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MIS Systems Thread, Discover delayed already :( in Technical; No Discover however. That reminds me, need to find a copy of Office 2010. @Sivadam From what I've heard it's ...
  1. #31

    matt40k's Avatar
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    No Discover however. That reminds me, need to find a copy of Office 2010.

    @Sivadam
    From what I've heard it's going to make you think about the graphic card, like Microsoft was trying to get you to over Aero. I've got a Intel GMA 4500 (which is onboard) and that can pretty much handle most things, so if it can't handle Discover, it's a beast!
    Last edited by matt40k; 24th January 2011 at 09:49 PM.

  2. #32
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    I may know more about how different specs have performed after the next workshop (on 11th Feb for me) when we will be testing the Spring Version of Discover.

  3. #33

    matt40k's Avatar
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    I'll expect you to post a detailed list of compatible graphic cards by 1pm on 12 Feb

  4. #34
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    You should be so lucky ...........

    Lucky........ lucky......... lucky!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 24th January 2011 at 10:05 PM.

  5. #35

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Can't get the staff these days

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    SIMS Discover was NEVER scheduled to be released in Autumn - except to the Field Trial Schools! This is actually what has happened.
    The release to all schools was always scheduled for the Spring Release. The delay of a month has been arranged so that EXTRA functionality can be added as a result of requests by the Field Trial users!
    Users will benefit from the enhancements and so waiting that extra few weeks will be well worth it!
    What you saw at Bett 2011 was a version in advance of what the Field Trial schools have. We will see the updated software at the wokshops at the beginning of February! There was no 'Discover' at Bett 2010. What you saw was just the 'Concept' of what Discover would look like! I am sure that Chris would have explained this at the time!

    I have still got a Copy of the SIMS 2010 Roadmap as well as the SIMS 2011 Roadmap and the dates are very clear on both!
    Well you've heavily edited your post now!

    BETT2010 described Discover as an enhancement to Performance Analysis module. I initially thought it was the 'concept car' but that was actually something else, hence the later edit (minor) to my post.

    It was not clearly explained that it was merely an animated idea we were looking at rather than a test product, until i sat in on a demo and specifically asked Chris.

    The marketing department hyped it up, and i was actually expecting it sooner, as in the second half of 2010. Fair enough, we shouldn't be swayed by marketing. It wasn't on the roadmaps? : fair enough again. I and possibly others misunderstood the timeline? ok, but...

    What's a bit annoying is, that it's being delayed for additional functionality / enhancement. I can understand a delay for a bug or some other issue, but i'd rather get my hands on it as it is, if it's working in every other way. I'd be happy to take an upgrade that increases functionality a month later, if it means we get 4 weeks to look and see what it's capable of.

    There's always the risk that adding new things will break something else. Will the new revision work as a whole? How much time will there be to test it?

    I'm sure people think i'm being pessimistic, but many people have been waiting well over a year for this product, not just because it is the 'all singing and dancing' Discover, but little elements like Dynamic User Defined Groups, which is something that has constantly been put off as it is 'coming soon'.

  7. #37

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Question:

    Will this be available to all by default or is there a special permission to use it?
    What is the effect locally / on the server if an under spec' machine tries to use Discover?
    I'd really like a heads up minimum spec' or even recommended spec' surely the Field Trial schools were given some guidelines...

  8. #38

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    The demo video does look great. BETT 2011 was a good time!!

  9. #39

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    At the end of the day, quibbles about when something completely new like this should have or will arrive, are "by the by", as this is such a fundamentally useful new tool and finally something that "looks" state of the art in SIMS that we should all be overjoyed.

    But I would echo what Vik says, having been myself at the last two BETT's. Either something changed or they were simply economical with the truth - as they did indeed imply people would be able to get hands-on later that year (I think even Oct/Nov was touted) - they just didn't make it clear that would be to a very limited set of tester's (and yes I applied for that program but of course failed to get on it) and it would be at least another 6 months before general release. Fair-do's, they then did offer a later open access test if you had a seperate test SIMS installation (which we don't and were not about to spend time setting up). My frustration was that, even after repeated attempts, I was not able to get access to early documentation on this tool - specifically to understand better the concept for hooking up to AM7 elements, which may have influenced my thinking on enhancements I was planning to make to our assessment structure during latter part of 2010. As such, I've held off doing so and will wait until we get it in before deciding what to add to make Discover as valuable a tool internally as it has the potential to be. And yes - waiting and waiting for dynamic groups, so hallelujah when they are accessible!

    My main worry though, which I'm hoping will fade as they find ways to improve the situation, is this spec requirement. Last thing I would want is to know we have a great tool (and clap hands to Capita for deciding to make it part of the maintenance update packaging!), yet to then find that there are only one or two users with the right equipment on which it runs effectively enough for it to be usable. Again - concerns may be unfounded - we'll have to wait and see.
    Last edited by resin1; 25th January 2011 at 02:33 PM.

  10. #40
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    The reason that you cannot find documentation on SIMS Discover is that this documentation is, in itself, being tested by the Field Trial Schools/LAs. The documentation we have now only applies to the current Field Trial version and will be, presumably, greatly altered before the main release. Indeed, the version of Discover we have now has to be completely uninstalled before the Spring release can be installed. The documentation for the Install and for the User will no doubt change massively before the Spring. We are one of the sites that had problems with the install - issues that you will, hopefully, not have when you get the release. The documentation and the install simply did not work on our version of the SIMS Server until the developers remoted in and 'discovered' what the issues actually were!

