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MIS Systems Thread, School MIS Systems in Technical; Originally Posted by Sivadam And some MIS Systems do handle Assessment Data very well but some schools do not appear ...
  1. #286

    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    And some MIS Systems do handle Assessment Data very well but some schools do not appear to be fully conversant with this fact!
    That is very much a matter of opinion, as with just about every post made MIS on these forums: attacking people because their opinion differs from your own is not productive, and it doesn't set up a very good precedent for this website. This is one of the few completely public forums I have ever used where I can come to mull things over with other's without constantly being "flamed" like I'm in some sort of internet school yard - yet sometimes it slips down to that kind of level thanks to certain users posts and treatment of others.

    If somebody comes here posting blatant flame bait (i.e. "SIMS/Integro/CMIS sux it's carp everyone abandon it"), or they simply post false information (e.g. "SIMS does not have the facility to record attendance data" - clearly not true) then fair enough, put them right, otherwise just accept that their opinion differs from your own and stop acting like some sort of virtual bully.

    P.S. - Sivadam this isn't directed at you alone, there are a few people who have bad attitudes towards "newcomers" here (in my opinion)

  2. #287
    budgester's Avatar
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    What I would like to see in the MIS arena and I'm sure it wouldn't take to long to do.

    1. LiveCD that creates a server with Open Source Solutions for the Schools Interoperability Framework on it. Get an old PC and install. There you go a nice free open source ZIS.

    2a. SIMS Command Reporter report that will output the basic details required for SIF into an XML file. (This report can be scheduled to be run easily)
    2b. Something Similar for CMIS and other MIS systems.

    3. A small application that will read the above generated XML file and connect to the ZIS as a SIF agent.

    4. Some SIF clients e.g:
    a. AD account provision
    b. Moodle course integration
    c. zimbra account creation
    d. You idea here....

    The plan here is to basically make it the easiest method for other applications to start to use ZIS as the chosen method of data transfer.

    So anyone with me on this ?

  3. Thanks to budgester from:

    CyberNerd (8th March 2011)

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    That is very much a matter of opinion, as with just about every post made MIS on these forums: attacking people because their opinion differs from your own is not productive, and it doesn't set up a very good precedent for this website. This is one of the few completely public forums I have ever used where I can come to mull things over with other's without constantly being flamed like I'm in some sort of internet school yard - yet sometimes it slips down to that kind of level thanks to certain users posts and treatment of others.
    If somebody comes here posting blatant flame bait (i.e. SIMS/Integro/CMIS sux it's carp everyone abandon it; or they simply post false information (e.g. SIMS does not have the facility to record attendance data&amp - clearly not true) then fair enough, put them right, otherwise just accept that their opinion differs from your own and stop acting like some sort of virtual bully.
    P.S. - Sivadam this isn't directed at you alone, there are a few people who have bad attitudes towards newcomers here (in my opinion)
    Thanks. I agree. Did you not notice that I did not attack the NP. I just backed up Matt becos' he was getting flak. Suspicious posts are nearly all ignored except by those brave enough to say something in public!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 8th March 2011 at 08:43 PM.

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    matt40k (8th March 2011)

  6. #289
    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgester View Post
    What I would like to see in the MIS arena and I'm sure it wouldn't take to long to do.

    1. LiveCD that creates a server with Open Source Solutions for the Schools Interoperability Framework on it. Get an old PC and install. There you go a nice free open source ZIS.

    2a. SIMS Command Reporter report that will output the basic details required for SIF into an XML file. (This report can be scheduled to be run easily)
    2b. Something Similar for CMIS and other MIS systems.

    3. A small application that will read the above generated XML file and connect to the ZIS as a SIF agent.

    4. Some SIF clients e.g:
    a. AD account provision
    b. Moodle course integration
    c. zimbra account creation
    d. You idea here....

    The plan here is to basically make it the easiest method for other applications to start to use ZIS as the chosen method of data transfer.

    So anyone with me on this ?
    Access to a hosted version of OpenZIS will be available soon, this will simply the required setup so schools can use SIF.
    A SIF agent already exists for SIMS.net,CMIS,Moodle and Active Directory.

    If you have any SIF related questions I will be happy to answer them as I am currently attending the SIF annual conference.

  7. #290
    budgester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    Access to a hosted version of OpenZIS will be available soon, this will simply the required setup so schools can use SIF.
    A SIF agent already exists for SIMS.net,CMIS,Moodle and Active Directory.

    If you have any SIF related questions I will be happy to answer them as I am currently attending the SIF annual conference.
    Where would I get the SIF agents for the above from ?

    Free, Commercial ?

    Any links ?

  8. #291

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    RE: SIF - SchoolsICT - enabling 21st century learning or Groupcall - supplies Communication and data extraction tools to the Education, Public and business sectors. - I think
    Thanks Sivadam, I feel likes SIMS is a bit like Marmite. You either hate it or love it, maybe we should start a SIMS love campaign? Personally I laugh when I see people publicly rant about Microsoft\SIMS for no good reason and how opensource will "save the world", who's career is funded by supporting a Microsoft\SIMS

    Anyway, I did ask a question, nil response... guess I scared him off ? Back on topic, if anyone is thinking about building a MIS system to be used in the real world in the UK, here's a few things to think about

