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MIS Systems Thread, Timetables from SIMS in Technical; As a newcomer to SIMS I've been looking at getting from it a few things that we used to have ...
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    Timetables from SIMS

    As a newcomer to SIMS I've been looking at getting from it a few things that we used to have on our old (in-house) system.

    Current task is to get from SIMS some form of timetable which I can use to populate our room booking system (MRBS). With our old system I could check if the timetable had changed and update MRBS automatically every night.

    So, I need to be able to extract from SIMS (ideally programmatically - commandlinereporter ?) some form of timetable that I can then parse, ideally room centric, though by member of staff and student would ultimately be handy (we used to email students their timetables automatically).

    Any ideas, tips, pointers welcome, tia,

    tim

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    Your timetable should be stored on Nova-T4 or Nova-T6. Which of those programs does your timetabler use? (Ideally T6 as T4 is due to be phased out).

    Also, reading again, why do you need to check daily if the timetable has changed? Won't it be easier for the timetabler to EMail changes to you?
    Last edited by CAM; 3rd July 2009 at 02:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    So, I need to be able to extract from SIMS (ideally programmatically - commandlinereporter?) some form of timetable that I can then parse
    Can you write a SIMS report that produces a timetable? Can it be run by CommandReporter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    As a newcomer to SIMS I've been looking at getting from it a few things that we used to have on our old (in-house) system.

    Current task is to get from SIMS some form of timetable which I can use to populate our room booking system (MRBS). With our old system I could check if the timetable had changed and update MRBS automatically every night.

    So, I need to be able to extract from SIMS (ideally programmatically - commandlinereporter ?) some form of timetable that I can then parse, ideally room centric, though by member of staff and student would ultimately be handy (we used to email students their timetables automatically).

    Any ideas, tips, pointers welcome, tia,

    tim
    This is something i ahev been talking with a colleague about. You can export any report in sims as a csv file.

    It would just be automating the import into mbrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Your timetable should be stored on Nova-T4 or Nova-T6. Which of those programs does your timetabler use? (Ideally T6 as T4 is due to be phased out).
    T6

    Also, reading again, why do you need to check daily if the timetable has changed? Won't it be easier for the timetabler to EMail changes to you?
    Because the process is automated, a nightly script checks the timetable and if necessary repopulates mrbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Can you write a SIMS report that produces a timetable? Can it be run by CommandReporter?
    This is what I haven't (yet) worked out how to do !

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    This is something i ahev been talking with a colleague about. You can export any report in sims as a csv file.
    What I can't see is how to do this with a timetable.

    It would just be automating the import into mbrs.
    Have had that since we started with mrbs a few years ago. I decided the table structure too fiddly to alter directly so use a Python script to parse the timetable then fetch the urls as if a person were making the bookings (logged in as a special user).

    tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    What I can't see is how to do this with a timetable.
    tim
    You could create a report that exports the timetable as csv.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    What I can't see is how to do this with a timetable.
    We don't have the timetabling module in SIMS, so I don't know how to either. If you figure it out, try and run the report with the CommandReporter tool and see what XML you get. If you have a moment spare you could maybe post it here so we can all have a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    You could create a report that exports the timetable as csv.
    That's what I can't/couldn't figure out how to do but I think it's my fault for trying too soon, the timetable model only went in this week and we don't yet have the full timetable available. I can see a teacher's timetable on the "Staff Timetable" page but can't get a meaningful report of this.

    Maybe I should just sit and wait a bit longer !

    tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    Current task is to get from SIMS some form of timetable which I can use to populate our room booking system (MRBS).
    I tried this last summer and got nowhere, but I'm back on it again today for hopefully linking into Exchange 2007 calendars.

    We do use MRBS for our computer rooms though, so it'd be great if we could get this going - I love the idea of generating URL calls to do the donkey work for us - that would be fantastic!

    Peter

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    I think I've got somewhere with the Timetable from SIMS into CSV bit...

    If you do a report based on 'staff' then add the following columns:

    Staff: Forename, Surname
    Lessons: Room, ClassName, Period

    (You can use whatever staff identifiers you want to pull out - I've used forename and surname here, although we have a UDF for student usernames, so I probably need to populate that for staff as well)

    In the right-hand column of the Fields page, click on 'Lessons' then click the little red book icon that appears in the right-hand 'toolbar' column, entitled 'define settings for this subreport'. In here, create filter for the RoomNames so it only pulls out the rooms you want, and untick 'Include records with no such lessons'.

    Fill in the rest of the report design, setting it to Text -> CSV output. And bob's your uncle, so to speak.

    It comes out as:

    ForeName, Surname, Room, ClassName, Period
    Joe,Bloggs,Room1,7xIT1,BWed:2
    ,,Room1,9yIT3,AThur:5
    ,,Room3,12gAi2,BFri:3
    Mary,Smith,Room38,7yEn3,BWed:3
    ,,Room38,7xEn4,BWed:3

    etc - in other words, you'd need to assume the teacher is the same person until a new value is found.

    Now to get it into MRBS and Exchange - can I leave you to play with the MRBS solution? I'm subscribed to this thread so I'll see any updates or questions.

    Peter

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    Oh, I forgot the CommandReporter bit...

    As long as you have no parameters being prompted for at runtime then this is easy. If you are being prompted for parameters, either do without them then use your scripting method to filter them, or read the SDK for how to pass in the parameters. I've previously done parameterised reports as well - it isn't hard, just needs the destructions to be followed.

    The following line will then work:

    CommandReporter.exe /user:me /passwordswd /report:"CSVTimetables" /output:"c:\CSV_Rooms.csv"

    Obviously substituting a username and password of someone who has ThirdPartyReporting rights, and your report name and output location.

    The beauty of the commandreporter that I've just discovered is it populates the staff name on every record, not just next-staff records, contrary to my previous post.

    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    What I can't see is how to do this with a timetable.



    Have had that since we started with mrbs a few years ago. I decided the table structure too fiddly to alter directly so use a Python script to parse the timetable then fetch the urls as if a person were making the bookings (logged in as a special user).

    tim
    Any chance I can get a peak at that Python script?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    That's what I can't/couldn't figure out how to do but I think it's my fault for trying too soon, the timetable model only went in this week
    No, not my fault, as we are new to SIMS I was using future effective dates to try this. A supportnet ticket has led to KB89878 - you can't produce future reports for periods. So when they fix this/it becomes next year it will do as expected.



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