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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office in Technical; There has been a lot of interest on the Powys list about this restriction in SIMS .net. I thought it ...
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    mark's Avatar
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    SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    There has been a lot of interest on the Powys list about this restriction in SIMS .net. I thought it would be good to let people here know about it as well.
    I'm sure Capita must be working on solving this, but for the moment, many Powys primary schools are disadvantaged, having completely converted to the Open Office suite as their sole Office solution.

    ________

    Seems that SIMS .net now only works fully with Office 2003+

    They made a big fuss about having to be open standards compliant, and so have made printing and reporting xml. But then they also made some components tie into MS Office 2003.

    So printing, exporting etc all don't work FULLY from SIMS .net if you don't
    have the latest version of MS Office. Open Office works to a point.

    [Bad news if you're us and waiting for Office 2007 to upgrade the
    whole site!! :0)]


    here's a thread on the subject from Capitas' forums that may explain it more fully:-
    Forum List --> Schools forums --> Technical (67) --> Office 2003 (9170)
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Simon Smith on 31 May 2006 at 3:56 pm


    Hi,

    One of our staff came back from a training course and said that a future version of Sims.Net won't run with Office 2000.

    Does this make sense as I can't find anything about it.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Marc Rogers on 31 May 2006 at 3:58 pm


    This does make sense

    We only test our reports on Office 2003 and there are some reports that will only run on Office 2003

    The Performance 7 suite requires Office 2003

    I hope this helps
    Marc
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Jeremy Dhondy on 01 June 2006 at 12:43 am


    Profiles 7 also needs Office 2003 if you need to generate, print or view profiles.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Anthony Gordon on 01 June 2006 at 8:07 am


    I understood that OpenOffice also satisfied the requirement. Is this no longer the case?
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Phil Neal on 01 June 2006 at 8:42 am


    OpenOffice does run with SIMS but there are limitations on what can be achieved. For example OpenOffice doesn't support the graphing function.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Norman Milburn on 07 June 2006 at 9:13 am


    How about Office XP/2002?
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Frederick Dundas on 07 June 2006 at 12:55 pm


    Norman Milburn wrote...
    How about Office XP/2002?

    Excel XP does support XML file creation, but don't think it's been tested where as Office 2003 has.
    As quoted by the offical Microsoft website

    Office XP enables users to open XML files; edit, add, and delete data; and then save their work in XML format or native Office XP file types

    However not sure if it supports the graphing functions, which is the reason OpenOffice isn't suitable.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Jeremy Dhondy on 07 June 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Our users of Office Xp have not been able to access profile documents in Word. I don't think 2002 version of Word supports XML files.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by David Carter on 12 June 2006 at 1:45 pm


    How can Open Office be set to work with SIMS and what are the limitations.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Marc Rogers on 12 June 2006 at 1:57 pm


    Hi,

    When you install Open Office you are giving three tick boxes to choose which files are associated with Open Office.

    Open Office does not work with the Performance 7 suite. I am unsure of the other limitations

    Hope this helps
    Marc
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Anthony Gordon on 12 June 2006 at 3:02 pm


    Having installed OpenOffice as the default application for .doc and .xls files SIMS.net reports still insists on trying to using Word and Excel to open its output.

    Has anyone tried this?
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by David Carter on 12 June 2006 at 3:53 pm


    Yes, this is my problem. I have installed OpenOffice on all the lesson monitor PCs in the classrooms, but the teachers are now using Assessment Manager and trying to run reports. All the Admin PCs have MS Office.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Message posted by Anthony Gordon on 13 June 2006 at 8:25 am


    I have removed MS Office from my machine and reinstalled OpenOffice but SIMS still won't play ball. There must be something in the SIMS configuration which is MS specific but I have no idea where.
    This is an oldish thread [the most recent on the subject] but I can confirm that the problems are still there.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    I can't imagine captita will give this a high priority, if they bother at all. Captia are an MS partner company. It's not in their interests to integrate openoffice as much as is it wouldn't be for them to integrate with moodle.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Nope, doesn't surprise me at all for the reasons CyberNerd points out.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    @mark: Which bits don't work unless you have Office 2003? What do these bits do (you will have to excuse my naiivity but I try to stay out of it and not everywhere uses all the modules).

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Graphing doesn't work I know - I don't use it myself either so I'm waiting for other restrictions to appear.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    I understand it works with the free viewers.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Quote Originally Posted by ajbritton
    I understand it works with the free viewers.
    Interesting - must try that. But if you have an old version of MS Office [as we do] then how would sims not report an incorrect office version with the viewer for 2003 installed on top?

    Export to Excel viewer - copy and paste to Excel 2000!

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Being a Microsoft Partner has no bearing on this at all. We have provided support for Open Office but there is only so far we can go without incurring significant cost for coding the differences for example graphing. If there was sufficient demand that would make a difference because I could then justify the cost to all customers.

    There are free viewers and next year we will support output from the Performance Suite into PDF. You will still need the MS product on one machine to set up the templates.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    You know OO.org is open source right? You know you can just write a patch to add whatever you need to OO.org so graphing or <insert function> works?

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Come on Geoff, that'd be too easy

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Being a Microsoft Partner has no bearing on this at all. We have provided support for Open Office but there is only so far we can go without incurring significant cost for coding the differences for example graphing. If there was sufficient demand that would make a difference because I could then justify the cost to all customers.
    Seems like there is a growing demand, another barrier removed from OOo deployment is always welcome. -So whens the moodle plugin ? There is certainly demand for that

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    The IMS links are already in SIMS and documented on our SIMS.CO.UK site. The links can provide both a data dump and incremental change. Granada have implemented the link in Learnwise already - hopefully someone from the Moodle community will do the same.

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office


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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    I'm actually impressed! We are looking at setting up a sharepoint portal and sims .net web parts and with IMS I might finally be able to push the Moodle VLE out fully! Does anyone know whether or not the Moodle Developer community is writing anything for it though?


    Wes

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    Re: SIMS .net does not fully support Open Office

    Re the free office viewers

    This is from the Capita forums today:-

    When we started using Profiles 7 we were aware that any machine generating profiles would need Office 2003 because earlier versions don't understand XML.We were told that Word viewer would solve the problem of staff being able to see if not edit profiles but this was emphatically not the case and this route should not be taken as one that will solve any problems. The last I heard from Capita was an acknowledgement that it did not work and some work was being done to see if this could be changed but all has gone silent since then (then being last June or July).

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