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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Dec 08 in Technical; Originally Posted by NickJones Okay, so MS do occasionally pull updates, but to give an example of this happening, you've ...
  1. #46

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    Okay, so MS do occasionally pull updates, but to give an example of this happening, you've both gone back to XPSP2 which was a few years ago. Capita did it in December and November and September and.....

    As for the restart question, Localzuk, you are correct (which is why I said user impact was close to nil), however those can happen at a time of the users' choosing - or not at all, they simply turn the PC off at night and on again in the morning, and hey presto, a restart.
    Microsoft updates can force restarts when they like too. One did it to me the other day - ie. ignored my settings and forced a restart. I've had servers restart themselves without my telling them to too.

    Also, there have been other updates which have been pulled, but I just don't remember the names - XPSP2 is just the most prominent one that stands out in my head.

  2. #47

    matt40k's Avatar
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    I though the fact MS packaged Windows Search as a critical patch and forced people to install it was really bad. I mean, the privacy aspect is bad enough, but the fact that servers we're under heavy load whilst they index there hdds is just plan stupid.

    Dec ISO
    http://dl.capitasolus.co.uk/cdimage/SIMS2008DecUpd.zip

    Nov 11b .exes
    http://dl.capitasolus.co.uk/download...installers.zip
    Last edited by matt40k; 13th January 2009 at 11:59 AM.

  3. #48
    Quackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Again, the fact that SIMS updates 'break' PARS is not SIMS.net's fault - it is down to PARS not being written in such a way which can handle updates by SIMS.net.

    As has been said - the census is required by the DSCF. Phil has further elaborated that this process then needs to run an external application which is provided to them - so they don't have control over this. Using a seperate application for the census would defeat the point of having SIMS.net as it is now - ie. a single, altogether application, and would lead back to the Launcher days where interactions between parts were a faff.

    If your upgrade is taking 2 hours, then as someone else has said, it has to be down to the way you have things set up.

    Why do PARS updates require a reboot? Can't they be automated like SIMS.net updates can? So, as I said before, it seems to be your problems are down to PARS and not SIMS.
    Where did you get 2 hours from? If its from the 6am-8am, some staff come in at 7, and i need the upgrade done before they come in. The county council upgrade notes always recommend a reboot of the server is done before the upgrade, and its the first thing they ask if i have issues with the upgrade applying, so i just do it, then i can say i've followed the notes.

    The PARS upgrade went through in a fraction of the time the SIMS upgrade did. PARS is not a problem for us, its just the SIMS Upgrade has a knock on effect to it. If there is a glitch they have it resolved and sorted within 24 hours. Capita on the other hand, the 1 bug we had from August release of SIMS has still not been fixed, and they are aware of it.

    Infact as i've been typing this, i've just had the Office manager ring and say she needs this patch applying because "It has come to our attention that a problem is created by applying the November SIMS upgrade that affects the transfer of Nova-T data to SIMS .net."

    Its was all working fine pre upgrade for us. If it was not for the census we would still be on August release and things would be working.

    My point it is the census seems to be causing the majority of my upgrades to be forced to be done, so it needs to be altered.

    With us 1 SIMS Upgrade will have an effect on

    SIMS.net
    PARS
    PARS Connect
    Insight (when we get it) later this month
    SIMS Learning Gateway

    So if the amount of times i HAVE to upgrade a year can be reduced the better.

  4. #49

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    Capita on the other hand, the 1 bug we had from August release of SIMS has still not been fixed, and they are aware of it.
    I'm sure if you contact Capita they would be able to resolve this issue. I find they keep within there SLA times. I'm sure Phil would be able to help.

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    Where did you get 2 hours from? If its from the 6am-8am, some staff come in at 7, and i need the upgrade done before they come in. The county council upgrade notes always recommend a reboot of the server is done before the upgrade, and its the first thing they ask if i have issues with the upgrade applying, so i just do it, then i can say i've followed the notes.

    The PARS upgrade went through in a fraction of the time the SIMS upgrade did. PARS is not a problem for us, its just the SIMS Upgrade has a knock on effect to it. If there is a glitch they have it resolved and sorted within 24 hours. Capita on the other hand, the 1 bug we had from August release of SIMS has still not been fixed, and they are aware of it.

    Infact as i've been typing this, i've just had the Office manager ring and say she needs this patch applying because "It has come to our attention that a problem is created by applying the November SIMS upgrade that affects the transfer of Nova-T data to SIMS .net."

    Its was all working fine pre upgrade for us. If it was not for the census we would still be on August release and things would be working.

    My point it is the census seems to be causing the majority of my upgrades to be forced to be done, so it needs to be altered.

