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MIS Systems Thread, Autumn 2013 Release in Technical; It's due out by COB Friday 29th November and as yet no other news. There are some far reaching changes ...
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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Autumn 2013 Release

    It's due out by COB Friday 29th November and as yet no other news.

    There are some far reaching changes in this release from support for SQL2012 for SIMS, FMS, Discover, SLG, Solus3.6 and InTouch, to changes to the database version numbers which affects some patches. SIMS Generic Patches - Urgent Update oin SupportNet

    The version numbering could affect anyone who has patches designed for repeat usage such as the re-index patch, or anything customised to update data on a regular basis.

    One major improvement not noted in the pre-release notes is the ability to include photos in an individual report. Maybe one of the beta testers can comment, as yet i've not seen it officially confirmed, but hopefully it makes it in as it would be a great feature.

    Other highlights:

    Increased font size in pop-out comment box in Assessment Manager
    Cover diary shows weighted values
    Improved handling of Company Bill Payers
    ability to apply a Batch of Refund Changes for Deposits or Advanced Payments
    automatic hiding of fields not applicable to Independent Schools
    Attendance widgets separate present and authorised absence
    Added reason for absence, covered lessons and room changes to timeline
    Refresh times can be altered globally for individual widgets
    Configuration of timelines for groups
    Homepage performance improvements
    Nova T4 style interlinking between timetable displays for printing
    SLG - homework hand in date can be recorded and flagged
    SLG - optional link from homework to assessment aspects and resultsets
    SQL Migration - support for Discover
    The SIMS Database number format will be changing from 3.61.xxx to 3.62.xxx - as noted in a separate thread regarding patches (link above), this needs to be checked so you get the new patches in advance of needing them.

    There's loads more but the full release notes should have more detail.

  2. 2 Thanks to vikpaw:

    Rawns (26th November 2013), zag (17th December 2013)

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    Out now

  4. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    TheScarfedOne (30th November 2013)

  5. #3

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    The release notice
    *** SIMS 2013 Autumn Release - Now Available

    I'm pleased to inform you that the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release is now available for download by SOLUS.


    Overview

    The SIMS 2013 Autumn Release contains enhancements to Admissions, Agora, Assessment, Attendance, Course Manager, Cover, Discover, Homepage, InTouch, Nova-T6, Options, Partnership Xchange, Personnel, SIMS FFT, and the SQL Migration Tool.


    This release contains updates to Statutory Returns for School Census Spring 2014 (England), Catholic Education Service (CES) Census 2014 (Catholic England and Wales), CTF 13 (England and Wales) and CTF NI 13 (Northern Ireland), PLASC 2014 (Wales), Independent School Council (ISC) Census 2014 (Independent) and School Level Annual School Census (SLASC) 2014 (Independent).



    The FMS release contains a number of fixes and Fees Billing has been updated to allow for batch refund payments and improved handling of company bill payers.



    This release is fully supported on SQL2012 for SIMS, FMS, Discover, SLG, Solus3.6 and InTouch. A SQL Migration utility is provided to assist with the migration of SQL2008 Databases for SIMS, FMS and Discover to a SQL2012 Instance. Sites using SOLUS3 should use SOLUS3.6 in tandem with the other database moves and to move itself to a new SQL Server.





    Full details of this release can be found in the SIMS and FMS 2013 Autumn Release Notes:

    There are now different release notes containing information targeted to each different school type:

    • SIMS Combined – resource id 21807
    • SIMS Secondary (Welsh) – resource id 21812
    • SIMS Secondary (English and Northern Ireland) - resource id 21810
    • SIMS Primary (Welsh) – resource id 21811
    • SIMS Primary (English and Northern Ireland) - resource id 21809
    • SIMS Independent schools – resource id 21808
    • FMS Release note - resource id 21813


