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MIS Systems Thread, Is SOLUS 3 pretty much impossible to avoid at this stage? in Technical; Been using SOLUS3 for over a year now and no major issues. Got to remember to remove the client from ...
  1. #16
    nickbro's Avatar
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    Been using SOLUS3 for over a year now and no major issues. Got to remember to remove the client from SOLUS when I rebuild the pc before SOLUS gets reinstalled. I've had 3 database incompatible, which is down to those users not closing SIMS down when SOLUS tells them to. Copy the files from my pc to theirs fixes that problem and off they go again

  2. #17
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    One primary school I know recently had a new SIMS Server Installed and Capita insisted on sticking SOLUS 3 on it.

    Had no end of issues during the first few weeks with it not working with CC4 \ Existing Installations of SIMS.

    In the end they have a test machine which is the only one listed in SOLUS 3. This one gets all the updates and upgrades and then they just copy the whole SIMS folder to any other computer that needs it. Apparently it's a hell of a lot easier scripting deleting and copying over the entire SIMS.NET folder than it is getting SOLUS to work consistently on the entire network...

    Not sure how many people would agree with this practice but aparently they've had no issues since doing it that way and the amount of time spent on upgrades not working is near enough zero now!

  3. #18

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrust View Post
    I've got SCCM to handle software deployment, update and management so why do I need another software distribution mechanism
    Use SCCM to deploy S3 agent, then let S3 worry about keeping SIMS etc up-to-date. Kinda like you would do with Chrome.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrust View Post
    LAs supporting countless primary schools, for me as an end consumer it feels like an unnecessary reinvention of the wheel and a bit like an attempt to overly complicate the plumbing.
    Yup, but we live in an imperfect world and licensing alone would be a nightmare to use a single tool like MDT\SCCM across all the schools.

  4. #19
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    ^^^
    Not sure if on purpose or not but you've missed off half of TheCrust's last paragraph which makes it looks like his comment applies to LAs!

    Anyway my query would be how many people find S3 an improvement over S2. I always believed the general consensus was that it wasn't and the benefits were outweighed by the problems. Obviously they'll be the odd anecdotal evidence to the contrary that it works great but from my experience the overwhelming opinion is it's not worth the hassle. I'm willing to admit I may be well off and I haven't used it much myself. It's just all the schools I've had friends work at have had issues with it in some form of another over the years.

  5. #20
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    What is Solus 3 trying to fix thats broken in Solus 2? I could be being thick here, but with Solus 2 the end user clicks SIMS.net and it upgrades then lets them in. Why change that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    What is Solus 3 trying to fix thats broken in Solus 2? I could be being thick here, but with Solus 2 the end user clicks SIMS.net and it upgrades then lets them in. Why change that?
    I think they wanted to be able to rollout mini patches and hotfixes more easily and streamline to upgrade process. Its pretty awful to be honest in our school, there is always clients that for some reason don't pick the update up but its my fault not Sims is the stock reply.

  7. #22
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    No end of issues here for us here supporting schools. However due to the SOLUS2 cut-off deadline, we've no choice but to get it out there. With the SIMS Summer 2 upgrade, almost every "upgrade failure" call came from SOLUS3 sites. We had maybe two or three form SOLUS2 only sites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    What is Solus 3 trying to fix that's broken in Solus 2? I could be being thick here, but with Solus 2 the end user clicks SIMS.net and it upgrades then lets them in. Why change that?
    SIMS Discover. SOLUS2 cannot handle upgrades of SIMS Discover. I think SOLUS3 was partially though up as a way to get Capita's flagship product (at the time) out in schools and upgraded. Of course, SIMS and FMS were both packaged into it, and SOLUS3 itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    I think they wanted to be able to rollout mini patches and hotfixes more easily and streamline to upgrade process. Its pretty awful to be honest in our school, there is always clients that for some reason don't pick the update up but its my fault not Sims is the stock reply.
    From an LA perspective, SOLUS3 is AWFUL for patches as there is no easy way to re-deploy the same patch twice. For example the classic 'Reindex database' patch that fixes most things. You release it to a school, if they have auto-deploy set up, it will get applied during the upgrade schedule. If they need that patch again later down the line, you have to manually connect up and reschedule a deployment of it. In SOLUS2, we just reauthorised in Schools Manager and job done.
    Last edited by Rawns; 16th September 2013 at 08:56 AM.

