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MIS Systems Thread, Capita VLE for LIVE Read-Write into SIMS in Technical; Hi, We are in the process of ditching LP-Plus and buying into Capita's VLE + Webparts for read and write ...
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    Exclamation Capita VLE for LIVE Read-Write into SIMS

    Hi,

    We are in the process of ditching LP-Plus and buying into Capita's VLE + Webparts for read and write access into SIMS. We are also looking to host this internally and allow primary schools links into it.

    Has anyone else adopted into this solution yet?

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    I have put our installation on hold until I find out exactly what needs to be licensed for external access.

    At the moment it could be all or a combination of the following.

    MOSS 2007
    MOSS 2007 for the internet
    150 Sharepoint CALs (for staff external access, they are not covered by the internet license)
    Server 2003 External connector for SIMS and sharepoint servers
    150 CALs for SIMS and sharepoint servers (again staff not covered by the EC).

    Potentially the same issues with the sims SQL server.

    If the staff are to use the exchange integration I will need 150 user CALs for that too (currently using per device).


    I currently disagree with the guidance provided by Capita as it makes no mention of external connectors etc for Windows 2003, but Microsofts FAQ for sharepoint does say that these are needed if the external users are authenticated in any way.

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    Oh so infact theres many hidden costs...

    I was under the impression that we just installed sharepoint server and opened a port so people accessed it via http and then someone snap's in capita's SIM'S webparts.

    So you need to buy CAL's for a user to authenticate from outside and you've allowed for 150 people at any one time?

    Eeek, we've estimated a 21k install (inc the price of a MOSS server). So this could potentially increase

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    The parents and students would be covered by the internet license, but staff cannot be as they are employees. My machines are currently covered for Sharepoint access as it's included in the core CAL thats part of schools agreement, but as that has been done as per device, and sharepoint does not seem to be included in an Work at home ore Home use program options then it looks like I will need seperate CALs for the external access.

    As I said, I've not worked it all out yet, but I will be contacting Microsoft licensing again.

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    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sh...px?ofcresset=1

    Yeh im just reading that. This Microsoft Schools Agreement is something that is mentioned a fair bit on here, but i've not had to worry about it as I just pick up the phone to Ramesys and they recommend what I need.

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    The FAQ has a licensing section, although it's not all that clear in places

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sh...CL100626951033

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    Quote Originally Posted by techyphil View Post
    Hi,

    We are in the process of ditching LP-Plus and buying into Capita's VLE + Webparts for read and write access into SIMS. We are also looking to host this internally and allow primary schools links into it.

    Has anyone else adopted into this solution yet?
    Unless you host the MIS for those primary schools you are going to end up with the same problems most of the hosted VLE providers have had getting the SIMS web parts to work ... and when I say hosted I mean all providers other than Capita's own VLE. Capita have issued comment that this is changing ... as is SIF /ZIS integration but I am still waiting to see the results of some pilots that are being run elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by techyphil View Post
    Hi,

    We are in the process of ditching LP-Plus and buying into Capita's VLE + Webparts for read and write access into SIMS. We are also looking to host this internally and allow primary schools links into it.

    Has anyone else adopted into this solution yet?
    Slightly OT but can I ask why you are leaving LPPlus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Unless you host the MIS for those primary schools you are going to end up with the same problems most of the hosted VLE providers have had getting the SIMS web parts to work ... and when I say hosted I mean all providers other than Capita's own VLE. Capita have issued comment that this is changing ... as is SIF /ZIS integration but I am still waiting to see the results of some pilots that are being run elsewhere.
    Isn't the whole Zone Integration Server stuff still a few years away in real terms?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eejit View Post
    Isn't the whole Zone Integration Server stuff still a few years away in real terms?
    Not really ... a lot of the work being done now on SSO is based round the idea that the Regional IdP will be populated using SIF/ZIS. Platforms are being developed (or already have the tools) to allow for agents.

    The problem is that you have to have pilots ... and those pilots take some time to organise so that all parties involved are happy and have sufficient protection that they are not going to give up too much of their IPR.

    Whilst you get individual tools that allow for an individual school to connect to an individual platform that is fine ... but within 2 years you will have SIF/ZIS in place and those schools will have to change again.

    Shibboleth is here ... but there have not been enough SPs (Service Provider / Application Providers) hooked into it. This is growing now and there are a sizable number on the register. SALTIS has also been doing some stirling work to bridge the gap with some of the companies and as an industry body has a good chance of helping push things forward.

    This is not a good answer for those needign an answer here and now, but I suppose it is just a way of saying that stuff is still going on, it is quite active and the stuff coming out of it is good.

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    Well LPPlus keep telling us things that haven't happened yet and promissed sims integration to meet the 2010 deadline. We spoke to capita and they said that its never going to happen to a degree... and even if they did, they are talking about delayed data and only read access.

    Also the costs per head are higher then that of capita. We also like the idea of staff being about to do reporting from home over a secure link as opposed to taking everything around on memory stick. Also, we can register using it as our sims client doesnt update all the workstations correctly every time (although this appears to be fixed now via several work arounds).

    Capita's demo was very impressive. They also had the technical know-how when we asked questions. No offence to the LPPlus guys, I know its a massive challange/huuge project... but the people we get demo'ing it can't really give us yes/no answers or promisses given that still havent been met.

    We weighed up the benefits to this system being hosted on-site and they are stacking up well.

    LPPlus is a good alternative I feel for some schools, especially primarys. We are a very large school that needs a fast in house VLE that we can use as quick as possible else students and staff will give up.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techyphil View Post
    Well LPPlus keep telling us things that haven't happened yet and promissed sims integration to meet the 2010 deadline. We spoke to capita and they said that its never going to happen to a degree... and even if they did, they are talking about delayed data and only read access.
    LP+ integration will happen, trust me on this. I am very surprised that Capita said this as it means they are saying something else to LAs. If Phil would like to respond to this publicly I would be very interested to hear what he thinks about someone from Capita saying that a competitor won't work. Push comes to shove ... tools can be written that will do the same as the Capita SIMS Web Parts. Some places already do it for local solutions and it just takes an investment of time and money to do it. Capita will still earn money from it from the developers' licence scheme and from connectors. Bromcom and PARS are two examples of making things work.

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    There is lot of rubbish flying through air at moment not lp+ but heard simlair story over another portal system and stuff coming from capita all sides are playing the game.

    Russ

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    There are a lot of strands to this thread.

    Firstly linking SIMS to a number of VLEs is already happening via the built in IMS links. This can update a VLE with pupil names, groups and teachers.

    The next issue is dropping our web parts into a SharePoint based VLE. This is possible but some LA contracts are tight and VLE producers are concerned about dropping our web parts into their infra structure without doing a trial first. I believe that Sandwell schools have (or will have) LP+ with SIMS web parts installed.

    Another issue is SIF. Around 14 LAs have expressed interest in us developing these links. On Wednesday SIFA is meeting to discuss the next steps on SIF in the UK. It would be premature to say anything more until this meeting.

    I hope this helps.

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    Shibboleth - that's about the single login ID and password isn't it? It sounds OK but is there a real benefit? Kids have so many different log-ins anyway; MSN, facebook, google mail etc. I can see it makes things easier but by how much?

    SIMS Web Parts integration: is this to purely update students details both ways on a foreign VLE or can it be more refined? Can you for example set up an assessment in the VLE and when doing so choose a results set and aspect to transfer the data into an appropriate mark sheet in SIMS? Surely the SIF when/if operational will not operate at this level of detail?

    We've had a very quick but successful SIMS implementation and I'd be interested in your views as we're refiing our two year plan.

    Thanks

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