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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Business Objects in Technical; Hi Guys, I have been trying to get hold of the documentation from SIMS for the Business Objects (or anything ...
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    SIMS Business Objects

    Hi Guys,

    I have been trying to get hold of the documentation from SIMS for the Business Objects (or anything that will let me read/write to the SIMS data) but seem to be meeting a lot of resistance from Capita (we are a school).

    Can anyone clarify whether the Documentation mentioned here:
    http://www.capita-sims.co.uk/files/s...ance_notes.pdf

    is refering to the Business Objects documentation which is freely available or is it referring to something else?

    David Grashoff assures us that the documentation we have to sign the NDA for is not usable by programmers.

    Kind Regards,

    Phil.

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    Hi



    Our partner company is a SIMS developer, and the Business Objects are usable by developers. I'm not sure what documents are available to schools, but the SIMS documentation, particular for write back, is pretty poor anyway. What exactly are you trying to do?


    Regards


    Bryan

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    It's not in Capita's interest to give you information on how to access data your school owns.

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    Hi Guys,

    After re-reading this I realise it may be painting Capita in a way that was unintended. To clarify: Capita have been very supportive since our first contact with them, they provided us with a 40 minute phone consultation about our proposed project. The confusion about the 'resistance' came about as Capita were just trying to best advise us as to the best course of action that we as a school should take in order to save the most time.

    To answer my own question:
    The TPID is a form of documentation that provides all the header information of required in order to interface with SIMS and use the Business Objects. This is available FREE OF CHARGE as long as an NDA is signed.

    There is however further documentation available which explains how to USE the Business Objects and giving example code - something which would save a lot of time from a programmers perspective. To get access to this documentation SIMs require that you become a 'Partner' - which costs around £2,500 initially.

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    Hi Phi

    As I mentioned earlier, the documentation is pretty sparse. Unless you intend to do quite a lot with it, and have quite a bit of coding experience, I'd seriously question whether you'd want to down this route.
    I obviously don't know what you are trying to do, but I assume you've investigated existing solutions?

    Regards

    Bryan

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    First up, far as the SIMS API is concerned, it isn't exactly easy. It was designed for a sole purpose of producing the SIMS .net client. So it's not very developer friendly as it could be, in most cases you'll need to open SIMS .net to see how it operates and then you might understand the logic. You do get instances, like Dinner Money, where it's been "bolted on" so the logic isn't the same style as other areas which can add complexity to the matter. It does means you need to find a developer who knows both SIMS .net and C# or train up a developer in using SIMS .net. Unfortunately this does means they will be commanding a higher salary. Far as documentation goes, well clearly it's good enough because well, I've used it and made something useful from it: SIMS Bulk Import - Home. And I'm not the only one: Our partners | capita-sims.co.uk


    As for extracting the blood from the stone as it were, I've said my peace before about schools either funding it on the dream of it becoming the next SIMS .net and making millions or just not being realistic. From a support point of view @PhilNeal has said they're not geared for providing developer support - third parties pay through the nose for proper support. Support Units aren't geared for development support either. So I support them being putting barriers up to prevent costly mistakes happening.

    I think if I was going to go down the custom development route (from a schools perspective), I wouldn't start with a off-the-shelf MIS like SIMS. Something like Arbor has a much stronger API and would be much better - Index | Arbor Education. I accept there are still things that could be improve, I've discussed before about away to bulk import a entire person (staff) into SIMS, but I can't really offer the full service wrap to make it worth while - like a end-to-end online admissions service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    It's not in Capita's interest to give you information on how to access data your school owns.
    Umm... So is that why they developed the reporting engine eh? It's not in Capita interest to give school complex underlying developer details when they already have a partner offering every possible solution you'd ever want.

  7. Thanks to matt40k from:

    pleipper (13th June 2014)

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    Hi Bryan,

    Yea we want to create a Detention management system. There are some solutions available to this but nothing as extensive and convenient / powerful as what I have in mind. In regards to coding experience, well, my degree is in coding and i was a professional coder for 4 years before i started teaching.. so yea.. not too much of an issue there.

    When you say the documentation is spare.. are you refering to just the TPID or the whole documentation provided to Capita partners.

    Kind Regards,

    Phil.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleipper View Post
    When you say the documentation is spare.. are you refering to just the TPID or the whole documentation provided to Capita partners.
    snippets of code

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    Hi Phil

    The main document for write back extends to 13 pages. Not much when you consider how much information is in SIMS. The document detailing the 3rd Party Interface, used for reading info, extends to 77 pages, but this is largely xml structures. There are pretty much no code samples. In our experience is was pretty much trial and error, or specific questions to partner support (who have been very helpful). If you know exactly what area of SIMS you want to manipulate then you could well be OK, but don't expect a comprehensive guide that you can cut and paste from

    Regards

    Bryan

  11. Thanks to BITS_BryanS from:

    pleipper (13th June 2014)

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    only 77 pages?

    Why is it that its going to have to be sent via a CD then? oO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pleipper View Post
    Why is it that its going to have to be sent via a CD then? oO.
    Educated guess, posting it to the Head at your school, verifies your 1/ a school and 2/ the boss is aware. Other guess would be security, email isn't secure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pleipper View Post
    only 77 pages?

    Why is it that its going to have to be sent via a CD then? oO.
    Probably the SIMS setup files and training databases. Remember, most developers are not schools, and so will not have SIMS

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    Quote Originally Posted by BITS_BryanS View Post
    training databases
    I doubt that. Capita wouldn't be in business next year if they gave the training databases to schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I doubt that. Capita wouldn't be in business next year if they gave the training databases to schools.
    Not sure I follow your logic. Why would a school having a training database affect Capita? And training databases are available as part of the partner programme.

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    Schools wouldn't need it the training databases, Green Abbey \ Waters Edge would be configured differently to their own database. It's too complex \ time consuming for a partner to create a new database so it makes sense to use the training databases.

    Capita charge Support Teams vast sums of money for the training databases and materials, if Capita started issuing it to schools FOC, they would all be demanding a refund and throwing legal action at them.

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