    Firstly, you'll need a VAT number, a major backer, a large development team - long gone are the days you could develop it on your own - a very good sales team. Part of the reason Suffolk moved away from it's inhouse MIS was because it's wasn't business focused, so when the big change from green screen to Windows came, it didn't have the scale to afford the development costs. The reason SIMS is the no1 is because Phil Neal is a ok programmer and an excellent sales person. You most likely going to need to go out to tender, so how can you offer something better then all the big players? Can you prove that your business won't go under, how are you going to back this up and if you do, how can the schools that have moved, get out? Even Capita have the source code stored with a 3rd party, just in case they go out of business. MIS is a massive project, have you ever done such a large scale project? How are you going to license it? If it's free, how are you going to cover your costs? If it's a one off, do they need to get a new license for every new build, if so, what happens when the new census requires the new version? Are they going to own the license or just rent it, so if they leave, how can they keep the data without a license? How are you going to move them from the old MIS to your new one? How are you going to support it? Who are you targeting? Primaries, secondaries, specials, independant, PRUs, nursery, academies? Are you planning on taking on just a few MIS suppliers, if so how do you plan to target them? If your working with LA schools, how are you going to support transferring data into the existing LA system, remember no one likes spending money if they don't have to (B2B Open??). Back to licensing, are you doing all in, or do the schools need to buy modules, does the basic package cover enough for the legal requirements of a school in the UK? Is it self-hosted or managed? Onsite or offsite? Web based or application? What about the database - MSSQL, Oracle, MySQL? What programming lanaguage are you going to use? If it's hosting, is it going to be in the UK? What security are you going to use, how are you going to audit? How are third parties going to interface with it? Are you going to support CTF, SIF and will you have API (business objects) that 3rd parties can use? If it's hosted, and lets say you release an awesome MIS, the UK gov says all schools must use it, how are you going to prevent unwanted people getting in? How will you check that employees aren't running queries across multiple databates for personal gain? If you're going self-hosted, how will you deal with customers sending you data, how will you handle it, how will you destory it? If your hosting, will you own the servers? Will you own the DC? How will you cope with internet outages? What SLA will you offer? What SLA will you offer to third parties? How will you deal with reporting? Upgrades? If it's managed, how will you work this out with the school? What if the upgrade failes because of "invalid" data? What spec will you require? Is this likely to need additional software\hardware installing at the school?

    I'm afraid that's all I can think of at the moment, I'm off work this week as it's my birthday on Thursday, so I cant dig around for more questions or details on the tendering and legal requirements. The only one I can think of is if your MIS is offline and you don't have copy of the students contact details etc on paper (which is more likely as we head down the green path of paperless offices), the school must close. If someone\some company can produce something better than SIMS, I'll happly put it forward and convert.

    @localzuk - Lets face it, you're never going to agree with me, I'm part of the enemy. I'm pro Microsoft, SIMS, LA and BSF.

  9. #292

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    @localzuk - Lets face it, you're never going to agree with me, I'm part of the enemy. I'm pro Microsoft, SIMS, LA and BSF.
    You should be neither 'pro' MS or anti-MS. You should be looking at what's best for your employer all the time!

    I am a fan of OSS but also love some MS stuff. I also like some aspects of SIMS.net, and find the thought of switching away, should we decide to, daunting to say the least. But I also recognise that simply sticking with what we have because we're used to it is neither best practice, legal or going to ensure we get the best deal.

    As for being pro LA/BSF - that's a different issue. BSF is a lofty idea, poorly thought out and poorly implemented. LAs are again a good idea, but they are prone to 'large organisation syndrome' where they take forever to do anything, can sometimes be deliberately obstructive for no real reason and a few other problems. If other LAs are like ours, they are basically imploding and having to restructure like never before to become competitive service providers rather than the dictatorial empire managers that many currently are (and there is a massive amount of evidence on this site to back this up).

    So, rather than thinking this is some form of polarised argument with 'pro' and 'anti', try taking the middle path and think independently from what you're used to. Your employer should thank you for it.

  10. Thanks to localzuk from:

    GrumbleDook (8th March 2011)

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    @localzuk
    Yes ... the third way is the answer Compromise, balance, understanding ...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    @localzuk
    Yes ... the third way is the answer Compromise, balance, understanding ...
    Oh dear lord, i'm turning into you! I'll be fence sitting next!

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Oh dear lord, i'm turning into you! I'll be fence sitting next!
    Well ... they do say that there are always two ... a master and apprentice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Well ... they do say that there are always two ... a master and apprentice!
    @localzuk is your padawan ? cool

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    DavKellyPro's Avatar
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    Disclosure: I work for an MIS provider called Arbor.

    We've recently had to go through these sorts of issues, as we're now pushing out into schools in the UK. To be fair, they aren't insurmountable, just challenging. It helps if you've got some good financial backing, a robust business plan, and some experienced UK educators on the team!

  16. #298

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    @localzuk is your padawan ? cool
    Wait! How did I miss this?!

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    DavKellyPro's Avatar
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    Haha, longest wait for a reply ever?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    True, but how insulting is that SIMS\Bromcom\SchoolPack\Integris being labelled as poor by a new comer with no reason despite them being in the market for many years and investigate large amounts of time and money developing a UK specific MIS system.
    Hi

    Not been back since the very nice response to my last posting. I've been using MIS systems for 5 years and I did go through all the MIS systems available in the UK and didn't find any that met our needs. The US one I was looking at is called Orbund. However since then, we have moved onto building our own system. While their system was good, there was a language barrier that many staff could not get over. I'm building our system using the Django framework with a postgresql server backend. We're going live in September and so far, the build has worked out really well.

    The problem with most of the MIS systems offered here is that they are version of the same thing with little variation. WCBS appeared to be a little better though. My build though is nothing like any of the systems offered. We didn't try to build on ideas that were available in current systems, but went back to the drawing board. We've also kept things really simple. At the same time it will run to work in five different schools, but all working from the same database. Since starting this, I've heard from a number of other schools who feel similarly let down my UK MIS systems and have built their own with great success.

  19. Thanks to msnealer from:

    vikpaw (8th December 2012)

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