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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS .net and Open Office in Technical; Has anyone managed to get sims.net reports to work when using OPENOffice.org 2.4 Have ticked all boxes etc and am ...
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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    SIMS .net and Open Office

    Has anyone managed to get sims.net reports to work when using OPENOffice.org 2.4

    Have ticked all boxes etc and am on May release but don't seem to be able to get this to work

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    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    I have not tried it but seeing as all the reports and templates are based around MS Office I think you may struggle to get it to work.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    As far as I am aware SIMS.net requires MS Office 2003 for everything to work properly.

    Andrew

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    There is a detailed technical discussion of the problem with SIMS/OpenOffice here:
    Capita get into bed with Uniservity

    The upshot seems to be that SIMS basically does work with Ooo, but capita force documents to be opened in MSOffice

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    Capita do not force the use of MS Office. Most outputs can go to OpenOffice.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Does profiles work with openoffice then? As it doesn't work with 2007 yet!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Capita do not force the use of MS Office. Most outputs can go to OpenOffice.
    Hi Phil,

    Capita do force the use MS office, as you stated above MOST outputs can go to OpenOffice not ALL. Anything less than ALL denotes use of MS Office or MS Office Viewer is required!

    I have detailed in this post Capita get into bed with Uniservity changes that are needed to allow ALL outputs to OpenOffice.

    But apparently your "still investigate" the above post, more like stuffed in the bottom draw under the Microsoft-Capita Contract forcing Capita to use Microsoft technologies while paying lip service to Open Source so the OFT won't investigate a blatant case of State funding of Microsoft by the back door.

  8. 3 Thanks to penfold_99:

    CyberNerd (15th July 2008), mark (22nd July 2008), webman (16th July 2008)

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    I have been looking at Open Office today. I installed onto my test system and install office 2003. All reports work fine. I then uninstalled office 2003 and installed Open Office 2.4. When I run reports I get a .com error . I have checked that the file extensions are set and I can open .rtf documents and .doc documents from a folder using open office.

    I suppose I could look further but I am suprised that even such an easy test has failed at the first hurdle.

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    Mcshammer_dj,

    the main issue as per the link on my other post is the use of .xml files.

    If capita changed .xml to another format open office would work a lot better.

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Capita do not force the use of MS Office. Most outputs can go to OpenOffice.
    phil can you clarify this issue a bit please.

    are you saying that there is nothing that should stop a report such as the birthday list for example from being able to be run in SIMS .net with the output being openoffice.org 2.4 and the writer package within?

    When I raised this issue with the SIMS helpdesk I was simply told that Reports do not work with Open Office and that we would need to have Office 2003 or above.

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    James, I saw your posting on SupportNet about you'd been told and am following it up.

    SIMS including Profiles is tested and works with Office 2007. (The maco controls are different in Ofice 2007)

    The outputs that work with OpenOffice are:

    1. report generator
    2. assessment manager
    3. profiles - excluding graphs


    We don't embed drop downs in OpenOffice so creating templates for profiles or AM is best done with Word.

    Our standard reports were designed in Word which puts a header into the document which means that when you try to open it from IE it ignores the default program setting. (I'm afraid I don't understand this point!)

    What is true is that as a company we aren't set up for handling OpenOffice as at the moment the demand is low.

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    Phil
    Thanks for the response however could I get a further bit of clarification?

    When you say:
    The outputs that work with OpenOffice are:

    report generator
    assessment manager
    profiles - excluding graphs


    Are you saying that when we run a report Ie Birthday list we should expect that the report will run and then automatically start open office to display the output? or are you saying that data saved from a report can be opened using Open Office?

    We accept that OPen source by it's very nature is difficult to offer any sort of support and always appreciate that any attempt to get this to work would normally be best efforts only.

    We have our test rig configured now with open office as this could be a cost effective way to allow access to SIMS using terminal server in our schools where teachers would mainly be using attendance and assesment manager for data entry and reporting etc occasionally.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    James, I saw your posting on SupportNet about you'd been told and am following it up.

    SIMS including Profiles is tested and works with Office 2007. (The maco controls are different in Ofice 2007)

    The outputs that work with OpenOffice are:

    1. report generator
    2. assessment manager
    3. profiles - excluding graphs


    We don't embed drop downs in OpenOffice so creating templates for profiles or AM is best done with Word.

    Our standard reports were designed in Word which puts a header into the document which means that when you try to open it from IE it ignores the default program setting. (I'm afraid I don't understand this point!)

    What is true is that as a company we aren't set up for handling OpenOffice as at the moment the demand is low.

    Having to turn ALL macro security off doesn't count as working for 2007. This is an unacceptable workaround.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Our standard reports were designed in Word which puts a header into the document which means that when you try to open it from IE it ignores the default program setting. (I'm afraid I don't understand this point!)
    Phil,

    If you have read my post, you should understand why xml file don't open in anything else

    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    Hi Phil,

    i believe your statement 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/xml 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.
    Have you looked into this? Given your answer

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    What is true is that as a company we aren't set up for handling OpenOffice as at the moment the demand is low.
    What would you constitute as High/Medium demand? No. of schools requesting it? etc

  16. #15


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    We accept that OPen source by it's very nature is difficult to offer any sort of support and always appreciate that any attempt to get this to work would normally be best efforts only.
    Open Source maybe, but the issue at stake is that SIMS won't output into an open Standard. The very standards that Becta say schools should be using. Penfold has given good examples of how Capita FORCE the use of MSOffice - some (complaints to the OFT) may say that this is evidence of how MS and Capita collude to keep the price of office suites artificially high. The fact that another workaround needs to be employed for 2k7 is just another reason why open standards should be adopted.

  17. 2 Thanks to CyberNerd:

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