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MIS Systems Thread, Groupcall Emerge iPad / iPhone / iPod Touch app for MIS access. in Technical; we've been trialling it and the staff who've used it love it. We've also been impressed with the support...
  1. #46

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    we've been trialling it and the staff who've used it love it. We've also been impressed with the support

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    I imagine the full on iPAD version will run using full resolution, rather than having to blow up the standard iPOD app to full screen.

    Functionality I would guess will be the same.

    PE are still loving using it here on iPOD touches.

  3. #48

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    What does server side need, i.e. Management software?
    SQL? I'm thinking of letting them put it on my ADP/sims app tier server.

  4. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    What does server side need, i.e. Management software?
    SQL? I'm thinking of letting them put it on my ADP/sims app tier server.
    Groupcall Xporter. It's a Service that runs on a server. Any server with a SIMS client.

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    Not wishing to divert this thread but the CMOS version is well on the way too.

    Testing it on this iPod.

  6. #51

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    SUPERSTOKED! w00t
    Got it installed today, only took 50 mins over logmein, and some fiddling around, mostly cos sims was running slow and need to add an ISA rule. So much easier than getting adp up and running.
    It's working on my phone and i've got no data cos its the holidays, kids missing, staff not all on, and no timetables, but it's so awesome.
    Will feedback more tomorrow, after training.
    Thanks Paul

  7. #52

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    So far so good. Training was basically not necessary. Just needed to see how to add a device and see the different consoles there are to view what's going on. Had some little niggles dealing with my proxy server, and making sure there was access to the server that hosts the service, but that's all sorted now.
    In fact the server could be made public facing ( or at least traffic routed to it ) and then you could synch from anywhere - but we don't want that really.

    Did some testing by forcing date backwards to see how it would look with timetables and data and it's really good. Even with our crazy week. You can set it to show up to 5 days of registers / timetables in advance. The first day is always 'today', so it doesn't matter that my weeks starts Saturday. Good news for those middle east schools. @NorthernSands @AlanofArabia

    Some screenshots:

    IMG_0841.pngIMG_0842.pngIMG_0843.pngIMG_0844.png

    On first load the icon images take a while to load and the title just shows $app_title$ but that could be my laggy phone. Also, after phone goes to screen saver, you have to re-enter passcode, 4 digits chosen at setup by user. The digits panel refreshes for no apparent reason on first showing. After 15mins of inactivity ( roughly ), you have to enter the password for the user set at server level. Changing user is fairly straight forward, but needs access to the server, so could be an issue when out of range, or on a trip. Also it says it's clearing all data, and therefore i think it reloads it which is also a pain.

    **Perhaps to log out should require a password to be entered...

    There are 2 user levels, senior management and teacher. The teacher level, just shows less info on the staff, i.e. no contact details (address / numbers) or mobile number.

    The graphs for student attendance are really good. The timetable is handy. The best bit is behaviour, highlighting that which is unresolved. You can also see other students involved.

    One minor let down is the medical info, it only shows the condition, and not much other info, not even the attached note, which is useful for the extra detail, especially when the category is 'other'. So we wont be using it for the clinic staff just yet.

    The server does a nightly data synch, but also does them on the fly when data is requested, which can slow the app down sometimes. Especially the photos! We use rather hi-res photos in SIMS (much bigger than recommended), it shrinks them down on synch, and give a very high quality photo on the device both thumbnail and full screen - would be scary on an iPad.

    It's not very good at handling the connection when you have wifi or 3G but no access to the server. It seems to try to connect twice before it will offer you to go offline and this takes time and drains battery, as well as potentially using up some 3G allowance. If you turn wifi off it goes offline immediately, so presumably would be fine if i walked somewhere that was out of wifi range - if i can find somewhere, but i got caught in this fix on my way home and it was having a fit for a while. It is being looked into though. It's easier just to put it into offline mode deliberately. I don't think this will be an issue for the PE staff though as it should work fine out in the field.