  8. #23

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    Interestingly I was at the Midlands Support Team user group last week when one LA described how well SOLUS3 performed. They manage all their primary upgrades from a single instance of SOLUS3 with 98% success rate. Another LA reported that they'd put SOLUS3 into a Birmingham secondary school and were amazed at how efficient it was in finding and installing SIMS. A third LA had not had success.

    Clearly there have been issues but I do believe we are close to having a system that can save enormous amounts of time for schools. Producing an MSI has not been ruled.

  9. #24

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Main reason techy folk should be embracing SOLUS3 is permissions, this means the segregation of the data manager and the network manager jobs. It means you can put your data manager in a box with only his toys and no-one else’s. With SOLUS3, the network manager makes sure SOLUS3 works and then the rest of SIMS is the Data managers’. Personally, I’d like this sooner, I know when I was a techy I got stitched up a few times. Basically the only people with admin rights should be techy people, not the network manager, it’s not that I don’t trust my old network manager, it’s just they’d rather not have that power, so when it came to running SOLUS2 to get a patch or do a upgrade, which needs admin rights, you’re stuck doing it. Now this is ok, but what happens when you’re expecting a release and you’ve got a patch as well, if you’re sensible you’ll go find the data manager and get them to confirm, but they normally are hiding so you get stuck between investigating what it actually does vs risk doing\not doing the release. Not sure about you, but I’d rather worry about where that missing stick of RAM has disappeared to then if our pastoral structure is horizontal or vertical or whatever rubbish you need to know to see if it’s going to fix something or break something. Still I guess if your data manager you might like having admin rights and if you’re a network manager you might find SIMS more interesting then resetting peoples passwords

    Way I see it, if you’re fed up getting involved with SIMS upgrades, SOLUS3 is the way forward.

    Vague definition of jobs:
    Data Manager – person who makes schools MIS system work
    Network Manager – person who makes the computers work

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Way I see it, if you’re fed up getting involved with SIMS upgrades, SOLUS3 is the way forward.
    If it works...

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_Brown View Post
    If it works...
    At this stage, harsh as that sounds if it doesn't work*, it's to do with your setup - ie DNS, firewall or s3 not configured correctly.

    * except that auto-deploy bug? and when Capita servers goes down.
    Last edited by matt40k; 16th September 2013 at 11:15 AM. Reason: UPDATED the exception list :p

  12. Thanks to matt40k from:

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  13. #27
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    K. I don't mean to come across as being overly negative about it! Especially when I've not had much hands on experience myself. I'll shut up now and let someone else talk!

  14. #28

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    I think that's the biggest problem, you don't have the time to learn something that you'll setup and pretty much forget about, I was talking a mate and he said he'll most likely hire a contractor in to setup SCCM. Same thing applies for S3.

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    In some cases, it doesn't work correctly. We've had a few primary schools that failed to apply the SIMS Summer upgrade, yet for some reason, the database was upgraded and left on 3.61.901 so all clients had the usual 'incompatable database' message. In the end, we re-deployed the Summer upgrade, SOLUS3 saw the database was updated and did not include it in the list of targets to upgrade. That's a SOLUS3 issue, not a setup issue.

  16. #30

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    And that's why I never trusted auto-deployment

    Sure Capita would "love" to know why it didn't rollback correctly
    Just a thought, are these schools old kit? Could it be a timeout issue? So S3 timeout and killed it, but it's just ignored it and carried on upgrading the db

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