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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS ID Interface / CommandReporter Example in Technical; Hi all, I mentioned in a separate thread a while back an Access database I created which can pull photo's ...
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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    SIMS ID Interface / CommandReporter Example

    Hi all,

    I mentioned in a separate thread a while back an Access database I created which can pull photo's and other info from SIMS in to an Access database, making it easy to design your own reports containing student photo's (it's original intention being ID cards).

    Well I've got it in to a more user friendly shell now ready to share with the world, so take a look at it and feel free to comment/criticize (I'm sure you will lol) and get some idea's of how you could adapt it to your needs.

    By the way, I am currently the only person who has ever used it, therefore testing is at a minimal, but I'll do my best to resolve any problems people have with it as and when I get the time to look at them.

    To install:
    • Download the attached ZIP file, and extract it to a suitable directory (I had some trouble using it on network drives due to restrictions in place, try running it from a local HDD if you have trouble).
    • Run "RegGif89.bat" (this just runs RegSvr32 on the included "Gif89.dll", necessary for the loading GIF used in the system)
    • In SIMS.net, go to "Reports > Import" and browse for the included RptDef file ("ID_REPORTS.RPTDEF")
    • Finally, check that "Config.ini" has the right path set for the CLR tool (it should be right, unless your SIMS is installed somewhere other than the C: drive)


    Now just open the database to start using it, you'll need your SIMS username and password to login to the database.

    To populate your database with data or to refresh the data, there are two pretty self explanatory buttons: "Update Student Data from SIMS .net" & "Update Groups from SIMS .net". The first time you use the database, you'll need to update the groups first so that you can apply a filter when it comes to updating students. I recommend doing this 1 year at a time as a very large report is returned for photographs and it can take a while! There are also two forms set up which act as your reports, they're just there as an example.

    The file "default.jpg" is the image that will be used if there is no photograph available for a student, replace it if you want to change that image, Access will automatically scale any image down to fit in the space available.

    If anybody does use this, please bare in mind that Access is not secure!

    So please don't download all your student info in to it and leave it lying around on a memory stick or anything daft like that
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by LosOjos; 31st March 2010 at 03:58 PM.

  2. 2 Thanks to LosOjos:

    Jamman960 (31st March 2010), oxide54 (22nd November 2010)

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Personally I prefer to run photo reports such as ID Cards directly from SIMS.
    Once the Template is prepared (and exported to protect it from the disappearing/breaking RTF Template phenonemon) then it is available for any SIMS User (with appropriate permissions) to use!

    (Yes! This does come under my self-imposed watching brief. Apologies to you Josh, but the post may cause some Users to think that SIMS cannot do this when, in fact, it can!)
    Last edited by Sivadam; 31st March 2010 at 01:49 PM.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Personally I prefer to run photo reports such as ID Cards directly from SIMS.
    Once the Template is prepared (and exported to protect it from the disappearing/breaking RTF Template phenonemon) then it is available for any SIMS User (with appropriate permissions) to use!

    (Yes! This does come under my self-imposed watching brief. Apologies to you Josh but the post may make some Users think that SIMS cannot do this when in fact it can!)
    No problem, yeah you can get photo's directly from SIMS, but I like the added flexibility of designing forms in Access, plus the ability to have a default image to use when none is available. More than anything else though, this is just an example of how you can use CommandReporter to interact with Sims from external systems (something that gets a lot of questions around here I've noticed)

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    If anybody does use this, please bare in mind that Access is not secure!

    So please don't download all your student info in to it and leave it lying around on a memory stick or anything daft like that

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshJohnson View Post
    .... (something that gets a lot of questions around here I've noticed)
    And so does SIMS Reporting - apparantly by contributors who do not seem to know it's full capabilities or how to use it to this level!

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    Thanks Josh, will take a look at it when I get time

    could do with sorting out an autoupdate method for the pupil acheivement webapp I've been developing

    James

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    And so does SIMS Reporting - apparantly by contributors who do not seem to know it's full capabilities or how to use it to this level!
    I want to clear this up now:

    This system was not created with the intention of making SIMS look like a bad system, nor have I claimed that it does anything that SIMS cannot do. It was created because I find it easier to do certain things in Access and like the freedom that I have when designing reports in Access. It has been shared here because many others also ask about how to use CommandReporter to get data in to their own systems, and this is just one example of how to do that.

    Please Sivadam, stop attacking every post I make: I'm not attacking SIMS, I'm just trying to help people out who want to have a go at doing something similar themselves, next time I might not bother. I'm not asking for praise or thanks, just not to be attacked when all I have done is offer help to the community.

    EDIT:
    And before it gets said, yes I can take criticism, but please make it constructive and relevant. If you have suggestions of other ways to achieve the same thing, please feel free to put them forward and offer examples if you can, but bare in mind what the main purpose of me sharing this system is: to give an example of how to use CLR to extract data from SIMS. [/rant]
    Last edited by LosOjos; 1st April 2010 at 09:34 AM.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Sorry Josh!

    My comments are in no way intended as an attack against you. I am merely emphasising to those users that do not understand SIMS what is and what is not possible.

    In the past there have been many, many allegations that SIMS will not deliver certain functionality and, if any such allegation is not correct, I am determined to counteract any such misunderstandings that arise here. This will also apply to any post that readers could possibly make inferrals from that may also be incorrect.

    I unreservedly apologise if you think I was personally attacking you as this was never my intention. I applaud the motives of your original post in this thread.

    (Please note that my help is now confined to SupportNet {or maybe even privately} because {as with you in this thread} I do not think that my contributions are well received by some users.)
    Last edited by Sivadam; 1st April 2010 at 09:53 AM.

  10. Thanks to Sivadam from:

    LosOjos (1st April 2010)

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    Thumbs up

    I can't believe i missed this thread, i think i was flying at the time.
    Good idea LosOjos i will try and take a look over the summer if i get a chance.

    Just a couple of things to add to the thread for reference, i don't mean to detract from your idea, but it might be useful for others to know.

    I've seen some similar work done by someone using an SQL database linking to the Card5 ID system, and pulling data out of SIMS, this was posted on SupportNet.

    I did some work trying to reverse engineer pictures out of the Card5 Access database, messing around with BOBs and BLOBs but never got anywhere apart from very frustrated.

    Also i recently came across some freeware from SalamanderSoft that is a SIMS PhotoExtractor, i haven't tested it yet, but again it could be of use, either to you with your app, or to others trying to do something similar.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Months old now this, but I've just gone to install this on somebody's machine and noticed i mistyped "available" in the default/placeholder image!

    Here's a corrected one if anybody wants to try it and doesn't want to make their own placeholder
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #11

    LosOjos's Avatar
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    I can't seem to update the attached ZIP above, but here's a newer version which includes the corrected default image and fixes an issue whereby students in year groups lower than year 10 were not being retrieved from SIMS
    Attached Files Attached Files

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