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MIS Systems Thread, Cost of giving parent access to SIMS in Technical; Can anyone help with ideas on cheaper ways of giving parents access to SiMS data (like attendance, assessment and timetable) ...
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    Cost of giving parent access to SIMS

    Can anyone help with ideas on cheaper ways of giving parents access to SiMS data (like attendance, assessment and timetable) without buying the Capita SIMS web parts?

    I want to leave the Learning Gateway offered by our LA and have Moodle happily covering the VLE side but just got a quote for 15k from Talmos to set us up 2 servers with the web parts on. I believe the web parts themselves cost 5800. THe LA are telling us that we will get SIMS web parts included in their offering (which costs about 3K per year).

    Are there any open source solutions?

    Carol
    Last edited by CarolBooth; 1st October 2008 at 06:32 AM. Reason: left off name

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    The installation costs for SLG sounds about right: 6-9k.
    The annual maintenance sounds a bit out though, we have SLG2 with profiles and I'm fairly sure it's <1k.

    An alternative Capita service is Parents Gateway, which a hosted solution that doesn't require anywhere near such a significant outlay.

    I can understand the reason for passing up the LA offering for students/staff, but is it not feasible to use it for parents, or does that still require significant licence costs?

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    CarolBooth (1st October 2008)

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    Hi and thanks for that. Maybe the Parents Gateway would be the way to go. I just had a look at the site but couldn't get it to give me any information or get a rep to call me. Do you have an idea of cost (we have 900 pupils).

    I think the 5800 is a one-off payment for the web parts. I haven't had the quote breakdown yet so don't know what the licensing is.

    Carol

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    Sorry we are about to end Parents Gateway as most users have gone to the SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) - we are literally now writing to the remaining 6 customers.

    I would recommend looking at whether your LA can host SLG for you as that means you can share the cost of the hardware and software. We can offer a hosted solution if they can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolBooth View Post
    Can anyone help with ideas on cheaper ways of giving parents access to SiMS data (like attendance, assessment and timetable) without buying the Capita SIMS web parts?
    Write reports in SIMS that produce the data you want, then use the CommandReporter tool to export that data from SIMS and re-present it how you want. I'm sorting out our system getting usernames / group membership from SIMS to AD/LDAP today.

    --
    David Hicks

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    CarolBooth (7th October 2008)

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    I've got a Capita's engineer here now doing SIMS Learning Gateway install, and it has cost 8000 for Software , install, and training.

    Although the housekeeping looks a little

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Sorry we are about to end Parents Gateway as most users have gone to the SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) - we are literally now writing to the remaining 6 customers.

    I would recommend looking at whether your LA can host SLG for you as that means you can share the cost of the hardware and software. We can offer a hosted solution if they can't.
    Hmmm, I wonder if we are one of those six Phil.

    Strange that every time we asked "are you going to kill off parents gateway" we were assured not......

    No clues on the roadmap either.

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    Sorry Steve - it will be supported through to the end of the current renewal.

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    Thanks for that David. I haven't used CommandReporter - will it allow me to schedule reports to run every day at midnight (for example)?

    cheers,
    Carol

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    [QUOTE=Quackers;236068]I've got a Capita's engineer here now doing SIMS Learning Gateway install, and it has cost 8000 for Software , install, and training.]

    Does the SIMS learning Gateway need another server to run on or does it sit on the SIMS server?

    thanks! Carol

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Don't forget there may also be a time and personnell cost, especially if your data needs to be changed.

    For instance - our behaviour logs all mentioned, if kids had had a fight, both kids involved. But if you allow this data to parents, you have to remove all references to students which are not their own.

    We had our behaviour support team going back through and rewording and rewriting all our beahiour logs to get inline with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolBooth View Post
    Thanks for that David. I haven't used CommandReporter - will it allow me to schedule reports to run every day at midnight (for example)?
    CommandReporter is just a command-line tool that spews out the results of a report as a bunch of XML data. You'll have to run it from a script or application of some kind to do anything with that data. I've written a small Python-based web server to turn CommandReporter in to a "web service" - the XML just gets served up by a web server, so you can have other scripts and whatnot access it from other machines. This server currently lacks security and any way to stop it running as a service.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    CommandReporter is just a command-line tool that spews out the results of a report as a bunch of XML data. You'll have to run it from a script or application of some kind to do anything with that data. I've written a small Python-based web server to turn CommandReporter in to a "web service" - the XML just gets served up by a web server, so you can have other scripts and whatnot access it from other machines. This server currently lacks security and any way to stop it running as a service.

    --
    David Hicks
    That sounds workable. I have used php a bit but I'm not sure how I tell php to send commands to the SIMS server. I don't suppose anyone could point me in the direction of documentation or a nice techy word to search for?

    THanks!
    Carol

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    [QUOTE=CarolBooth;238104]
    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    I've got a Capita's engineer here now doing SIMS Learning Gateway install, and it has cost 8000 for Software , install, and training.]

    Does the SIMS learning Gateway need another server to run on or does it sit on the SIMS server?

    thanks! Carol
    It needs to run on a sharepoint server, so if you do not have one then yes you will need another one.

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    What should I expect to pay for a SharePoint server and do I really need 2? TALMOS want 10K for this.

    Carol

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