    Content

    • Admissions
    • Agora Online Payments
    • Catholic Education Service (CES) Census 2014 (Catholic England and Wales)
    • Cover
    • CTF 13 (England and Wales)
    • CTF NI 13 (Northern Ireland)
    • Discover
    • Fees Billing
    • FMS
    • Homepage
    • Homepage Performance
    • Independent School Council (ISC) Census 2014 (Independent)
    • InTouch
    • Nova-T-6
    • Options
    • Partnership Xchange
    • Personnel
    • PLASC 2014 (Wales)
    • Reporting
    • SIMS FFT Estimates
    • School Census Spring 2014 (England)
    • School Level Annual School Census (SLASC) 2014 (Independent)
    • SIMS Learning Gateway
    • SQL Migration
    • Technical


    SIMS Version Support
    In line with the SIMS Version Support, the currently supported Platforms are:


    • SIMS 2013 Summer Release (v7.152)
    • SIMS 2013 Autumn Release (v7.154)


    SOLUS Details

    The SOLUS website for details of this Main Release, including all documentation, can be found by visiting Supportnet and accessing Support | SOLUS


    Single Direct and Independent Schools that are supported directly from our Bedford office have been authorised to take this release via SOLUS 2 and SOLUS3. The software has also been made available for Support Units to deploy via SOLUS 2 and SOLUS3 to their schools. These schools will be notified when they are authorised to install it.


    A CD Image of the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release is available for download on SupportNet



    A CD image of the FMS 2013 Autumn Release is available for download on SupportNet

    It is very important if you are a Support Unit, with a Mirror Server, that you have all the files present on your server. Please check that all the files are present, using the spreadsheet which can be found on SupportNet


    SQL Migration
    An updated version of the SQL Migration utility has been made available. It can be found on SupportNet
    Discover
    An update to Discover has been made and is available on SOLUS3. Full details are in the Release Note uploaded to Supportnet as resource ID: 21814.


    Schools who want to take this release will need their Support teams to authorise it for them in SOLUS3 or they can download it from SupportNet to apply manually:



    Please note that if you are upgrading Discover on SOLUS3 you must use SOLUS3.6 and the server component will not upgrade if it is on Windows Server 2003 or XP



    SIMS Learning Gateway 2 (SLG2)

    An update to SLG2 has been made available to ensure compatibility with the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release.
    Customers on SLG2 should wait to apply the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release until the SLG2 Autumn Release has been applied to their system. Details on how to obtain this update will be distributed to you via email shortly.



    Partnership Xchange (PX)

    An update to PX has been made available to ensure compatibility with the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release.
    PX customers should wait to apply the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release until the PX Release has been applied to their system. Details on how to obtain this update will be distributed to you via email shortly.



    InTouch

    An update to InTouch has been made available to ensure compatibility with the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release. Details on how to obtain and apply this update will be distributed to you via email shortly.

    InTouch customers should apply the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release before applying the InTouch 2013 Autumn Release.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    An update for Independent Schools
    Autumn Release for Independent Schools

    ***IMPORTANT***


    Independent customers

    Independent customers who have already taken the Autumn 2013 release and wish to use the F code (Extended Family Holiday Authorised) in the Attendance module, please apply Patch 18934 to reactivate the F code.

    Any Independent customers who have not already taken the Autumn 2013 release and wish to use the F code, please be advised that we will be releasing an updated Autumn Release by the end of week beginning 09/12/2013.

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    creese's Avatar
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    SIMS 2013 Autumn release - Please Read

    SIMS 2013 Autumn Release.
    Following its release on the 29th November, an issue has been discovered with the SIMS 2013 Autumn release

    • PLASC return for Wales. A small amount of Validation error codes have incorrect text.


    We are currently looking at resolving this issue in an updated version of the SIMS 2013 Autumn release and would recommend that if you are a school in Wales, you delay any plans to update to this release until the new version is available. Schools in England or Northern Ireland are unaffected by these issues and can either choose to apply the current version or the updated revision when it is available.

    We apologise for the inconvenience that this might cause and thank you for your patience while we work through these issues and their resolution. I will post a confirmed date for the updated Autumn release within the next couple of days.