    As for specs - it is no good trying to issue a minimum spec until the Field Trial Schools' results have been analysed by the UAT/Discover Team. On the first workshop I had a old laptop on which the performance was painfully slow. This is not replicated on my school workstation, though I would like a higher spec machine if I had to use the program in earnest, rather than just test-drive it. And before you ask - No! I will not publish those specs here - they have been fed back to UAT, as all test platforms specs should have been, as an integral part of the trial. Capita are trying to improve the performance and this will be continued in further development work after the Spring Release. What you get in Spring will be a massive improvement on what we have right now (as a Field Trial School) and that improvement will hopefully be sustained in subsequent versions!

    When Capita ask for volunteers to participate in Field Trials they often do not get a large response. For this project the response was massive and they simply could not accommodate most of the requests. They obviously chose a cross-section of schools to test on and obviously look to high level SIMS Users, who they know they can rely on to provide the software with a fair trial. The main object of attending UAT sessions is to try and break the software using your own school data. Then all schools will benefit from those issues being resolved prior to the official release of the software. Field Trials are no exception to this rule!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 25th January 2011 at 02:56 PM.

  11. #41

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    Question

    Like resin1, i too was offered a 'beta' trial after field testing, which is great, however looking at time frames it will be tight, nonetheless it is worth it to get a Heads Up on the system / processes to better aid the implementation for the live system.

    I think the term documentation is not quite right, it's not an instruction manual / installation method that is wanted (correct me if i'm wrong resin1) but more of an idea of the underlying system structure / linkage. e.g. which grades are accessible, who can use the tool, where are the dynamic groups stored, who can use them, how do you access them, can you run reports against these groups or are they just for built in discover style analysis etc. Some people may already know these answers, it's still all very conceptual for me. I doubt very much if the structure / workflow will change dramatically post field trial, else that would be a big delay, though i understand that is always a possibility if you really break it properly!

    I've been asked to do loads of traffic lighting and analysis which will takes weeks to complete, so knowing the capabilities / limitations of the system would save wasting time on something that will be superceded by Discover.

    I'm surprised Capita don't give field triallers minimum specs, because they must do some in-house testing. What's the point of letting people use sub-standard systems and then get feedback that it's too slow. It's only a minimum spec after all, as in, you can run XP on 300Mhz and 64MB RAM, would you do it? Hell NO! If the system is recommended to need 2GB RAM on a workstation, then i'll start requesting it now for all SLT and advanced users if they don't have it. I won't mind if it will run on 1GB too. I don't think the request for field trial participants asked for the spec' of machines that would be used to test did it? I'd like to think there was a systematic procedure for testing a range of spec, certainly graphic cards, both on and off board. I think all our SLT laptops are going to be under powered, so time to think about cascading

    I guess whilst in the process, i'll need to upgrade the old slow MBPro to a better model , though am tempted by the Air now . . .

    Anyways, less quibbling, will any results get published post workshops...?

    Preparing myself to be stunned by the awesomeness

  12. #42

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    Right Vik - I realised afterwards that was the wrong terminology - like you I would have really benefited simply from a White Paper or some document that outlined the general concept and structure - i..e the foundations on which all the good coding was going to be done and the stuff that would be unlikely to change by release. Just would have been really useful to know thats all.

  13. #43
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    What concerns me is that schools that are planning to buy new kit now have no spec for Discover to refer to - and hence may get poor performance!

  14. #44

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Windy_Miller View Post
    What concerns me is that schools that are planning to buy new kit now have no spec for Discover to refer to - and hence may get poor performance!
    Go with standard RAM, probably 2GB these days, and a dedicated graphics card. I'm sure the amount of graphics RAM wont make a huge difference - but who knows?

    Edit: of course it will, but i mean, basic will be sufficient i'd hope to run things smoothly.

    On a positive note, talking of roadmaps, i had a sneaky peak ahead, and this feature of System Manager 7 is exciting:
    Enabling on screen viewing and reporting of audit logs of user access to SIMS
    Last edited by vikpaw; 26th January 2011 at 10:26 AM. Reason: addition for clarity.

  15. #45
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Windy_Miller View Post
    What concerns me is that schools that are planning to buy new kit now have no spec for Discover to refer to - and hence may get poor performance!
    How's about:- Intel Core 2 Duo Cpu, 4Gb Ram, NVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M Graphics Device
    (with apologies to the colleague on SupportNet who suggested this option!)

    The performance on different specs has seemed to be 'not logical' in some instances, but I currently have no way of quantifying that statement! What is advised, as I said before, is a dedicated graphics card of some sort! And 4Gb of Ram!

    Now if you go out and buy machines with that spec do not blame me if it is a) Too high and therefore unnecessary or b) Too low a spec for Discover to perform efficiently!
    I have been saying regularly that the FT Schools are feeding this info back to the Development Team. And I have not yet seen the Spring Version of Discover never mind been able to test it!

    My Worksatation spec is:- Intel Core Duo PCU, E6750 2.66GHz, DDR2, 1.96Gb Ram, NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS. Discover works but refer to my earlier post!

    Many years ago when buying a home PC I was advised to decide what spec I wanted now and to ensure that it would be compatible for the future to come, to double that spec and then to double the spec again! Sound advice at the time!

  16. Thanks to Sivadam from:

    vikpaw (26th January 2011)



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