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MIS Systems Thread, Delays to SIMS releases in Technical; @Vikpaw - we do have schools that allow us to use their data in test (having taken steps to remove ...
  1. #16

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    @Vikpaw - we do have schools that allow us to use their data in test (having taken steps to remove personal references). It's a vital part of our release process to go through as many data sets as we can.

    Thanks for the thought Vikpaw.

  2. #17

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    @Sivadam RE UAT testing:
    Do Capita pay your school for doing this? It's just that spending time plus travel doing something that should really be included in the support/maintenance charges, our HT would expect to be reimbursed for my time and expenses.
    Were you a beta tester for windows 7? Are you on the office 2010 testing release? Did you *pay* for the beta of OS X? Did Google pay for you to test their email system for what seemed to be ages?

    Beta testing is sometimes a labour of love and done for the betterment of the software involved, as well as allowing you time to prepare for it.

    I know a few schools who do UAT with Capita and schools can opt not to do it for a particular release due to local reasons to the school. That seems to work pretty well.

  3. 2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:

    garethedmondson (14th December 2009), Sivadam (13th December 2009)

  4. #18

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    My school did UAT testing for a couple of modules and in each case we got to try it out and had some feedback into how the final product looked. Capita were appreciative. listened and did their best to sort any problems. Whilst the modules were in test the school got enhanced support so any problems could be quickly fixed. I might not have been paid but then I didn't expect to be and found the experience, on the whole, a rewarding one well worth doing.

  5. #19

    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Were you a beta tester for windows 7? Are you on the office 2010 testing release? Did you *pay* for the beta of OS X? Did Google pay for you to test their email system for what seemed to be ages?

    Beta testing is sometimes a labour of love and done for the betterment of the software involved, as well as allowing you time to prepare for it.

    I know a few schools who do UAT with Capita and schools can opt not to do it for a particular release due to local reasons to the school. That seems to work pretty well.
    Neither do we pay any of the above examples thousands of pounds a year in support/maintenance fees

    Try asking Capita to come to your school to test a bit of software for you, you'll get a nice hefty consultancy charge.

  6. #20
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Jeremy,
    This sounds more like a description of the Field Trial process. Enhanced support is obviously vital when you are participating in this programme, so that any major issues can be dealt with with utmost expediency. We/I also contribute to this process as well as to UAT.
    A Field Trial is undertaken on a live system whereas UAT is on a test system.
    Last edited by Sivadam; 13th December 2009 at 05:04 PM.

  7. Thanks to Sivadam from:

    Claire (14th December 2009)

  8. #21

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    As anyone in the world of programising knows, it's *impossible* to release a 100% perfect product regardless of what tests you've run, how much data you have and how many people have beta tested it. In most circumstances the biggest glaring issues won't crop up and therefore be resolved until after it's been released to the general public.

  9. 2 Thanks to synaesthesia:

    garethedmondson (14th December 2009), Sivadam (14th December 2009)

  10. #22

    GREED's Avatar
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    Perhaps everyone is missing the most important point:

    18 months ago Capita released upgrades on time, and then had big isues every time (I think we all remember the 4 releases of Feb 2008!).

    Now they have moved to 3 main releases and are prepaired to test test test and if no joy put it back for more testing, we have very little major issues.

    There will ALWAYS be programming problems, the fewer bigger ones the better. I am delighted that Capita take this approach and they can put it back weeks if it means we get a stable release.

    OK it is annoying when we are waiting for fixes (and that is a gripe Phil that some fixes have to wait for releases rather than patches, but not your fault!), but better than it breaking everything on upgrade.

    Many times there are 100s of changes made, I know from seeing at UATs, and each has to test how it affects the whole of the reat of the system.

  11. 2 Thanks to GREED:

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  12. #23
    apeo's Avatar
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    Yeah I much rather put up with the Delays then get a release riddled with bugs. There was a time when i really dreaded upgrading as soon as the release was available (i delayed all my upgrades) but now not so much.

  13. #24

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    Fair play to those who do put their data on the line for testing. Our SIMS is LEA controlled so we get updates when they say so.

    I used to do a lot of testing for RM back when we were a CC2 and CC3 school. As previously mentioned it was a labour of love. I enjoyed testing the new stuff and had a group of pupils often working with me looking into the software they were sending.

    Of course it sometimes went wrong - CC3 Service Release 4 was one major mess on a Friday afternoon - especially when their engineers all went home at 5. From that RM changed their times and if I remember correctly engineers were available later on Fridays - often when schools installed their updates. SR5 and 6 were smooth.

    I remember the IE7 RM upgrade which developed problems with custom GPO settings.

    One of the main reasons we did Field trials was access to the top line engineers and often they were willing to help you with other things that would usually go through first/second line support.

    So well done those who do test SIMS. It cannot be easy.

    GJE

  14. Thanks to garethedmondson from:

    Sivadam (14th December 2009)

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