    The various databases each have an expiration date, after which they will need to synch again. I need to test more. I had a few that had expired but when in offline mode they still worked. One issue however, is that by changing the device date / time, you can fool the app into thinking the expiration date is much further away. Not sure how this would work in practise but could do with being looked at. As mentioned in earlier posts, the remote disablement only works if you connect to the server and receive the message that you are no longer allowed to use the app. So in offline mode it just works. I'll see what happens over the rest of the vacation and report back what happens after everything has expired, it may be that the whole app will stop working after the app's expiration date is reached, in which case that is exactly what we want. We just need to be able to configure it, which i'm sure we can with a file somewhere.

    That's all the findings so far. Hope it's useful.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 25th July 2011 at 02:11 PM. Reason: auto-save didn't like my pics, clarity

  8. 3 Thanks to vikpaw:

    Cache (28th August 2011), NorthernSands (25th July 2011), zag (25th July 2011)

  9. #53

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    Arrow

    So, I have been using the app offline for over a month now, and all the databases have expired, however nothing has changed with my ability to access data. I got a message asking if i wanted to go online, but i was able to cancel that.

    I really would like to see someway to make it lock down without needing to synchronise with the server and receive a kill command.

    IMG_0865.pngIMG_0866.png

  10. Thanks to vikpaw from:

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  11. #54

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    Hi,

    Does anybody know if they will be providing the dinner money register in emerge? As this would be really usefull here.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by McBridge View Post
    Hi,

    Does anybody know if they will be providing the dinner money register in emerge? As this would be really usefull here.

    Thanks
    I don't think it's on the timeline, they are concentrating on behaviour and then assessment as far as i know. As well as widening to other OSes / devices.

  13. #56

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    According to the website they added the cancel button to stop remote synching though as mentioned before it doesn't work too well and crashes the app. I've got a case logged to review this.
    Also, the ability to cancel the synch, as far as i know will prevent the remote disablement which is the safety feature in case the device is lost or stolen. I still think this needs addressing, especially as it moves towards purportedly less secure platforms such as Android.

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    So how do you go about trialing this........ i'm thinking it could be quite useful in our school, some teachers already have Ipad2 etc.....

    How much does it cost to trial & setup, and do you have to get someone from "Groupcall" to help set it up.

    When does it become NOT a trial but a full APP etc etc

    Sorry if this is going over stuff that has already been discussed, but I have read everything, and am still a little confused on the above.

    Thanks in advance guys

    Hay

  15. #58

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    The delivery method has changed now, so you can just download the app from the app store for free. When it asks if you want to hook up to the test database just say yes. This lets you try out the app, linking to the web to their test data.

    The provisioning i think for this was up to a year, when downloaded the old way, i'm not sure how it works now, i think you can just keep the app for as long as you want.

    To get actual school data on, you'd need to contact Groupcall, or SIMS to set up a trial, i think you can get a month or so. It makes all the difference to see your real data on it. We did a basic test data trial and opted for it direct. Only took a few hours to set up, over a remote session on to my server.

    Then, you just tell your app that you want to connect to your server instead of the test database and presto you're away.

    The trial i believe would be free. The costs of the app are listed elsewhere, around £100 per device, with a cap of ~£3000 for a secondary school. This is per year, and includes installation and support.

    It's pretty intuitive so no need for a manual or training.

    Groupcall Emerge - the powerful yet intuitive iPhone / iPod 'App' which enables schools to have an up-to-the-minute copy of their MIS data instantly and securely available in the palm of their hand Check this link for info and hit the contact us link to set up a trial.

  16. #59
    zag
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    Just had this installed, it was relativley painless.

    But I'm not impressed to be honest, its not stable and the ipad version is incredibly slow.

    We keep getting this error message

    IMAG0094.jpg

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    Hmm, is this final install or a trial?
    If you get errors like that, it means there was an error during a synch, or it's not fully synched. Either from settings update database, or best thing, though a pain is to change user which will initiate a full database reload.
    I have some slowness, but thought it was my 3GS at fault. It does take a few seconds to load each module, and there is the issue with the icons loading slowly, but once the module is up, flicking into data is pretty good. I think photo size may have something to do with it, and of course what else the device is running.
    I don't know if the photos get resized to a fixed resolution / size, or just shrink down a percentage from the original. If the latter it's a pain as i store photos way bigger than SIMS recommend!



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