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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS vs CMIS in Technical; also that Capita put some blocks in the way by copyrighting the data so you are not allowed to export ...
  1. #16

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    also that Capita put some blocks in the way by copyrighting the data so you are not allowed to export it to CMIS
    We've discussed this issue before. IIRC it works something like this. The license agreement prevents you from accessing the database directly. You must use the API's provided to access the data. You can only use the API's if you have a developer license.

  2. #17

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    Which Serco do ... and they have utilities to move your data across.

    The time consuming thing is building the new timetable, training the essential staff (student data manager, poor sod who does the reports, timetabler, exams officer, poor sod who does attendance) ... followed by basic training for staff ... ensuring ePortal does what you want ... then locking down ePortal .. followed by training staff on ePortal ... then training them on reports via ePortal ... then redesigning your reports system again ... and then delivering more training.

    It all depends on how quickly your staff adapt to change.

    Some schools will prepare it all the 3-4 months before the summer ... with the last timetable done in both Nova and CMIS ... then do the final migration during the summer ... and then cross their finger for when they come back.

    Others take a more long term look at it.

    I a waiting to hear about the first people that move from CMIS to SIMS.net ... it shouldn't be too long now.

  3. #18
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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    ops:

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    I would not normally add to a thread like this because I have an obvious self interest. However I have to say that the idea that Capita copyrights data is just a rumour!

    We do insist that third parties write back to SIMS via our business objects so that we can be sure that the data passes through exactly the same valiation rules as our own software. We then guarantee to fix any problems that might occur. We do charge for that but there is no charge for read access.

  5. #20

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyx
    We went live in March/April (2006) and ran end of year reports for nearly all year groups in June We also started using Eportal for attendance towards end of April.
    When did the process start though?

  6. #21
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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    ops:

  7. #22

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    How much planning went on before the data was transferred? The figure I am looking for is from the first meeting (after signing on the dotted line) to the first point when you were completely SIMS free, and all staff were using the relevant parts.

  8. #23
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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    I a waiting to hear about the first people that move from CMIS to SIMS.net ... it shouldn't be too long now.
    Been there, done that

    I arrived just after CMIS was installed (moved from SIMS). It was so problamatic and user 'unfriendly' the school had the MD and programmers come over from Ireland to discuss and fix the problems. Nothing was achieved so the school went to Sims.net.

    Easier for the staff to use and problems are solved a lot quicker. It's not perfect by any means but the staff get on with it a lot easier than with CMIS which is the important thing.

    We've been CMIS free for 2 years now so my comments about it may be out of date and it may have improved - too late for us though

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    ops:

  10. #25

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    One thing with the Timetabler that I have picked up from the person who does ours is "Smash all the links its CMIS makes for timetabling and DIY from the ground up" she says doing it her way has meant that we have so few tt glitches when staff get there drafts and she sits down and checks them for little glitches its amazing, the last two years its been 99.9% perfect on the 1st draft (until the kids come back and go miss can I drop X for Y.....)

    E-portal is an amasing tool from what I can gather, staff like it, they have had some inset on it, and its improved over the last few years, ours use it remotely for reports etc, parents access it as well for reports, assessments etc its a great product from that side. Whats its like for real day to day stuff I have no idea as I am not a user of it, but it does seem like you will get a good product in the end. You must devote time and effort at all levels to what ever you go for though.

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    We had the demo of CMIS the other day and from what i saw it looks very good. I like the idea of having it all on one DB - a weak point of sims.net/capita because they bought other companies' products (nova, assement manager etc) and are now trying to integrate etc. into SQL a long and complicated thing.

    The person from secro did demo on the latest version which they showed at BETT and it looks very good, both e-portal and Facility Admin.

    We are also going to a conference in sheffield (Notre Dame school) where they will be talking about specialist technology collages related stuff and also a lot on the Facility CMIS.

    I don't mind copping the cost of extra server to host the portal, it is recommended by them and makes sense to be honest. Looking at this thread and others is that they may have installed both on the same server and maybe that's why the e-portal runs slower?

    The guy made it clear that it takes planning and there are 5 stages to transition and may take 4-5 months for the whole thing to be completed. Some may think this is too long of a wait but if you think about it, moving from one MIS to another is not easy for various reason and thus project management is utmost important.

    Strange really that in this thread that many people says they have moved from sims.net to CMIS but not the otherway around. Hmm...maybe we know the reason.

    Ash.

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    looked in to different systems and stayed with SIMS that then became SIMS .net.

    We retain our goal of one IMS and giving all staff immediate access to any information that they have permission for.
    Got a new IT teacher this year who was previously at a CMIS school and she reckons there is no comparison because she can access so much more and faster and whenever and wherever, including remotely.

    I could go on and on but I sleep well having not wasted time convincing the Governors to spend considerable sums of money changing IMS followed by all the pain of transition, only to change back a few years later. Meanwhile we focus on "improvement"; and I mean for the students.

  13. #28
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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    If we ignore the last upgrade to CMIS, which was not exactly great, then CMIS does not cause too many day to day problems anymore.

    We use eportal for collecting attendance and assessment data and pretty much everything else is done in the main system by the office.

    We have not gone down the CMIS route for acedemic reports because when we looked at it a couple of years ago it just was not flexible enough for us so we export the assessment data to another system that is then used to add teachers comments from statement banks. (I will not mention the other system at this stage as we are having a lot of problems with it and I neither want to recommend or condemn it at this stage).

    The biggest weakness with CMIS is getting data out. The report generator it quite limited, but not so simple that it is easy to set up a report. So to get anything more complicated than a set list or attendance report out (although those are not working at the moment thanks to the afore mentioned upgrade) I have to use a seperate report generator (MSAccess usually).

    But this brings me to CMIS's biggest strength - all the data is in one SQl database (but is scalable so could be access for a small school or Oracle for an huge on).

    Some of the way data is stored in the tables is a bit wacky, but with a little persistance there is not really any data you cannot get out, including timetable and finance data.

  14. #29

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    Academic reports is I think one of the best features of CMIS, if just becase it saves so much collation. Comment banks can be added directly into the system, the only bad news is designing the report.

    I ran them for a few years at a school, provided you have inhouse report designing experience (at at least a calculated variable level) or are willing to get someone in for a day to do it for you I reckon it saves time and money in the long run.

    Certainly it freed up admin staff, the main problems I found was because the spell check in e-portal doesn't run a little red line under the misspellings or auto correct errors were up appalingly.

    That however is more a staff literacy than CMIS issue.

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    Re: SIMS vs CMIS

    SIMS .net Profiles 7 "leap-frogs" CMIS here as well, then.

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