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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS August 09 release in Technical; Just been playing around with the August '09 beta release. It seems pretty ok. I've not done much testing. Few ...
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    matt40k's Avatar
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    SIMS August 09 release

    Just been playing around with the August '09 beta release. It seems pretty ok. I've not done much testing. Few things that peeked my interest, central control over users homepage and QuickReport. Overall it seems ok, well done Capita.

    Homepage
    The homepage control is pretty basic, it will allow you go create groups and give those groups a standard set of widgets, such as behaviour for SLT or whatever, there is ofcourse a number of predefined groups which you can play with or you can make your own. It's worth noting, this will add to the users homepage, I believe there is no strict this widget to group A or such. You can however, lock peoples homepages configs, I've not testing it much to see if works as you would hope, but it appears to. If I remember correctly it's at the bottom of Routines, it did stump me for a while as I was guessing it would be under tools then maybe setups... I guess not. May it's just me being slow

    QuickReport
    Currently the QuickReport is stored in within the SIMS Apps directory (normally C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS .net), this causes problems if you "hot desk", also if you have a thin client setup. Capita have addressed this by allowing users to run quickletters from My SIMS Documents (within My Documents), however, you first of all need to copy the quickletter template into the directory, as it won't do it for you and second you need to rename it to include _local at the end (pre file name extension). You make think this is silly, but for most small primaries, they won't care about it moving, secondaries schools however, you'll need to put your scripting hats on to copy the default template into everyones home drives, you might have to make a trip to see the attendance people to manually copy it from the SIMS Apps directory tho

    I think the only people who might have a few issues would be middles or medium sized schools. Still, your local SIMS Support Team should have some good documentants by the time its out.

    The release is due out on the 17th this month.


    PS: Yes, I know I've overlook Exams, PX and SLG2

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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Just been playing around with the August '09 beta release. It seems pretty ok. I've not done much testing. Few things that peeked my interest, central control over users homepage and QuickReport. Overall it seems ok, well done Capita.

    Homepage
    The homepage control is pretty basic, it will allow you go create groups and give those groups a standard set of widgets, such as behaviour for SLT or whatever, there is ofcourse a number of predefined groups which you can play with or you can make your own. It's worth noting, this will add to the users homepage, I believe there is no strict this widget to group A or such. You can however, lock peoples homepages configs, I've not testing it much to see if works as you would hope, but it appears to. If I remember correctly it's at the bottom of Routines, it did stump me for a while as I was guessing it would be under tools then maybe setups... I guess not. May it's just me being slow
    Brilliant better late than never, this was originally going to be in the june upgrade. Will the upgrade allow you to define the default polling time as currently the SIMS server at the school im moving to is getting hammered as it been set to low.

    the server is at 100% CPU, now teachers aren't in the CPU is about 3%.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Didn't look at that... what's your CPU details? How much RAM you got? Are you SQL Standard or express?

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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Didn't look at that... what's your CPU details? How much RAM you got? Are you SQL Standard or express?
    Dual Core Xeon (speed unsure as currently dont have remote access), SQL standard, 3GB.

    It only gets hammered when users are logged into sims.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    My biggest question is this - is it going to screw up Exams again like all the previous releases? Really dont want to be doing a re-install of SIMS during Results Day

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    I am going to be UAT testing, particularly the exams area, on Tuesday.
    We ain't got Post-16 so I intend Updating asap to try and get the non-basedata results in for GCSE day!
    No upgrade has ever screwed up Exams Organiser at our place!

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update. Looking forward to it.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
    My biggest question is this - is it going to screw up Exams again like all the previous releases? Really dont want to be doing a re-install of SIMS during Results Day
    You need to ensure your exams officer(s) have admin rights on there machines. This will ensure the COM+ (for Exams module) can be correctly registered on the machine.

  9. Thanks to matt40k from:

    Gatt (8th August 2009)

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    Does anyone know what "Facilities to include for PI calculation results without EDI support, and fine-tune calculation of
    existing results" actually means/refers to? I'm nearly certain we don't need August for results day(s), but I want to be sure.

    The helldesk chap didn't and the release scope docs are vague. I'm guessing EDI is Electronic Data Interchange.

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    If your school sits all sorts of alternative exams they won't be included in the standard tables for the calculation of the league table points value. The change allows you to add values for these exams so that you can calculate a more accurate points value.

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    pete (12th August 2009)

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post

    QuickReport
    Currently the QuickReport is stored in within the SIMS Apps directory (normally C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS .net), this causes problems if you "hot desk", also if you have a thin client setup. Capita have addressed this by allowing users to run quickletters from My SIMS Documents (within My Documents), however, you first of all need to copy the quickletter template into the directory, as it won't do it for you and second you need to rename it to include _local at the end (pre file name extension). You make think this is silly, but for most small primaries, they won't care about it moving, secondaries schools however, you'll need to put your scripting hats on to copy the default template into everyones home drives, you might have to make a trip to see the attendance people to manually copy it from the SIMS Apps directory tho
    But why, oh why, could this not be placed in a central area? You know, like maybe on a server that could be used to supply sims stuff? Maybe call it a sims server? That sounds like a jolly good idea Suppose we should be grateful it isn't still copying over itself.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    But why, oh why, could this not be placed in a central area? You know, like maybe on a server that could be used to supply sims stuff? Maybe call it a sims server? That sounds like a jolly good idea Suppose we should be grateful it isn't still copying over itself.
    Not sure I know what your getting at? QuickReport template is a Word document (template), they are user based rather then machine based by defination. If you don't want them to be user based, then it'll still use the machine default. Ok, you could store it in DMS, however I believe that would put yet more load on your server(s), network and cause more problems. I think having them within the user area would be the best solution.

    PS: It also solves the issue of if SLT has a magically quickletter that they want only SLT to see\use

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Had a good look at the input of non-EDI Results into EO at UAT yesterday. It looks like a superb addition to the system.
    At last we will be able to calculate meanigful PI Data!
    And the possibilities are endless. If there is an award it can be included. Though you will have to have all your details re. GCSE or GCE Equivalents, Points Scores and Discount Codes to hand before you embark on the process, to make it meaningful.
    Last edited by Sivadam; 12th August 2009 at 09:55 PM.

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    Well I went for the August Release and all is well so far.

    The input of Non-EDI Quals in EO works a treat and we should now be ready for our results next week. It certainly helps if you attend UAT Sessions !!!

    Once again 'Well Done Capita' !!!!!

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    Looks like my first ever exams run on Wednesday is going to be fun then...

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