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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Reports for automated AD Pupil accounts in Technical; Hello all, I'm not really sure if this is one for your guys as it's more of an administration thing ...
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    SIMS Reports for automated AD Pupil accounts

    Hello all,

    I'm not really sure if this is one for your guys as it's more of an administration thing really. What i am wanting to do is design a report in SIMS.net which will run every night/morning checking for new admitted Pupils. The report would extract these pupils into a .CSV file which in turn would be used to create their accounts in the AD for them to log in.

    I have looked at designing a report but it doesn't seem to have the flexibility i need to create the reports on the fly without prompts. I want to be able to specify the current date for each day and have it return the admitted pupils for that day, therefore giving me the new users each time if there are any. It seems to only allow me to choose on prompt.

    Does Sims. net have the power that i need to create such a task?

    I also need it to be able to overwrite the .csv file each time the report is run without being asked.

    Hope you can help.

    Thanks.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Does Sims. net have the power that i need to create such a task?
    We need the same functionality at our school, so I have written a script to do this. We also need to export group information from SIMS, which is the bit I'm still working on. The script is tucked away in a Mercurial repository at BitBucket at the moment, and needs a bit more work until it is finished.

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    Does anyone know where this data is stored? I may be able to get some assistance on reading the data directly from the database itself and create the file that way, unless someone has another way to skin this particular cat.

    @dhicks,

    Would you be able to share the script? I'm not really in the need for the groups myself

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    Have you looked at the SIMS Active Directory provisioning tool. It may save you some time, but I think there is a cost involved.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Does anyone know where this data is stored? I may be able to get some assistance on reading the data directly from the database itself and create the file that way, unless someone has another way to skin this particular cat.
    Hang on - have you checked back a bit in this forum? This topic has come up fairly regularly, every couple of months or so, so it's probably worth checking a few months' previous posts just so you get an idea of the options that have already been discussed. Just to summarise: you're not supposed to access the SIMS databse directly, it violates something or other, SIMS provides a command-line utility called CommandReporter for you to use instead.

    Would you be able to share the script?
    Yes, sure, I just need to get it finished off a bit and I'm currently busy. It's kind of next on the to-do list, though.

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    Last edited by dhicks; 16th October 2009 at 04:45 PM.

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    HodgeHi (21st October 2009)

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    The Sims ADP is nice and it can create users for you but it does have a couple of quirks, the first, and I’m not sure if this is due to our site, is it requires added permissions in AD to create the users, but lower OU's don’t Inherit the permissions correctly. also we had a problem where a change of name in Sims resulted in the users display name changing but because of it doing this is change the name on the Exchange mail box causing the backups to fail (using backup exec), all working as intended but it’s not possible to turn this off without playing with the VBS that do all the creating and Capita force you to use the business analysts to help with solutions costing a small fortune.

    I would be interested to know if anyone else is having these problems with the ADP.

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    Hi guys,
    I don't mean to steal the thread!

    I made my own .Net app to create Active Directory user accounts from data exported from SIMS. It works great and I have had no problems besides fine tweaking. The thing is, it requires human intervention....

    Now, I don't mind doing it and to be honest, sometimes I will make user accounts manually rather than exporting a single user however, I was hoping to improve the consistency and also cover all eventualities for example, I am off site or busy.

    I was hoping with SIMS being the "leading" (Hides for cover!) MIS, there was some tool for this. I have heard about an Active Directory Provisioning tool and believe that I have seen an installation file in the "setups" directory however have left it as I am not the SIMS System Manager, I'm not overly savvy with SIMS and I was hoping to read up a little more about it before I end up just finding my own way of integrating our AD with SIMS.

    Is the tool any good or does it do what it is believed to do?
    Is an extra license required?
    Does it use a fixed naming convention etc for usernames and data paths or is it reasonably customizable? (I have already had hell and high water with Frog not liking the data paths :-( Manual export and re-import saves the day!)

    Is there a way of scheduling tasks in SIMS such as data exports on a basic level etc? (If I was to find my own way).


    I'm picking pieces up about SIMS by myself as it's new to me and as I am a highly restricted user and have a restraining order against it despite managing the server that it runs on..... I'm getting there! :-P

    Again, sorry for bursting in!

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    AD Provisioning was orginally only for SLG2, but they've cut it out, the one in your setups will be out date and basically useless. Samandersoft(?) does a product also. Give your SIMS Accounts manager a ring if you want a demo of AD Provisioning, they've just updated.

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    RSoP_Robbers (21st October 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSoP_Robbers View Post
    I made my own .Net app to create Active Directory user accounts from data exported from SIMS.
    All you need to do is get the CommandReporter tool to run the report you want to export data from, it spews out a wodge of XML that you can read in to your .Net script. Handily, CommandReporter is available on any SIMS client, simply search in the SIMS install directory for it, so you don't have to go anywhere near the server. Simply run CommandReporter.exe to list command line options.

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  12. 2 Thanks to dhicks:

    HodgeHi (8th September 2010), RSoP_Robbers (21st October 2009)

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    Thanks for the replies guys!

    I shall find out about the updated AD provisioning route as ideally we would have to use the official software but I don't see why the command reporter tool can't be used meanwhile.... I'll take a look at that tomorrow! :-)

    Thanks guys! :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    All you need to do is get the CommandReporter tool to run the report you want to export data from, it spews out a wodge of XML that you can read in to your .Net script. Handily, CommandReporter is available on any SIMS client, simply search in the SIMS install directory for it, so you don't have to go anywhere near the server. Simply run CommandReporter.exe to list command line options.

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    David Hicks
    CommandReporter can also export .csv as though you'd run the script manually, which is my preferred option as I'm much more adept at importing from CSV than I am from XML.

    We're in the process of automating timetable imports to Exchange Calendars overnight - wipe the current timetable entries then recreate them from SIMS, so they're always up to date - and group distribution lists for classes, forms, subject teachers etc.

    Peter

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    dhicks (23rd October 2009), HodgeHi (8th September 2010)

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    @matt40k i didn't realise it's been cutout....?? - pray tell more is it replaced?

    I saw ADProvisioning demo'ed over the summer, it's pretty awesome if you can live with some of the caveats.

    The naming convention part is a bit limited at the moment, soon it will be able to use the admission number as a field, and that's the username for us so that will make it instantly useful.

    It does come as part of SLG which is costly, so you'd have to inquire about using it standalone, but heck, why not just buy SLG and set up sharepoint in your spare time! :P

    Some installs are done such that you create an AD account with the ADP tool and then the real user that is already created in ADP has to cosolidate with that account. It's much easier if you are happy to use the user account that it creates for you. It will also create OUs for year/reg and class groups and maintain them.

    ADP is a minimal service with little overhead, runs overnight but can be run manually and has a web interface.

    You need to add some schema extension from capita to your DC to get it to work, there are manuals on SupportNet for all that stuff. You'd need to get Capita or local support to install it for you so that they will support it.

    There were some issues i saw with deleting and updating accounts but it wasn't major, so long as you take care and thought with the initial setup, you shouldn't need to delete accounts.

    Once they are created by ADP you can move them around the AD structure into your own OUs and treat them as normal, and the best bit is that ADP keeps track of them, and you can run reports in SIMS to see who has an account and who doesn't.

    It will also create teacher accounts for you, so, as soon as they are entered in personal overnight you can have a teacher account set up too.

    If you do go down the SLG route it also makes parental contact accounts too.

    It looks great for us here but only if it's supported still by capita .. . if not salamandersoft is the way to go, they are members of EG..

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Sorry, cut out as in you can buy it on it's own.

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    sweet, makes sense to go direct to source.

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