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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS.net and roaming profiles in Technical; We have an interesting issue and was wondering how other schools are set up and if anyone has the same ...
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    eddyc's Avatar
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    SIMS.net and roaming profiles

    We have an interesting issue and was wondering how other schools are set up and if anyone has the same issue?

    Basically we are XP across the site here, and was originally running Office 2003.
    Over the summer we have rolled out Office 2010 because we have migrated from Exchange 2003 to 2010 and Outlook 2003 doesn't work properly with Exchange 2010.

    We now have an issue whereby SIMS reports \ Quick Letters \ etc do not work - clicking on them brings up a message box saying command failed.

    I've spent all of Friday playing with this plus a bit of the weekend.

    I have found that if I make a user account which uses a local non roaming profile, then everything works without an issue.

    So my question is are you using roaming profiles for your staff accounts, with office 2010 - and if you are do you have these issues.

    I would really like to get to the bottom of this, but may have to switch to local profiles for some staff to overcome this problem.

    Ed

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We use roaming profiles and office 2010 here but with win 7 - can the roaming user launch the quickletter from outside of sims?

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Each user is allowed their own "local" copy of a quickletter, this functionality could assist, or may be how it's supposed to be.

    We had an issue a while back and i did some extensive fiddling around, but that may have been on XP not Win7, so will have to retest some things.

    If you take a quickletter file - the template and name it : quicklettertemplate_local.doc
    and put that file in the user's My SIMS Documents folder, which hopefully is a redirected folder, and so also roaming, then it should pick that up.
    Maybe that will work.

    I'll have to dig up my notes on that issue. Since then, we've had no end of trouble with roaming profiles on Windows 7, as SIMS wants to keep putting things local, and the new way profiles are segregated into low/local and roaming folders confused things somewhat. Especially with reports / functions that need a Word Template file.

    EDIT: It's worth checking where there My SIMS Documents folder is being created, sometimes, deleting it and allowing it to recreate can fix things. reports and quickletter type functions will want to create temp files in there.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 11th September 2011 at 02:20 PM. Reason: addition

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    I've just tried and the quickletter can be launched outside of SIMS without an issue...

    @vikpaw: If I delete the My SIMS Documents folders, it gets recreated without an issue - but reports and quickletters still don't work

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Where is the My SIMS Documents folder? Local? Try to force that location to be on their profile / documents folder so that they have no permissions issues.
    Also, try a test user, a new clean roaming profile often works. I've found that sometimes it will only work once though, then you have to do something to reset.
    In reports of ours that don't work - class photos going to a Word template, it runs once, and creates the template file locally, then if you run it again it can't update it, and the user it updates as is not the logged in user but some system account. Anyway, just check a couple of things like that. I'll ask around if people can still use their quickletters.

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    @vikpaw: I can run one report and then that is it! SIMS.net doesn't do anything after that with regard to letters or reports. This is driving me mad. .

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    It drove me mad all of last year trying to get photo reports to work. I found the template was being stored in the local or locallow folder but after first use was inaccessible to SIMS. The user can still access. I ran out of things to try.

    There are a couple of threads on here where it's mentioned and on SupportNet too, but nothing conclusive. We got it on Windows 7, never on XP, so i never logged it with support, until i could rule out the OS, or permissions. If you get the issue on XP, then with some troubleshooting, maybe you can log a case with SupportNet and they can investigate it.

    I'm sure it's to do with permissions linked to roaming profiles. I think someone said that if they rebooted, or just closed SIMS then went back in, they regained access, but that didn't work here. The last thing i did was try to redirect the local temp folders to a different location, but it just wasn't working.

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    Did you ever get this sorted? We had this problem last year and i cant remember how i fixed it! Its just come up again for me now

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    This prompted me to have another play, and for me one of the culprit files is reportlist.doc , this is stored in tempsimsrpt folder in my documents. This is part of the roaming users profile and is redirected to a mapped drive.

    Usually this occurs when running a report i created to show a page of photographs by reg group. After first run, subsequent tries give the "Error: Object reference not set to an instance of object". I have had that command failed error as well, but at the moment, quickletters are running fine, based on the standard template. The temp files do open in the tempsimsrpt folder, so it's worth checking that folder and it's location / permissions.

    Another area we do get that issue is in running attendance letters, so i'd check those as well. That gives the "Error : Command Failed" message. I thought it might have been permissions on the SIMS share, Attend folder, but that doesn't seem to make any difference. I think it's something built-in to Word that is causing it.

    To get around my running report error, if i attempt to run another report, doesn't matter what, i'm using a class list report that goes to Excel, that seems to free whatever is locking the original template file i need, and then another attempt to run the photo report works. So it's like SIMS is holding a lock on the template file, and wont release it until it's told to open another file. I know when importing photos, it holds onto the last one imported until you close SIMS down, or add another photo. I guess it's kind of like when you cant eject a memory stick.

    Try closing SIMS and reopening it to see if that helps. Then if it does, try another task in SIMS that may help free this lock, either running another report that goes to Office.

    I feel like i'm closer to a solution but not quite there yet.

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    maestromasada's Avatar
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    We had a similar issue. I deleted all of the files inside the tempsimsrpt folder and it helped

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maestromasada View Post
    We had a similar issue. I deleted all of the files inside the tempsimsrpt folder and it helped
    That usually does the trick, and fixes the issue for a single report run, but then subsequent fail, unless you release the 'lock'. I just found i can do this by just double clicking the file in temsimsrpt folder called reportlist and opening it. This is similar to a fix for a different problem on SupportNet surrounding report generation whereby opening any linked document prior to doing a report run would let it go ahead with no errors. I've not managed to get that to work every time though.

    For this thing with Quickletters and Attendance letters - both mailmerge tasks, it's really weird. I just tried the same things on a brand new user, same setup as the rest, on the same computer and both quickletter and attendance letters work. No errors. I keep trying a few times and with attendance letters i start getting "Error: Command Failed". If i continue trying changing the template i attempt with, on 2nd or 3rd attempt it works again! So weird.

    We know this doesnt happen with local profile / admin accounts, so i'm wondering if it's something to do with the way roaming profiles cache the data locally and then upload to the network profile in the background. This was a new thing for Vista / Win 7 (i think), but could also happen on older OSes with things like offline file mode etc.

    It seems, something, some file is not being release. That's what i think anyway. Be interested to see if anyone can recreate and the problems and do similar troubleshooting.

    @eddyc - can you try giving the user their own local quickletter template as described above and see if that makes a difference. Or once you got it to run once, open up a word document from somewhere else, and see if that can shake the 'lock'.

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    I managed to get this sorted by setting the application data folder from "homedir\my settings\application data" to "%userprofile%\application data"

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Ours are stored in the users my documents, which is a redirected home drive on a hidden dollar share. It should work, but somehow doesn't seem to.

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    I think we may have had a similar issue - was suggested to apply the following Microsoft hotfix - Description of the Word 2010 hotfix package (Word-x-none.msp): June 28, 2011 and seems as though (on first few tests anyway) it may be working.

    Cheers

    Will

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