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MIS Systems Thread, School MIS Systems in Technical; Originally Posted by EdWhittaker And as long as they pay hefty licence fee. How do you know it is a ...
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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    And as long as they pay hefty licence fee.
    How do you know it is a hefty licence fee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'm in the SWGfL and we have had zero word about SIF. Even the Becta MIS report stated that SIF is not mature enough yet, and that the government needs to start mandating standards of interoperability...
    I presume that you have heard about Merlin? All the accounts are provisioned via SIF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    I presume that you have heard about Merlin? All the accounts are provisioned via SIF.
    Heard of it, but know nothing about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    How do you know it is a hefty licence fee?
    see my post 127

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    SIF between applications I've yet to see other then with a big £££ next to it and more work.
    Please can you give examples of the type of applications?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Besides, why do I want data flowing out of my network into the LA or RBC??
    If a student joins the school and is FSm and SEN, the schools would want to submit that information as soon as possible to get the additional funding for the pupil premium. That task of submission can be automated.

    For example schools will want up to date information submitted for FSM as this will effect the pupil premium.

    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Did they improve the security, so it's not a like a hub, sending the data to all rather then to those that are authorised?
    SIF supports client certificate authentication over SSL.

    SIF supports targeted event. ie this allows data to move from school a to school b without going to school c or schools d if they are all on the same zone.
    Last edited by penfold_99; 4th November 2010 at 04:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    see my post 127
    You were talking about the cost of SIMS.net not the cost of a application that SIF enabled SIMS.net. Which is less than £300ish

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Except for the part where school MIS systems now end up being used by parents, governors, pupils, staff etc via MLEs and 'learning platforms'.
    Those numbers are very tiny compared to the systems we were talking about earlier. Hundreds/thousands vs millions.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Your comment regarding application layer is fine - but this could well be done in an intermediary layer... ORM for example. Why do it via the database?
    Databases are good..(the best) at it.


    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You are avoiding the point that you are limiting them to a single technology.
    All technologies are limiting in some ways or another. Cassandra isn't a silver bullet, otherwise every MIS provider would be using it. Look how far SchoolTool got without using a proper RDB. Many years later and hardly any headway. Where is SIMS, Serco, isams, Bromcom in this thread anyway??

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    Quote Originally Posted by scholarpack View Post
    Those numbers are very tiny compared to the systems we were talking about earlier. Hundreds/thousands vs millions.



    Databases are good..(the best) at it.




    All technologies are limiting in some ways or another. Cassandra isn't a silver bullet, otherwise every MIS provider would be using it. Look how far SchoolTool got without using a proper RDB. Many years later and hardly any headway. Where is SIMS, Serco, isams, Bromcom in this thread anyway??
    You are missing the point here. You seem to think I'm evangelising a single technology or something when I'm not. I'm saying that you shouldn't be making third parties work with your database. No getting them to use SQL. Instead, make an API available via an ORM layer. That way, you aren't limiting anyone to a single type of database! You as a developer are then free to make changes to the backend as and when you want.

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    That's very spurious argument - we got on without a lot of things.. doesn't mean they're not required now.
    It's an extremely serious one and I'd be interested to hear what you think is required now that you know we didn't have then (and based on what experience).

    Technical history did not start this century, IMO there hasn't been that much innovation for long while, there is however a lot of ignorance and wheel-reinvention, and 20 years ago does NOT mean fewer requirements than a modern school MIS. The only thing that's especially new is that it apparently takes the school MIS sector eons to sort out interoperability.. not that standard protocols were especially quick back then, but they were definitely a lot quicker.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 4th November 2010 at 06:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Technical history did not start this century, IMO there hasn't been that much innovation for long while, there is however a lot of ignorance and wheel-reinvention, and 20 years ago does NOT mean fewer requirements than a modern school MIS. The only thing that's especially new is that it apparently tales the school MIS sector eons to sort out interoperability.. not that standard protocols were especially quick back then, but they were definitely a lot quicker.
    Well said, and totally agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    You were talking about the cost of SIMS.net not the cost of a application that SIF enabled SIMS.net. Which is less than £300ish
    No I'm not, I'm talking about the fees that Capita charge commercial companies if they want to develop an app that writes to and reads from SIMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    No I'm not, I'm talking about the fees that Capita charge commercial companies if they want to develop an app that writes to and reads from SIMS.
    You don't ... you develop a SIF Agent that reads/writes between your app and the ZIS. There are already SIF Agents out there for SIMS - ZIS interchange. I would recommend you have a good look at the work of SIFA UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    You don't ... you develop a SIF Agent that reads/writes between your app and the ZIS. There are already SIF Agents out there for SIMS - ZIS interchange. I would recommend you have a good look at the work of SIFA UK.
    Who would be running the ZIS? How much does this cost etc...?

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    you develop a SIF Agent that reads/writes between your app and the ZIS.
    So to talk to a MIS somewhere else in the rack or even running on the same OS you need:

    a) Your app to talk SIF... fair enough, we have to talk something.
    b) A ZIS configured and running somewhere.. what resources and supporting apps does that need to run?
    c) Your MIS to talk SIF via some nearby "agent".. what resources and supporting apps does that need to run? Do you get those included for nowt or are they yet another cost option coz somehow all those millions just don't quite cover the dev costs.
    d) The MIS.

    Perhaps I'm way off but its got that multi-box (or at least VM) feel, and if it's something local wanting to track students e.g. library system/whatever, that just feels wrong. Does SIF mandate a ZIS for everything i.e. can you bypass that for local stuff?
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 4th November 2010 at 10:36 PM.

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    @piqueaboo and @localzuk ... rather than talk about and describe the whole concept of the use of ZIS to be the go between for a multitude of systems, not just the MIS and a VLE, but your AD, the LA systems, your RBC, etc ... since there are other threads about SIF about ... can you tell me what you don't understand about the ZIS? Why re-invent the wheel by having lots of apps hooking into the MIS (the MIS as it stands now as well as proposals to only have it as a data store) when you can have one, operating to open standards?

    Remember that you can run your own through something like OpenZIS ... and yes, you may have to pay for SIF Agents to talk between the MIS and the ZIS ... YMMV.

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