    Please feel free to email me directly if you have any particular concerns or questions atjonathan.wood@capita.co.uk

    Regards,
    Jonathan Wood
    SIMS Product Manager (Technical and Releases)

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    Missing Discount Code and Expiry Date (Updated 16/12 18:40)

    We are investigating a problem with Tools | Statutory Return Tools | Update QANs and Discount Codes for Course Manager. After using this functionality to make a QAN/Discount Code available to Course Manager the Discount Code and Expiry Date is not shown in Tools | Academic Management | Course Manager | Maintain Course Classification.
    We recommend that customers avoid use of Tools | Statutory Return Tools | Update QANs and Discount Codes for Course Manager until we have finished our investigations.
    It looks as though the problem cannot be dealt with via a patch and we are therefore looking to include a solution in the SIMS Autumn Release Update.
    Posted: 16th December 2013 by Jim Haywood

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    creese's Avatar
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    Autumn The Update II

    *** SIMS 2013 Autumn Release – Please read.


    A new issue has been identified in the SIMS 2013 Autumn Release which could potentially affect all schools with a timetable. The issue is that if you update QAN Discount Codes for Course Manager, the Discount Code and Expiry date will not be shown.
    As such we will be delaying the Autumn release 2 update to include a fix for this issue as well.



    The revised date for the SIMS 2013 Autumn 2 release (7.155) is Thursday the 19th of December.



    A full list of the fixes contained in it are:


    • Independent Schools will now be able to use the F code for registration.
    • Validation error improvements for the ‘Pupil Welsh at School’ fields eligible for use in the PLASC return for Wales. There were problems where the incorrect solution text was being displayed in the validation errors summary in PLASC, and also saw inconsistencies in the field names which populate the ‘Taught Welsh at School’ field under Student Details | Ethnic/Cultural panel. We have now been able to solve these inconsistencies and provide a more informative solution text for the validation error.
    • QAN Discount code and Expiry date are not show if you update QAN using the menu routeTools | Statutory Return Tools | Update QANs and Discount Codes for Course Manager. This will potentially affect all secondary schools. Primary Schools should not be affected. Full details on this can be found in the News Item with a resource id of 22032.



    We apologise for any inconvenience that this will have caused. Please feel free to email me directly if you have any particular concerns or questions at jonathan.wood@capita.co.uk

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    It's going to be one of those again is it?

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    creese's Avatar
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    Phil Neal has confirmed the clients will need updating too.

  12. #10

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    It's going to be one of those again is it?
    What, a SIMS update you mean? I kid, I kid.

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    Typical... Just as I managed our first Solus 3 powered update I find I've got to do it all again later in the week.

    Suppose practice makes perfect, plus the scheduled install did work so I don't have to worry about logging on at silly o'clock to run it... instead the PC's turned on at 5:30 this morning.

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    Does anyone know if this upgrade immediately "breaks" Windows XP clients? We're acutely aware that XP is not supported from this point on, but with over 700 PCs on-site and well over 100 SIMS clients, I have to admit that we have a few lower-priority SIMS clients still on XP (ugh, that sounded defensive, didn't it?). "Not supported" doesn't necessarily mean "doesn't work." I just want to know how much flak I'll be getting on Jan 6th. It's not a hardware issue for us, we're just limited to how fast we can deploy W7 upgrades.

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rammie View Post
    Does anyone know if this upgrade immediately "breaks" Windows XP clients? We're acutely aware that XP is not supported from this point on, but with over 700 PCs on-site and well over 100 SIMS clients, I have to admit that we have a few lower-priority SIMS clients still on XP (ugh, that sounded defensive, didn't it?). "Not supported" doesn't necessarily mean "doesn't work." I just want to know how much flak I'll be getting on Jan 6th. It's not a hardware issue for us, we're just limited to how fast we can deploy W7 upgrades.

    3 posts up ^

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    Rammie's Avatar
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    I may be being dense, but I thought that was referring to the SIMS client software, not the o/s. So what you're saying is that XP definitely breaks and the SIMS client software will fail to install?

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rammie View Post
    I may be being dense, but I thought that was referring to the SIMS client software, not the o/s. So what you're saying is that XP definitely breaks and the SIMS client software will fail to install?
    Sorry. When you said 'break' I thought you meant, needs an update.

    XP will not necessarily 'break' but if there is a problem, Capita's first response will be 'upgrade the o/s'.

    We have not seen any problems in over a hundred primary schools.... Yet.

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