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MIS Systems Thread, Capita partners and the API in Technical; note: Posts moved here from Schoolcomms thread, below two posts are for context only. Surprising as it might seem, especially ...
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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Capita partners and the API

    note: Posts moved here from Schoolcomms thread, below two posts are for context only.

    Surprising as it might seem, especially after Capita released InTouch, @Schoolcomms is SIMS only. Means they have less problems and are more focused. Does however mean they are basically under Capita control.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 3rd February 2014 at 05:57 AM. Reason: mod note - vp

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Does however mean they are basically under Capita control.
    I wound't say that really. Schoolcomms weathered the storm of InTouch being released, and well. It means they sell to 85% of the market. I don't see how that makes them under Capita control?

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Don't be silly, if Capita decides to up the API costs, they're going to have to up their costs which means they control the pricing. They can't do anything that isn't already present, so everything they've done, anybody could throw money at Capita and do. Capita are the only one that can do anything new with SIMS, so they control the product. Personally, I wouldn't mind running a company that is dependant on another so heavily, I just wouldn't be doing it after they released a rival product - I'd feel like a Capita crash test dummy after they did that. Hopefully they've got a stake in SIMS and my god must the partners team got a bonus for keeping them and the others on-board.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    That doesn't mean they are controlled by Capita, as if Capita were to do that they would damage relationships with everyone. The product stands up for itself, that is proven by the fact they are still going despite InTouch. They are releasing now and innovative products each year. Yes they only target Capita schools currently, because that is where they were born.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    I would say releasing InTouch damaged alot more then just Schoolscomm and I wouldn't put it pass Capita at increasing their API prices. I think personally their having to do this to keep their customer base.

    Yes they only target Capita schools currently, because that is where they were born.
    I grow up in Wisbech, doesn't mean I stuck around. It'll be a pretty career limiting move if I had! I'm not saying they should drop SIMS support, that would be silly. I'd just start support other MIS systems after they released InTouch!

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Capita need to be careful because they are now about the only MIS that charges for use of their API. Or very soon will be i should say...

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Any who this is taking the conversation off topic... maybe move this to another thread (MODS)

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    So we don't charge for read access and our write charges have been fixed for years. Our TP support team doesn't recover all of its costs.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    You don't charge for read access however to be able to use Business Objects you have to be a Capita partner, relieving clients of several £k so there really is a charge.

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    No we publish the APIs and anyone can use them foc.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    What would be really good is if you provided a sandbox for customers to test against, rather than their own systems.

    I'm then interested too as to why you are able to provide the read API free but associate a cost with write back?

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    We have a large high quality team dedicated to supporting TP access as a chargeable service; it includes software, sandboxing, data etc. That is paid for through various charging mechanisms - it just about breaks even but not quite. Read access is only supported through documentation and doesn't normally drain our resources.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Sorry, taking this further off topic

    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    You don't charge for read access however to be able to use Business Objects you have to be a Capita partner, relieving clients of several £k so there really is a charge.
    Umm... Can I just direct your attention to: SIMS Bulk Import - Home. So no, you don't need to be a Capita partner. If you have SIMS, you have everything you need (other then a programmer). Far as I am aware I'm the first person to use the business objects that isn't a professional development company and not requiring any consultancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    What would be really good is if you provided a sandbox for customers to test against, rather than their own systems.
    They produce a training database you can use (chargeable), or failing that you can create your own, or use a copy of a schools*. Capita actually had a public API for Capita ONE which is SIMS bigger (LA) brother - not sure if it's still public public. I've yet to actually get access to a sandbox from any other MIS supplier without cost - feel free to PM if any MIS supplier is reading this and would like to give me access

    I accept why they charge for write back - after all writes are more dangerous then reads. I'm currently in a nice grey area where if it goes wrong, the fix will be to manually remove what is imported. It's not exactly as complex as some other things you can write back - money is a difficult one as you have to worry about auditing, something that often gets overlooked. Also, if a school pays for something, they want proper support, which means you need to hire people at Capita to take your call.

    Now excuse me whilst I go scrub myself clean.

    * DPA exception of course

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I always understood you had to pay for access to the API unless you were a school.
    Also, there is limited documentation, unless you're a paying partner. So basically, you get access to the business objects but no help in how to use them, so unless you've got time and interest like @matt40k you'd be a bit impotent even with the tools. That is only my impression.

    Plus i thought the bulk importer was a special allowance and not a general rule, otherwise you'd have people feeding all manner of junk into the system. It's scary what damage someone could do with the business objects and a neat looking website and some clever marketing. - don't get any ideas @GREED

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    If it boils down to if you're profiting, you pay. I don't see a problem, which is how I see it. Far as documentation - it's pretty limited full stop. It's not exactly something you can document - the code is the documentation.

    PS: Cheers vikpaw for splitting this out

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