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MIS Systems Thread, Extracting data from MIS packages in Technical; Out of interest, how does other MIS packages allow 3rd parties to pull data out? With SIMS you can create ...
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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Extracting data from MIS packages

    Out of interest, how does other MIS packages allow 3rd parties to pull data out? With SIMS you can create a report then run it to get the data out. I know a number of looking at SIF, but how many have a SIF agent?

    (Yes, I'm getting bored and want to play with something other then SIMS)

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    AXE
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I'm getting bored and want to play with something other then SIMS
    iSAMS is fun to break.

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    You imagine parsing a full set of data on 1500 students, once it's in the SIF message format? It'd be gigabytes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Out of interest, how does other MIS packages allow 3rd parties to pull data out? With SIMS you can create a report then run it to get the data out. I know a number of looking at SIF, but how many have a SIF agent?

    (Yes, I'm getting bored and want to play with something other then SIMS)

    Groupcall SIF agent supports multiple MIS. Groupcall - Partners

    @MattMitchell

    Our SIF agent uses the most SIF objects and requests large amount of student,teacher and parent data and it doesn't come to gigabytes.

    The first setup is always going to be the largest, but then only update messages get sent.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    CMIS is supposed to let you have more access to the SQL which is always handy for doing your own custom thing.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Anyone mind posting any examples? Or pointing me in the direction of the dev documentation

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Anyone mind posting any examples? Or pointing me in the direction of the dev documentation
    To use SIF, you will need a MIS agent, a zone integration server. Then you will be able to start developing a SIF agent.

    There ADK (agent developer kits) about which are about £1000+ or write your own.

    You will need to implement the SIF UK specification the details are here SIF Implementation Specification (United Kingdom) 1.2

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    SIF would add an extra layer work, at least until SIF has been setup in schools. I really just want to know how to interface with something other then SIMS.

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    Facility does have a more "open" SQL database than SIMS in that you can directly access the SQL tables without being required to use stored procedures. However, this can be something of a double-edged sword, you get easy access to the data (if you can figure out the, hmm... complicated(?) database structure!) but you also leave yourself open to being nobbled when Serco change the table structures, which can and has happened in the past.

    I'd also recommend a lot of caution (in fact, I just flat out wouldn't do it) with respect to writing any data back into the tables. As with most MIS systems, your support team would take a dim view of your new scripts borking the database with some dodgy INSERTs!

    There is also a web API available as a standard in the ePortal product. I don't have a great deal of experience with this, but there should be some documentation available for it should you wish to take a look at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Out of interest, how does other MIS packages allow 3rd parties to pull data out? With SIMS you can create a report then run it to get the data out. I know a number of looking at SIF, but how many have a SIF agent?

    (Yes, I'm getting bored and want to play with something other then SIMS)
    Hi Matt,

    These links might be of interest and/or provide some insight into how Pearson are implementing/handling SIF.

    Educational solutions - SIF Pearson Solutions:

    Pii - Phoenix information interchange

    Best Regards,

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    Cheers, doesn't look like any MIS package has anything as good as SIMS. Anything for Bromcom?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robertcraig View Post
    Hi Matt,

    These links might be of interest and/or provide some insight into how Pearson are implementing/handling SIF.

    Educational solutions - SIF Pearson Solutions:

    Pii - Phoenix information interchange

    Best Regards,
    Hi Robert

    What objects are Pearson implementing for phoenix?

    Do you have a test system inplace to allow third parties to test there agents against youra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    ....
    Anything for Bromcom?
    Well, i know that it's easy to get access to data and ask for fixes in the SQL because pretty much everyone who answers the phone on the helpdesk speaks SQL, at least that was the case in my last school.

    I don't know about plug-ins, but the platform 3 (i think that's what it was called) had a really cool reporting system that allowed you to setup and create pretty advanced reports, schedule them and also direct them to another user. really funky. i think we also used to have scheduled sql reports running that i used to check on, so there's lots of flexibility.

    I guess it's on a per site basis rather than the same thing for all, but things have changed greatly since i left 'that' school.

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    This is something I am wondering about. We will be changing MIS over the coming year or so and I would prefer to have some kind of access to the data underneath - for read only purpose i.e. custom queries. How easy is it to access iSAMS data? Is it encyrypted or just weird table format? I certainly remember accessing phoenix gold OMNIS data via an access spreadsheet (couldnt get a linked server in SQL running).

    Since I speak SQL I would much prefer an SQL approach rather than muck about with SIF!
    Last edited by KK20; 7th May 2010 at 10:43 AM.

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    Schools use SQL Reporting Services to extract their own information from iSAMS. Files are not encryped. You do have to know/understand the data structures to know which datasets to use..



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