    With us 1 SIMS Upgrade will have an effect on

    SIMS.net
    PARS
    PARS Connect
    Insight (when we get it) later this month
    SIMS Learning Gateway

    So if the amount of times i HAVE to upgrade a year can be reduced the better.
    Don't see any reason to reboot the server!! that might have been true during the common platform days but certainly is not the case now.

    Equally have you not configured solus to run automatically at night?

    even with pars it should be possible to stop the pars service by script and then run solus re starting pars afterwards.

    In my experience pars should not need to be upgraded evry time that sims is upgraded either

  6. #51

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Just FYI, when you say 'I have to come in at 6am, 2 hours early to do this massive upgrade' (not your exact words but close), that gives the impression that the upgrade takes you 2 hours.

    As I have said several times - why is it not automated? All SIMS.net updates (other than FMS ones at the moment) can be automated as far as I can see. Can you not do the same with PARS and your other applications? PARS lack of auto-update process is not SIMS.net and Capita's fault.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcshammer_dj View Post
    Don't see any reason to reboot the server!! that might have been true during the common platform days but certainly is not the case now.

    Equally have you not configured solus to run automatically at night?


    In my experience pars should not need to be upgraded evry time that sims is upgraded either
    I think the County recommend it to make sure all locks on the database go, but i could just do that from the SQL managment console.

    Yes Solus runs automatically.

    I do the PARS Upgrades out of habbit as the last couple of SIMS upgrads i have done, PARS has crashed afterwords and needed an update.


    Its not the upgrades i have a disagreement with i know why they are done, its the way that they are forced because of a census. I feel that part needs seperating out. With 5 programs effected by these upgrades it has the potential to cause major issues for lots of people every few months.

    If each upgrade was purely optional you could have a nice running stable system, then when say the Jan update comes along. You can read the notes it would show what Enhancements and what bug fixes. You can that go, we have no need for anything the Jan update offers, we will leave it. Everything carrys on working fine. Then you might find the Feb Update has somthing you need, you can then plan for that upgrade to happen and not feel rushed.

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    I would absolutely love to be able to separate out cenus etc upgrades from everything else but we get changes every 3 or 4 months that have to be issued. Working enhancements that schools want into a constantly shifting returns background is hugely difficult to manage.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I would absolutely love to be able to separate out cenus etc upgrades from everything else but we get changes every 3 or 4 months that have to be issued. Working enhancements that schools want into a constantly shifting returns background is hugely difficult to manage.
    Is it Managment not listening or just not doable? I remember talking to the guy who installed our learning gateway, who was a nice chap, and talking about why there is no MSI Installer for deploying SIMS with group policy. He said they had been saying to do that for years, but the managment do not take any notice.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    You can build an MSI\SMS package to install it. I see your point tho.

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    There really is not a need for an MSI.

    WHen we are talking about SIMS .net we have some generally good tools currently available to deploy the product and the future look better with the solus 3.(Yes Phil this is me saying this!!!)

    The main problem comes with additions to SIMS either in house or third party. The in house products need to become more integrated to sims to ensure that backups can al be done via solus using the same processes.

    The third party issues are a problem because in reality PARS and others do not need to worry about Census as they are being used to either record or enhance use of specific area's. If PARS were to actually try to develop a MIS of their own then I would expect to see a similar number of upgrades.

    Even those MIS's that offer a browser based solution need to work with the DCFS at census time. Equally they are normally forced to use IE only and the various plugins

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    Matt

    thanks for the link

    Going to have a play with it as soon as it downloads

    Andy

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    sims upgrade

    There is repeated reference in this thread to needing to upgrade sims for the census but I've had no trouble downloading (only) the updated xsl files for the census and not yet taking the Dec/Jan upgrade. I could have ignored these files altogether if I had wanted to as the census does and will run without them but they do represent an improvement.
    There is a commitment to fewer releases in 2009 which if met will be welcomed by me.
    The upgrades don't always work perfectly but I can remember being presented with 63 floppy disks for an upgrade some years ago (and no way back if disk 62 was faulty ) so I can appreciate that things have moved on since then!

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Lol... I remember those days. The problem with Capita is keeping everything up-to-date. They have stated you can get the XSL from DSCF which would resolve the 2500 errors, they even made Nov 2b which included the files!!

    You don't actually need them, if you upload the COLLECT website, it wouldn't appear as an error. It's just nice to have to 100% correct in SIMS (and on COLLECT)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcshammer_dj View Post
    There really is not a need for an MSI.
    The advantage of doing it via MSI is the updates can be pushed out when people aren't using the computes. The problem with having teachers run the update themselves is sometimes they are in a hurry for what they need and can't wait/don't want to wait.

    Also consider the time-saving - 15 or so computers X 3 minute install = 45 minutes; pushing an MSI out as the computer boots before people come in = 0 minutes.

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