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MIS Systems Thread, Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you in Technical; Originally Posted by TechMonkey Originally Posted by woody Just to say I ran the September upgrade with no problems. Sims ...
  1. #16
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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    Just to say I ran the September upgrade with no problems. Sims may not offer the most fantastic MIS that we would all like, but none of the alternatives are perfect either.

    What SIMS do offer in most localities, is a first rate support service, usually local, who sort things out when they go wrong.
    Quick he is possessed. Grab him and get a Priest!!!!

    I am still smouldering that we choose SIMS over CMIS a while back when we had the chance to change (though I understand the reasoning and that it does have it problems too) and then that we choose Lesson Monitor over Pars. As much as Lesson Monitor 'works' it just seems awkward, unintelligent and less feature rich.

    That is my main gripe. Sims does 'work', but it just seems never to do what expected, even Capita seem suprised when you mention what things do or should do, and is just not a great application to use (the almighty user friendly interface). Then it takes 6 months to fix it which then introduces more problems.

    Grrrr, now I'm going to have to sit in a dark room for a while.
    LOL.

    In Cumbria, two or three schools have gone for CMIS over the past few years. As far as I know, (In one instance I know for certain - just ask Stewart Knight. In the other instance, it's what I've heard off the grape vine) the schools have had terrible problems with CMIS. All support is telephone based - there is no Local Help desk like SIMS have which means a lot when you are in Cumbria. They have found the software to be buggy. And because CMIS adapts greatly to the individual school running it, support is difficult to keep consistent.

    On the other hand, my brother works for a school in Rochadale and has written his own web front end to give the staff what info they want out of the CMIS SQL DB. You can't really do that with SIMS.

    My point being, if you have someone with enough knowledge and time to get CMIS running and tailored to your school - Great. But what if that person then leaves? If you run into problems, Tech Support can't help because they don't know how the system has been adapted for your school. It takes them a lot longer to get to the route of a problem.

    I am not speaking from personal experience, so correct me if I am wrong.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    well even RollsRoyce's breakdown and quite a lot more than you would know as they have a good setup for recovering these vehicles. Nothing these days surprises me as everyone wants everything like yesterday so we have to expect glitches in everything.
    Obviously everything has glitches, but even so, I still wouldnt buy something which is poor and be happy that its got good maintenance. I would just buy something of better quality in the first place. Maybe thats just me, but thats how I am, I like to buy decent quality stuff rather than poor slop which is well supported.

    To use a software analogy, I would rather buy a decent game, which has limited patches, than buy a lesser game which has regular patches. Likewise I would rather buy a decent Office suite, which has less support, than buy a poorer alternative which has decent support. I am more interested in the quality of the original product than how well it gets supported when it breaks, as with a superior product it should be less inclined to break in the first place (although as you rightly say, a glitch of some kind is usually inevitable at some point)

  3. #18

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    I fully concur with what you are saying Jake but that does not give us any answers to our problems does it. What i think everyone is hoping for is that Sims.net does and will become more and more friendly as the upgrades go. Plus who knows the real difference between good and bad software anymore unless you are a professional software builder. it all comes down to individuals choice and if everyone chose just one piece of software as apposed to many then i feel we would not get the experience of being able to compare which is precisely what we are doing here. So instead of us bleating about bad software we should maybe look at it's good qualities and then try to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    True..my mistake, I didnt mean to come over as bleating, I just meant to discuss SIMS, to partake in a discussion not necessarily come up with answers.

    I should say that my thoughts on SIMS are entirely my own, and do not represent the views of any others. For the difference between good and bad software, you are right..I guess that comes down to whether its good or bad from the viewpoint of the individual using it. I am sure there are some schools around the country for whom SIMS runs largely flawlessly, and who thus think its a terrific piece of software. For me I have had troubles with it for 6 years or so, had troubles with its old DOS incarnation, and its new fangled .Net version. So you can see why my viewpoint on it is somewhat..tainted

    Anyway, thats where I am coming from, I shall leave this discussion now to others who can look at SIMS good qualities somewhat more objectively than I

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake
    ... its old DOS incarnation, and its new fangled .Net version.
    Same thing isn't it? 8)

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    From our point of view (jake and mine) sims.net is crap. I think it all boils down to how much you use the software and at our school we use all aspects of it far more than other schools (Capita's Words not mine).

    We get out SIMS support through our LEA which is crap as well, so all in all there are more negative factors to sims than positive, but hey it's still in beta.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    A new Edugeek project perhaps? An open source SIMs replacement, or at perhaps a few members should get involved with schooltool or FreeMIS?



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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    I just cannot get my head round Ruby on Rails (FreeMIS) 8O I tried... I really did :cry:

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bob_
    A new Edugeek project perhaps? An open source SIMs replacement, or at perhaps a few members should get involved with schooltool or FreeMIS?


    Hands up who's SMT and Governors will agree to adopt a MIS that is largely untested, unsupported and 'no garantees it will work properly' as opposed to SIMS or CMIS or whatever currently paid for MIS they use.

    And is it worth it to take on board the support implications that any school will expect if they trial such a system?

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Hands up who's SMT and Governors will agree to adopt a MIS that is largely untested, unsupported and 'no garantees it will work properly' as opposed to SIMS or CMIS or whatever currently paid for MIS they use.

    And is it worth it to take on board the support implications that any school will expect if they trial such a system?
    Same argument for Moodle,Ubuntu,FF,OpenOffice,apache,samba etc but many schools do.
    OSS MIS systems just need some investment.

  11. #26

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    Quote Originally Posted by _Bob_
    A new Edugeek project perhaps? An open source SIMs replacement, or at perhaps a few members should get involved with schooltool or FreeMIS?


    Hands up who's SMT and Governors will agree to adopt a MIS that is largely untested, unsupported and 'no garantees it will work properly' as opposed to SIMS....
    ..which just appears to be untested, unsupported and Capita never give out Garantees

  12. #27

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Don't MIS systems need to interact with County Council/LEA/whatever though?

    I just cannot get my head round Ruby on Rails
    There's some good books out about it. I can give you a reading list if you want?

  13. #28

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    I've read Why's Poignant Guide, Agile Web Development with Rails, and numerous other web resources. I don't know what it is... maybe just the way you have to install the thing, and the generating of the code using CLI and so on. I just like (read: am used to) sticking a load of PHP files in a folder that is served by Apache and edit my database manually - job done.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    If you want a IDE try radrails. It's a customised version of eclipse with everything 'built in'. There's no CLI, unless you enable it.

    http://www.radrails.org/

    For the actual setup, get InstantRails:

    http://rubyforge.org/projects/instantrails/

    Then see this guide:

    http://www.radrails.org/blog/2006/9/...w-to-configure

    I recommend you start with ruby on it's own before you jump in the deep end with rails aswell.

  15. #30

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Thanks Geoff, might have another look and at those links.

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