but with additional information to enable the synchronisation of data items between multiple systems. CTF is not designed for that (it's a one way transfer) so while I can see why YOU would prefer it as a means to sell your product, it would be a backward step for some schools and LA's in terms of the functionality they can use to get best value from their systems and the data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo View Post
    Hi All,

    Quick question for those of you that have some experience with this system. Can it produce an export file that in compatible with the LA's Capita One system. Facility can produce a file, Sims can (when it works) and with a couple of schools moving from Sims to ScholarPack it would be interesting to know what information can be exported
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure schools are locked in to any MIS these days as there seems to be quite a bit of movement in the market. LA's need a central database, and Capita have this end of the market sewn up. Maybe emerging MIS suppliers are going about it the wrong way round.

    Develop an central database first, and get the LA to then sell the schools the MIS for them

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    B2B files were built round CTF but with additional information to enable the synchronisation of data items between multiple systems. CTF is not designed for that (it's a one way transfer) so while I can see why YOU would prefer it as a means to sell your product, it would be a backward step for some schools and LA's in terms of the functionality they can use to get best value from their systems and the data.
    ...I did say "extend the CTF where necessary" to cover all the synchronization mechanisms you mention.

    The point is we have a situation where data transfer between MIS systems and LA's is often governed by one supplier who control the format, rather than a central public body like the DfE governing the file format. If a system were being designed from scratch now, it is unlikely one supplier would have such dominance over the way data is transferred in many LA's - there would be much more openness around the way data exchange formats are developed (to allow more competition and newer suppliers to break into the market). It is only for historical reasons that this is the case. And all credit to Capita for assuming that position and being the first to market all those years ago! But you only have to read the 2010 Becta Report to see how the market is being stifled, unlike other sectors - Learning Platforms, Education Technology and Curriculum Resources to name a few, where there has been lots of innovation and new companies breaking through.

    quite a bit of movement in the market.
    Really? There's been no big changes in the MIS market for the last 10+ years, apart from 2 or 3% here and there. As one of the newer suppliers, we are constantly monitoring this.


    Rich
    Last edited by scholarpack; 17th July 2013 at 10:43 AM. Reason: typo

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    The data items included in Capita's file formats are to support LA processes not DfE requirements.

    The CTF does not meet the requirement nor does it allow for rejection of data and dialogue between the school/LA. Our file formats are open and published on our web site. We can provide a validation service if required. There are lots of suppliers in the LA space!!

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    Thanks for the clarification Phil and of course we will continue to support the CES file format for schools that require it. Is there any reason why you couldn't extend the <SuppInfo> containers in the current CTF specification to do what you are doing in a CES file?

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    I don't know I'm afraid - it's been in that format for many many years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scholarpack View Post
    Hi Banjo

    I can confirm we produce Capita Education Service (CES) files compatible with LA's systems. We also support many other file formats the LA or DfE require.

    As a competing MIS company however, we would like to see much more work on open standards in this area. Many schools are locked in SIMS simply because the LA insists on receiving data in various Capita formats (hence our reason for supporting the file format) and do not offer schools the relevant support should they wish to change MIS system. Luckily for us, with the market slowly opening up more and more and the advent of frameworks like IMLS, the days of Capita only files and monolithic LA systems provided by Capita are quite possibly numbered..

    Rich
    Hi Rich,

    We have a school that are trying to send a 'CES' Update file to the LA but are struggling (wrong file type). Might be an idea to email all of your schools with simple instructions on how to accomplish this task as they are getting quite frustrated.

    Thanks

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    Hi Banjo

    I think I know the school in question but could you send me a quick PM with the name?

    We are struggling to get a schema for the latest Capita Education Services file. Every LA seems to be running different versions. @PhilNeal - could you send us the latest schema?

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