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MIS Systems Thread, Connecting to SIMS.NET in Technical; Does anyone know if it is possible to connect to the SIMS.NET database from your own software (using a data ...
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    u8dmtm's Avatar
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    Connecting to SIMS.NET

    Does anyone know if it is possible to connect to the SIMS.NET database from your own software (using a data connection, say in VB) in order to perform queries to get data and update other systems with it?

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    Technically its possible. It uses a standard Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database. However I've taken a quick look at the database structure and its complex to say the least.

    Bare in mind that if you do this, it will be completely unsupported. If you somehow manage to b0rk your SIMS database you'd be on your own.

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    u8dmtm's Avatar
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    I've heard of SIMS.NET Business Objects which perhaps can be used in .NET apps with some degree of safety. Information is hard to come by though.

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    It is perfectly possible to do and if you pay Capita a fee they will give you licence to do it.

    Anything else is unsupported and likely to b0rk things ... in a major way. The best thing I have heard of a school doing (before moving onto CMIS) was performing a serious of reports that give them pretty much all the data in csv files that were then put into a seperate SQL database. This was updated at least weekly but still didn't have all the info and was a nasty job to maintain.

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    u8dmtm's Avatar
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    Thats the problem, manual export/import is always going to be messy. Which is why I wondered about direct connection. Perhaps scheduled reports (maybe XML?) could be done and a program written to import them into another data system?

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    Add a new user to the database with read only rightsand use that user to access the data, that way you cant break anything.

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    I am trying to get talks going with our LEA to either get a cut down version of the SIMS API for schools or have some kind of access to the APIs them selves. It does annoy me that we can't get access to our data yet we have a hundred and one things we could do with it that don't involve SIMS.net. Especially as Capita are trying to go all huggy feely and use free consultants to advise best use of data and MIS.

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    shiny_guru
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS.NET

    Capita claim that the read only business objects are available free of charge - I have not tried to get hold of them. Or for read only access you can take a copy of your 2 database files overnight and mount them against a different MSDE instance (or the same one if you are careful about names) and play with the data from there. Good old Access will happily connect to an MSDE data source and you can browse the tables - over 500 last time I looked iirc - depends how 'real time' you need to be

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