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MIS Systems Thread, Capita get into bed with Uniservity in Technical; There is nothing put into our XML outputs to stop OpenOffice from working and as far as I am aware ...
  1. #16

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    There is nothing put into our XML outputs to stop OpenOffice from working and as far as I am aware the majority of SIMS outputs can be opened by OpenOffice. The exception is graphs in Assessment Manager where we haven't done the extra research to see how to achieve it. We have also made sure that the MS free viewer can be used to stop teachers having to purchase MS Word.

    There is a comprehensive third party interface for SIMS and there are a large number of companies using it including Pars. We don't charge for using it to extract data but we do if you start to write data back into SIMS. David Grashoff is the person to contact at Capita.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    oerrrrrrr....which one is wearing the strapon.....!
    Probably Capita if their support contract shafting is anything to go by

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    There is nothing put into our XML outputs to stop OpenOffice from working and as far as I am aware the majority of SIMS outputs can be opened by OpenOffice. The exception is graphs in Assessment Manager where we haven't done the extra research to see how to achieve it. We have also made sure that the MS free viewer can be used to stop teachers having to purchase MS Word.

    There is a comprehensive third party interface for SIMS and there are a large number of companies using it including Pars. We don't charge for using it to extract data but we do if you start to write data back into SIMS. David Grashoff is the person to contact at Capita.
    Hi Phil,

    i believe your statement
    here is nothing put into our XML outputs to stop OpenOffice from working
    is incorrect, as all the xml files generated with SIMS.net have this

    <?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?>

    hard coded into every document. The line forces Internet explorer to open the xml in word.

    I have tried to change the association of word.document in the registry

    From
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\11.0\ Common\Filter\text/xml
    Word.Document = application/msword

    to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\11.0\ Common\Filter\text/xml
    Word.Document = application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text

    this would allow xml file to be opened in open office but this doesn't work as internet explorer displays a blank page, it doesn't work with any other Microsoft product even write or notepad.

    I have even changed xml files to be opened in firefox but as

    <?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?>

    is non-standard html firefox ignores it.

    The only work around is to open the file in word and save as a doc/odt file then this can be open office. But there is still a reliance on Microsoft word.

    We don't charge for using it to extract data but we do if you start to write data back into SIMS.
    How is it possible to charge as the documentation is free to enable writing back as per your website?

    Also this documentation is incomplete we have requested from David, the reason given the documentation is incomplete captia are awaiting the becta report in june to finish the documentation. We have requested the original documentation as it was written in sept 2007 but this also apparently doesn't exist.

    Can you shed some light on this appearing (for companies that flash the cash) and disappearing (if a school asks for it)?

    We have also given the lea and capita assurances we will cover costs in regards to data corruption caused by the custom interface but still nothing.

  4. Thanks to penfold_99 from:

    CyberNerd (30th April 2008)

  5. #19

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    I'll have to get some help to answer your points around XML. I have realised that it is probably the .doc outputs that I have seen opened through OpenOffice.

    I'm afraid that supporting third parties does require an expensive infra structure that we do charge for.

  6. #20

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    So are open standards now classed as third parties?

  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    So are open standards now classed as third parties?
    I think phil was talking about the TPID documentation.

  8. #22

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    Ahh okay, my bad then

  9. #23

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    Also this documentation is incomplete we have requested from David, the reason given the documentation is incomplete captia are awaiting the becta report in june to finish the documentation. We have requested the original documentation as it was written in sept 2007 but this also apparently doesn't exist.

    Penfold I have spoken to David about this and think there must be a misunderstanding here. We aren't waiting for Becta but what is true is that with the push to SIF we are questioning how much further we take IMS. Please contact David again as he can't trace any record of the dialogue.

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    We don't charge for using it to extract data but we do if you start to write data back into SIMS.
    Being that SIMS sits on a standard MS SQL database, how can you justify this charge to access and manipulate our own data?

    P.S. Having sat through a VLE demo day with four vendors, I can safely say that Uniservity had the worst product available. The product is so bad, I think Capita risk further besmirching their name by advertising the partnership.
    Last edited by Ravening_Wolf; 7th May 2008 at 04:41 PM.

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    I am quite disappointed with Capita that they haven't chosen to go to bed with the right product. Being an avid Sims.net supporter, I believe this is a bad decision and totally agree with Ravening_Wolf. Sims.net has turned the corner, and this is only going to set them back!

