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MIS Systems Thread, Facility License in Technical; Are there any LA's or schools that have used Facility in the past 5 years but have moved on to ...
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    Facility License

    Are there any LA's or schools that have used Facility in the past 5 years but have moved on to bigger and better things, who are now being chased by Advanced Learning for license payments (75% of current license fee) to store historical data within their schools?

    I know Capita don't charge if you move away from Sims, and Serco never used to charge their schools moving from Facility. Advanced Learning seem to have their own set of rules.

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    There was a thread not so long back about it, yes. That is the case. It used to be that Serco allowed you to keep a copy of the application you had at the time you contract ended for archive purposes. There was no support contract, and no upgrades.
    Now I believe there's a charge for retaining it on an annual basis. When you pay a license fee you pay it for use of the software for the time of the license, not to own the right to the software. As there's no future cost to Advanced to let you keep it, I think it's a bit rubbish. But that seems to be the reality.
    What you ought to do is chuck your data out into a manageable format then just remove the software.
    Advanced are missing a trick; whilst some people wouldn't pay it on principal, if Advanced charged 5% of the full license, it's still money for nothing and most people would pay it for the convenience.
    If they're charging 75% then they'll get so much bad press from it, and no one will pay it. So they get £0 and a bad reputation.
    Common sense?

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Hummmmmmm they maybe walking into a minefield here.

    Firstly they do not own the data or database... you do. They only own the software interface.

    Secondly this goes against some of the principles of the BECTA report.

    I have to be honest from a company still recovering from bad press this is not a good move really. A quick buck scheme that damages customer relations (like a certain supplier charging academies twice...)

    Not suggesting I know the ins and outs, only based on this thread, and legally I am sure they are justified in this... morally however...

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    This is a pretty poor policy from AL, that said I think this kind of situation is going to get worse as people move to hosted based MIS solutions as both the data and interface will be offsite.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Ah see the hosted argument is a little better because they would still be supporting the back end so is justified. .. not 75% mind

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    Although you own the data i am wondering if the software licence extends to the schema and structure of the database in the SQL? However i would just use MS Access to import all the tables from SQL, effectively detatching from the schema and software. You are left with just the tables which can be a pig to navigate but not impossible.

    75% of the licence fee year on year until you are legally able to dispose of the information is a lot of £££

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    ^ What Mark80 said. Hi Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark80 View Post
    Although you own the data i am wondering if the software licence extends to the schema and structure of the database in the SQL?
    Yes and No. It is your data, 'schema' is the organisation of that data - it is the fields and tables and the relationships between them. I don't believe AL could force us to delete the database containing our data even though there is no doubt the IP for the schema belongs to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael2k6 View Post
    ^ What Mark80 said. Hi Mark
    Hey Mic, finally back in a school

    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Yes and No. It is your data, 'schema' is the organisation of that data - it is the fields and tables and the relationships between them. I don't believe AL could force us to delete the database containing our data even though there is no doubt the IP for the schema belongs to them.
    If AL think you are still holding the data they surely would need proof of it? Although potentially breaking contract agreement (i have no knowledge of the contracts drawn up), you could just put the tables into MS access, put it on a USB stick and lock it in the school safe. You could also knock up a report to hold vital information (grades, attendance etc..) and just print it out. I know its a lot of data to print but at 75% licence fee for who knows how many years i say its worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark80 View Post
    If AL think you are still holding the data they surely would need proof of it? Although potentially breaking contract agreement (i have no knowledge of the contracts drawn up), you could just put the tables into MS access, put it on a USB stick and lock it in the school safe.
    Schema is independent of the database implementation. It is the design of the tables - the fields in them and the relationships between the tables. If you just transport the data in the same structure to another database you will still be using their schema.

    IMO that is OK. It is YOUR data and it would be impossible to disentangle it from the schema without essentially destroying the data (or rendering it meaningless). I think as long as you don't develop apps based on the schema and start selling them, then you are OK to keep the data in the schema but you will have to develop your own means to access it.

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    Hi,

    That other thread was started by me, Is this correct?

    What you are paying for is the use of Facility, the executable. Not the data / database.
    If you want to access the data your way without facility I don't believe that they can get you to pay, after all it is your data.

    My advice, when you migrate from facility don't just go for a clean slate approach without also having a complete but dirty database alongside so that you no longer need facility at all.
    After a bit of argument by our Bursar, the license fee was dropped to 50% from the original 60%. Got to be worth a try!

    We now have a full copy on a pc running SIMS for archive purposes.

    They will not get more than one years worth from us!

    BoX

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    Interesting question: is the data, or information important to you?

    Data being the field contents in each record in each table.

    Information being the data combined together to give meaning.

    Therefore, as we would all agree that the information is the important bit, you would be allowed to keep the underlying data model intact, it belongs to you, as the data 'owners'.

    Are you sure this is not a payment for maintenance and updates??
    Last edited by GREED; 25th January 2014 at 09:27 PM.

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    I'd be looking to negotiate a more reasonable price. I mean why on earth would you ever look at one of their products again if they had a history of charging that much at the end of contract? They have progreso to try to sell to you at some point in the next 3-7 (depending on how you ran the procurement for your new MIS) years.

    As to what is more important, the data or the information... You need to have the raw data available, otherwise you are stuck with the choices you made when you did the export/designed the report. Consider how the information sheets schools used changed when ebacc appeared; schools needed to analyse their historic performance against the new measure which is only possible if they had access to their historic data.

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    Thanks for the 'Heads up' on this. This is a conversation I'm expecting to have in the next couple of months; forewarned is forearmed

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    The plan is to restore the backup into MS Access on a standalone machine. What becomes a bit more complicated is the attendance. I can't think of an easy way to pull a students attendance record out of facility if ever you need to take it to court as evidence. It's hard enough making it work as a report within Facility as % att is calculated on the fly rather than stored against a pupils in the DB, let alone having to write some VBA in Access that looks up dates and records across half a dozen tables.

    I can see a lot of printing to PDF in the time ahead and then uploading the pdf's to Sims doc store.

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