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MIS Systems Thread, CMIS Data Integration in Technical; Originally Posted by AdrianB In terms of a data structure/map, we don't make that public for a number of obvious ...
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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianB View Post
    In terms of a data structure/map, we don't make that public for a number of obvious reasons (commercial/IP, etc). However, if anyone would like to find out more or talk to me about using the API or integration in general just drop me a PM.

    Thanks
    Adrian
    That's not a very convincing argument - setting up security and producing reports within CMIS are made much more complicated by not having proper documentation on what data is held where and why. The structure isn't a secret - we can just have a look at it - and security through obfuscation is no security at all - just an irritation to your paying customers...imho...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    That's not a very convincing argument - setting up security and producing reports within CMIS are made much more complicated by not having proper documentation on what data is held where and why. The structure isn't a secret - we can just have a look at it - and security through obfuscation is no security at all - just an irritation to your paying customers...imho...
    Indeed you can and people do - and your quite right it isn't made any more secure by simply not having the matching documentation - but that's not the reason why it isn't made public. The bottom line is we do not support direct database access for all the reasons discussed above and making such documentation available would mean enforcing that policy very difficult.

    However, this is why we have looked to more intelligent and robust methods such as APIs and SIF so people do not have to figure out database structures or worry about data integrity when it comes to integration.

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    which is also not public!

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    We're currently trying to plan the migration of our assessment (from Excel - individual departments) and reporting (from Access) to Facility, partly to facilitate Online Reporting. We want to do away with annual reports completely and record milestone assessments with comments which build gradually over time, in line with guidance from on high.

    We're currently a bit frustrated that what we're being asked to do by the government is not (it seems) possible with our MIS, which is designed to meet the requirements of regular reporting of grades/levels and annual reporting of comments.

    Our data manager has been trying to create various templates in Eportal to make this work, but the end result has two problems: all subjects must record an assessment at the same time, which is inappropriate given different amounts of curriculum time; secondly, the interface you end up with once comments are added is hard to navigate for staff and parents. Our teachers are used to a custom Access database which they love thanks to the straightforward interface.

    We are rapidly coming to the conclusion that we might have to write something ourselves to do this the way we'd like it, but we'd need to a) query the Facility database for student, teacher and teaching group and b) find a way of displaying the results within Eportal.

    Anyone got any advice? If we could customise the GUI a bit and stick with Eportal I'd be happy (but I don't think this is possible); if not can anyone point me in the direction of a suitable contact to advise on data extraction? Final question: does Eportal support user-created bitlets (a bit like web parts?)?

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    Has any body had any luck getting interim grades directly out via SQL? Have no need to write anything back in so hopefully fairly straight forward.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcdobbs View Post
    Has any body had any luck getting interim grades directly out via SQL? Have no need to write anything back in so hopefully fairly straight forward.
    Discussed a while back in This thread.

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    Thank you!

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    Hi All,

    From my experience with CMIS, reading from the database might be fine but writing back is quite risky inspite of I having access to a data dictionary. The reason being that the data dictionary is not detailed enough to tell you all the tables that get affected for particular actions and there can be more than one tables involved in showing up an entity or a relationship in the frontend.

    Also, the second reason is that Serco anyways warn that upgrades to the software can change tables and their usgaes so it can get tricky from that point of view as well, assuming you get everything right in the first place.

    And lastly, there is this issue with the license as everyone has pointed out.

    Cheers
    Lokesh

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