Malachy - you describe it exactly how I guessed it would be. When looking at it from a business point of view, the SIMS.net part of Capita is now relatively small, compared with things like their operation of TVL or their other big contracts. They operate in a market, thinking "We've got a monopoly, people won't change and we don't really have many competitors, so we won't change anything" but what they don't seem to be doing is looking at other companies that have been in similar situations in the past and now are struggling as people finally decided to do something about it and created better competing products. Look at BT - they used to be the only company in town, but became stagnant, inefficient - so others started nipping at their heels, and now they have competition all over the place. Or Lycos or Yahoo - both used to be near the top of the list of most popular sites on the net, and now Lycos Europe is going into liquidation and Yahoo is struggling like never before.
Without serious changes, I can forsee SIMS.net losing, and losing badly.
Most of the respondents appear to be loyal SIMS devotees, which is fair enough.
There is one thing I must clear up, though:- I was not suggesting for a moment that it's the developers who are not up to scratch. They do a grand job in difficult circumstances and some are among the brightest I've worked with in 20 yrs of IT industry experience.
Phil - if you're reading this, rest assured that I bear you and SIMS no malice - I was just after some sport
I am a SIMS user - my history of posting would never suggest blind loyalty or devotion.
Recently I have suffered frustration when dealing with Capita that while some of the development is good some of the goofs in the software reflect a lack of understanding what teachers do in the classroom.
Not sure this forum is the correct place for the sport you seek - adios.
SIMS is ,as any large ongoing project, direly in need of a complete rebuild. I would love to see Capita put some proper resources behind this, or for someone else to produce a really good schools MIS.
For the moment I have gone down the web 2.0 route, and have created my own assessment/performance manager/report writer/student portal and an IEP style system that is used for every student in the college.
The slight problems arise when trying to communicate with SIMS, but I have scripts that pull data over from SIMS in a way functionally similar to the way NovaT4 (clearly the best part of SIMS) does.
Sadly the SLT aren't brilliantly supportive, but the teaching staff are generally very positive. The SLT are worried what will happen when I bugger off to greener pastures, but quite frankly there are far more web programmers out there than SIMS specialists.
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Originally Posted by m2d2
Well I installed it yesterday. SIMS itself appears to be OK but we have had some issues with PARS and bulk entry screens.
TASC software has released a couple of updates 311 yesterday and 312 today. 311 is now the minimum version for use with SIMS Nov 2008
Why did they have to tie PARS.net so closely to SIMS Updating SIMS wasn't quite so traumatic with PARSql
Due to requests from schools we have to ensure read/write compatability with SIMS on as many features we have available although as you know all the features including detention registers & extra curriculum classes cannot write back as there is no-where in SIMS we can put these. As with TASC parental Access INSIGHT, data available to parents is directly from SIMS aswell as option to be PARS data seen from PARS so we have to make sure of tight compatability
If you are having any particular issues, please flag them with the support desk - we can only improve with feedback and the more we get the merrier!