  12. #26

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    We have an arrangement with UniServity but we have a responsibility to ensure that others are not disadvantaged. I hope that gives you the reassurance that you need.

    I haven't got to the bottom of the XML issue yet but will update you when I have the information,

  13. #27

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    An answer to the question posed about OpenOffice.

    We have tried to minimise the need for MS Office to be installed on all workstations. However for designing certain things we can do a much better job by calling Word/Excel. For example drop down field lists can be made to appear in Word and quite sophisticated layouts can be created for school reports in Word. What is more our users know how to use Word and that makes it very accessible. Once created, these features can be called up by OpenOffice.

    I'm sure that we could put the same features into OpenOffice but at the moment we have higher priorities.

    The files outputted from SIMS can come from a number of different sources:

    The Reporting Engine

    Files produced in .xml, .rtf and .csv format should be able to be read straight away by Open Office when run.
    Files produced into .doc and .xls need to be run first in Microsoft Office and then saved into .doc or .xls so that they can be read by Open Office.

    Mail Merged files

    The merging for these files should be done using a Microsoft Office System. Once complete, the files can be saved into a .doc format for reading by Open Office.

    Assessment Manager / Profiles

    Templates need to be created on a machine with Microsoft Office. A report using a template should be generated using Microsoft Office or Word Viewer.
    Once the report is created, it can be exported into an xml document. This is the document which contains the header information ‘<?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?>’ referred to in the forum. This is not specifically requested by SIMS.net and in fact is put in by Microsoft Office when the export is done. The same results can be duplicated if you enter Microsoft Word, type some text and the select to ‘Save As’ a file with xml output format.
    These xml files should be able to be opened by Open Office providing the correct Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed on the workstation.

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    An answer to the question posed about OpenOffice.

    We have tried to minimise the need for MS Office to be installed on all workstations. However for designing certain things we can do a much better job by calling Word/Excel. For example drop down field lists can be made to appear in Word and quite sophisticated layouts can be created for school reports in Word. What is more our users know how to use Word and that makes it very accessible. Once created, these features can be called up by OpenOffice.

    I'm sure that we could put the same features into OpenOffice but at the moment we have higher priorities.

    The files outputted from SIMS can come from a number of different sources:

    The Reporting Engine

    Files produced in .xml, .rtf and .csv format should be able to be read straight away by Open Office when run.
    Files produced into .doc and .xls need to be run first in Microsoft Office and then saved into .doc or .xls so that they can be read by Open Office.

    Mail Merged files

    The merging for these files should be done using a Microsoft Office System. Once complete, the files can be saved into a .doc format for reading by Open Office.

    Assessment Manager / Profiles

    Templates need to be created on a machine with Microsoft Office. A report using a template should be generated using Microsoft Office or Word Viewer.
    Once the report is created, it can be exported into an xml document. This is the document which contains the header information ‘<?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?>’ referred to in the forum. This is not specifically requested by SIMS.net and in fact is put in by Microsoft Office when the export is done. The same results can be duplicated if you enter Microsoft Word, type some text and the select to ‘Save As’ a file with xml output format.
    These xml files should be able to be opened by Open Office providing the correct Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed on the workstation.
    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for you reply to my questions about open office.

    I can see the requirements of MS Office are needed at certain times ie creating and running reports.

    The main point of was trying to get across is in regards to viewing files generated in SIMS.net for example Individual Reports.

    Once Individual Reports have been generated and then uploaded to the document server, the requirement for office is gone, the only hindrance is the actual .xml file extension.

    Could the file extension be changed to .doc or .xls without changing the file format?

    This simple change would add more support for open office without Capita having to spend long trying to implementing it

  15. #29

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    I would like to know which VLES Kiren and Ravening wolf would have partnered with if they were Capita ?

    Quote "I can safely say that Uniservity had the worst product available. The product is so bad, I think Capita risk further besmirching their name by advertising the partnership" - could you add some more meaningful feedback for us ? This statement has no technical or educational content as it stands.

  16. #30
    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyoung View Post
    I would like to know which VLES Kiren and Ravening wolf would have partnered with if they were Capita ?

    Quote "I can safely say that Uniservity had the worst product available. The product is so bad, I think Capita risk further besmirching their name by advertising the partnership" - could you add some more meaningful feedback for us ? This statement has no technical or educational content as it stands.
    have a look at my post Uniservity this will give you some idea the problems.



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