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MIS Systems Thread, Individual Reports take forever to generate in Technical; We've noticed speed issues when using PCs with Win 7 / Office 2010. If we revert back to an old ...
  1. #16
    steve's Avatar
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    We've noticed speed issues when using PCs with Win 7 / Office 2010. If we revert back to an old laptop (lower spec) with XP and office 2003, the reports generate much faster.

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    I used to have individual reports that took an age and a day, but they had graphs in. As soon as I removed the graphs they were considerably quicker.

    Still, as Vik says, check to see what your workstation is doing when you run the reports. When something is running slow it's always useful to find the 'bottle-neck'. Bring up TaskManager and monitor the LAN, CPU and RAM usage over the time it takes to produce a few students' reports. If you can RDP to the SIMS server, bring the same up on there. If the RAM usage goes up to near max, also check for Page / Hard Faults for Winword or Pulsar. This means it's having to dive to the pagefile on the HDD to find stuff and that will be SLOOOOOW (the pagefile can be well over 100 times slower than RAM).

    You don't say what type of CPU, nor what OS you're running on the workstation. If a P4 based CPU running Windows 7, or Vista, then yes, I'd expect it to take that long. If I'm absolutley honest, 1GB of RAM is not enough regardless of OS or CPU. 2GB on Windows XP or 4GB on Vista / 7 is where you'll want to be, in an ideal world. Preventing programs using the pagefile is usually far more beneficial that a faster CPU (unless it's a P4 based CPU, then that should be in the bin IMHO).

    Let us know the results of the above tests.

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    If your reports are running slowly, here are a few things you can do...

    If your reports are taking awhile to run or load up, you can try some of the steps below which may speed things up...

    You clean out the SIMStempRPT folder which is located within My Documents. You can delete all the contents as this will be recreated when running another report.

    You can re-import reports via Reports - Import (within SIMS) and chose the latest version of reports for you to import.

    Or it could simply be the report your trying to run needs a filter or more filters to break down the amount of information. This can be done by editing the report in design mode.

    If you need further information, don't heistate to contact me.

  4. #19
    NorthernSands's Avatar
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    @RichSpriggs - I believe the OP is referring to Individual Reports from [Focus > Assessment > Individual Report], rather than reports run from [Reports > Run Reports].

    However, useful stuff for when those reports aren't running well.

  5. #20

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  6. #21

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    @RichSpriggs - thanks for your advice, however I am referring to Individual Reports as @NorthernSands said

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    I must mention at this point that the time taken for the individual reports to run in assessment in our case has nothing to do with the workstation/server specifications. This is a major fault that Capita need to fix. Considering I have tested these slow reports on a server with dual E5540 processors and 48GB of RAM this is far from the issue!

    The "problem" here is schools are reusing previous reports year on year and I assume by reusing these reports after various Capita SIMS upgrades where the data has been moved about, fields added etc is in fact more of a timeout issue. In most cases by completely recreating the report from scratch it runs in a matter of seconds.

    This is 100% a Capita issue and needs to be fixed. A look on SupportNet will show that loads of other people are having exactly the same issue with one comment being "we just have to put up with it". This is not good enough and something needs to be done about this issue.

    Many of our schools are very glad we are going out to tender for another MIS.

    Hopefully Phil Neal will listen and get someone in development to actually look into the issue rather than tell us "It shouldn't take that long". Correct, it shouldn't but it does for a lot of SIMS.NET users.

  8. #23

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    As mentioned earlier in this thread, if you'd like to make contact with me I will get an expert to contact you and if necessary visit to find ot more.

  9. #24
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    ec94210,

    I do not agree that there is a generic problem with the printing of AM7 Individual Reports. Or it just does not manifest itself on our system!
    We have been printing them very successfully for many years, since AM6 days, without suffering speed issues. This includes using previous reports year on year, though the Template always has to be edited anyway to account for the changes that need to be made to the different results sets required for each new reorting period.

    Recently we have moved to a new style of reports that contain much more graphical information, such as English and Maths progress graphs, with Achievement plotted against Targets over a Key Stage.
    This has obviously slowed the printing down somewhat, so that we now print a Reg Group at a time rather than a full Year group. However we are satisfied with the time it takes to produce each set of reports.
    Last edited by Sivadam; 27th May 2011 at 10:53 PM.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by ec94210 View Post
    The "problem" here is schools are reusing previous reports year on year and I assume by reusing these reports after various Capita SIMS upgrades where the data has been moved about, fields added etc is in fact more of a timeout issue. In most cases by completely recreating the report from scratch it runs in a matter of seconds.
    I'm pretty sure many of the affected users have tried recreating a brand new report, but even so, if it's worked for you that's great. How many times have you been successful? I'd be interested to hear from others if this does work...

    There are a lot of issues recently, and it does need looking at, however, we found that the issues were mostly, OS and permissions based and fixing those has allowed the usual speed of running reports, though in general SIMS does appear to be quite slow on 2008. Nonetheless if you have a potential workaround even if it is a full recreation of the report that's promising for those of us that just want the job done now.

    Did you find that a verify would fail on your old reports, or do you think it might be the built-in tags that were to blame..

  11. #26
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    What SQL edition is the OP running out of interest?

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oops_my_bad View Post
    What SQL edition is the OP running out of interest?
    I think 2008, as R2 wasn't supported when they upgraded, and it wouldn't have been wise to move to that when it was unsupported.

  13. #28

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    Whether the problem is with SIMS or our particular SQL setup here the last few sets of individual reports I have produced have been very slow. The point about reusing old reports again and again should not really make any difference if using result sets for the data being inserted and I do not even want to recreate the report templates. Like Sivadam we have been using them since the AM6 but unlike him I think that the problem is SIMS related.
    Last edited by number34; 6th June 2011 at 09:11 AM. Reason: typo

  14. #29
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    SQL express or full?

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    The only major issues we've had have been due to Client OS. Mostly Win7 coupled with Office 2010 and some very shoddy roaming profiles and redirect documents folders. Resetting profiles or running on XP have resolved the issue, so if it is something weird with SIMS it's more the way it interacts with the client rather than something intrinsically wrong. However, there are numerous threads on these client side issues so it would be good if they were investigated further. I've started getting "Error: Object Reference Not set to an instance of object" errors again for running regular data reports. Only solution is to reset profile - really frustrating.

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