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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Learning Gateway in Technical; Hi Everyone, I am currently looking at SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) and I have a few questions: 1. If we ...
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    SIMS Learning Gateway

    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently looking at SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) and I have a few questions:

    1. If we go for internal hosting what licenses do we require for SharePoint 2007/ Windows server /SQL Server to allow access to the different user types (Staff/Pupils/Parents/Governors)

    2. Advantages/disadvantages of internal vs external hosting (our LEA are not offering a LEA hosted solution)

    3. What does it do to AD regarding the creation of staff and pupil accounts? If you want to use the SLG accounts for domain logon what customizations/template options do you have (e.g. group membership/ username format/ etc)

    If you have any other experiences of it that you would like to share that would be great.

    Thanks
    Edd

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    Quote Originally Posted by teckedd View Post
    1. If we go for internal hosting what licenses do we require for SharePoint 2007/ Windows server /SQL Server to allow access to the different user types (Staff/Pupils/Parents/Governors)
    Most likely an external access connector to provide for all users who are not members of the school. Best bet is to discuss this with whoever provides your licensing if you use Volume Licensing.

    2. Advantages/disadvantages of internal vs external hosting (our LEA are not offering a LEA hosted solution)
    External hosting means much less technical overhead for your side of things. Internal hosting means that you will be able to have the SLG accounts created on your own Active Directory rather than a remote one, but does add a large workload. One of the big advantages of internal hosting is that it would mean you have a SharePoint server for any other purposes that you may be able to put it to, and a lot more control over the way it appears and acts.

    3. What does it do to AD regarding the creation of staff and pupil accounts? If you want to use the SLG accounts for domain logon what customizations/template options do you have (e.g. group membership/ username format/ etc)
    With external hosting it does nothing to your own AD, though you can still decide username format.

    Internal hosting by default it will create users in a single OU with group memberships as defined by you (usually Parents, Staff, Students, Teachers, Admins, students can also be given memberships of groups by year and class).

    For more powerful setups you can buy customisation. I have seen the provisioning service used to create an entire AD structure including OUs by class, creating shared areas for accounts, and setting up Exchange accounts for users. This is an extra service which needs to be purchased however, and does add to the administrative overhead when running upgrades to the provisioning service.

    If you have any other experiences of it that you would like to share that would be great.

    Thanks
    Edd[/quote]

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    ChrisP's Avatar
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    We have just taken on a hosted SLG in November. and i'm not that impressed tbh.

    VPN link to SIMS seems to go down every two weeks here.

    Remember that SLG is basically only good for marksheets and profiles... even these modules are feature limited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisP View Post
    Remember that SLG is basically only good for marksheets and profiles... even these modules are feature limited.
    I agree they are not feature packed, but I would envisage further work to be done on them.

    We also use the attendance module on our internally hosted site and have been impressed with it.

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

    I am now looking at the pros and cons of MOSS2007 vs SharePoint Services 3

    Any Thoughts.

    Thanks
    Edd

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    You'll need inernal connector licenses for Employees or individual CALs which ever is cheapest and an external connector for all none employees such as parents, governors and the pupils.


    Wes

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    Quote Originally Posted by teckedd View Post
    I am now looking at the pros and cons of MOSS2007 vs SharePoint Services 3

    Any Thoughts.
    All depends on how ambitious you plan on being. If you just want the SLG parts then WSS3 will be fine. If you want the possibility to massively expand into a full Sharepoint-based VLE and collaboration system with blogs, personal sites for all users, wikis and so on then you probably want MOSS2007.

    Incidentally with the SLG Provisioning tool you can provision students by class, year, registration group and so on. Makes setting up custom pages for years, subjects, particular groups and so on rather easy, and Sharepoint Audiencing is very effective.

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    If you go for LG be careful, we bougth the version 1, it costed us a fortune and then three months after they released version 2. Now the problem is that they don't really care about ppl in version 1 and the support is absoluttely c**p. Then we asked what to do because they are discontinuing the support for version 1 in May (I think) and the answear is that we will have to buy the version 2... which again costs a lot (installation, licenses, fligths,etc...) So I wonder if you buy version 2 and then they release version3... is it going to happen again?????????????

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    We had bought v1 but as we were using MOSS2007 as our base it wouldn't work so we got V2 when it was ready (only paid for the one of them). I don't think V2 is going anywhere soon though. I think V1 was a complete mistake really


    Wes

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    We have the SIMS Learning Gateway, and if your after a solution to offer the parent access to pupil information ONLYi would recommend Insight from Tasc software instead. Its much better. We are only going to use the SIMS Learning Gateway for pupils to see information on the intranet, and for teachers with profiles/mark sheets. It was orginally going to be for parents too, but we found Tasc software's offering so much better, more information, better layout, better managment, better support. costs a fraction of Sims solution.

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    Dont

    Its a load of crap slow and keeps breaking.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    That could be said of sharepoint at times too!


    Wes

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    Its a load of crap

    Quote Originally Posted by alumwell View Post
    Its a load of crap slow and keeps breaking.
    Alumwell,

    Is your comment in reference to Capita or Tasc or both?

    Please expand on your experience - it sounds as if we should learn something here.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Having had a look at TASC's software again recently (unfortunately didn't get a decent chance to catch up with them at BETT) then it could be what you need.

    I would also look at other possibilities if you only want 'read' access (ie you just want to present the relevant SIMS information rather than make it two-way) then Twynham College could help too. Richard at SalamanderSoft would be a good person to chat with too.

    SLG is the complete package to have read/write access (where possible) to SIMS, but not everyone needs it to start with and you might want to explore your options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teckedd View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently looking at SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) and I have a few questions:

    1. If we go for internal hosting what licenses do we require for SharePoint 2007/ Windows server /SQL Server to allow access to the different user types (Staff/Pupils/Parents/Governors)

    2. Advantages/disadvantages of internal vs external hosting (our LEA are not offering a LEA hosted solution)

    3. What does it do to AD regarding the creation of staff and pupil accounts? If you want to use the SLG accounts for domain logon what customizations/template options do you have (e.g. group membership/ username format/ etc)

    If you have any other experiences of it that you would like to share that would be great.

    Thanks
    Edd
    There are other options available without the budget blowing Sharepoint Route enabling staff & parents to access school data. All hosted from your school and protecting students data from outside companies. All you need is an IS / IP address. I am biaised due to who I work for though neither are we the only ones offering solutions....

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