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MIS Systems Thread, Bulk upload of standard document (excel) to sims pupils in Technical; Hi does anyone know of way I can upload a standard document (i.e the same document to all) to all ...
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    MACIT's Avatar
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    Bulk upload of standard document (excel) to sims pupils

    Hi does anyone know of way I can upload a standard document (i.e the same document to all) to all students records ?

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MACIT View Post
    Hi does anyone know of way I can upload a standard document (i.e the same document to all) to all students records ?
    +1 - I'm trying to do this at the moment. I had exploited the attendance letters for a Word document but it won't work with Excel (and it took a long time, crashed about halfway through with no clear order in terms of which students it had attached to so I can't redo it with some students ending up with two copies attached!)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    The safe way is to use a Capita approved partner, but it'll cost you. I think Cohesion software is one of the companies. Check the capita website for partners.

    I had heard of attendance letters crashing out, which is a shame, i think you'd have to break the task down into smaller chunks and do it only for a small subset at a time.

    Another workaround perhaps would be to use individual reports, and just dump the data into the template. Even excel could be embedded. This has the advantage that you can see where it fails, hopefully, but the disadvantage that the document isn't editable, and would need reload again to change it.

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    LosOjos (19th September 2011)

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    MACIT's Avatar
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    More or less what i thought, Oh well, will have a look at the partners and see what kind of money we talking about as this may be a good way forward for other reasons.

    Thanks to all anyway.

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    trolley01's Avatar
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    This is something that we have looked into too, but got nowhere.

    Another workaround perhaps would be to use individual reports, and just dump the data into the template.
    We gave Individual Letters a try as a way of 'mail-merging' letters to each student. The admin staff weren't to keen though and it stopped.

    It would be great if there was an Add-on to Word which allowed you to Mail-Merge and Upload to SIMS.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    That's what you pay the third party for.
    Quickletter is the closest you can get but it's one at a time, so you might as well make a marksheet with your data fields, then pull them in with individual reports and upload.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    I noticed in another thread Salamander Soft (can't remember his user name?) mentioned he had done something with the business objects... I wish I could find some documentation on those, my local support has never even heard of them and finding time to sit down and figure them out is nigh on impossible!

    Would be great to be able to knock something together though (even though I couldn't share it without paying a licensing fee to Capita so it'd be very selfish of me to tell you all I've done it! )

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    @LosOjos - @rpwillis is the name you are looking for from SalamanderSoft Limited - Free Utilities where the funky utilities are. He does a lot with the business objects, and will write custom code for you, to do stuff with SIMS, but sharing the inner workings would be counterproductive to business.

    Do you have the business objects i.e. have you got permission to use them, just don't know how? Don't you have to sign some form of disclaimer and stuff?

    I reckon mucking around with document store has got to be one of the hardest things to do.

    What if you make your own personal document store? Before we started uploading documents to the store, we'd just export individual reports, edit them, and then save them on the servers. So you could make your own store and order it in a sensible fashion, i.e. folders by admission number or something. Then bulk put anything into those. To maintain the tentative link to SIMS, upload a single linking document to the real docstorage that has internal links to your private store. Ideally with a mapped drive so the real location is hidden. If your store is private, secure, encrypted etc. then it's kind of the same thing, except you know the layout and can easily bulk add to it. Or am i being naive?
    Last edited by vikpaw; 20th September 2011 at 06:35 AM. Reason: countless minor mods.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    Do you have the business objects i.e. have you got permission to use them, just don't know how? Don't you have to sign some form of disclaimer and stuff?
    I believe, from the dribs and drabs of information I've managed to accumulate over the past couple of years, that no licence is needed to use the business objects, only to share software that uses them. So I could use them to develop an in-house system for free, but if I was then to share that system with another school, I'd have to pay a licensing fee to Capita. I also believe that the business objects are in fact just the DLL's that are in your SIMS installation folder (at least referencing them in C gives me a long list of functions that sound like they could interact with SIMS in various ways!). Solid, black and white information doesn't seem to exist though and as I said before, my local SIMS support had never even heard of them! @PhilNeal might be able to clarify some of my points once and for all?

    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    What if you make your own personal document store? Before we started uploading documents to the store, we'd just export individual reports, edit them, and then save them on the servers. So you could make your own store and order it in a sensible fashion, i.e. folders by admission number or something. Then bulk put anything into those. To maintain the tentative link to SIMS, upload a single linking document to the real docstorage that has internal links to your private store. Ideally with a mapped drive so the real location is hidden. If your store is private, secure, encrypted etc. then it's kind of the same thing, except you know the layout and can easily bulk add to it. Or am i being naive?
    I think that would probably be easier from a techie point of view, apart from the putting a link in to SIMS part - I'm not sure you can put in a link to a folder and if you could it'd be a manual job going through one by one! Unless you could somehow upload them all, but then we're back to square one
    From a teacher's point of view though (I imagine anyway, I am not a teacher) I think they'd complain that it wasn't just in SIMS (how many times do we hear that one?!)

    If anybody were going to go down that route though, my tip would be to use the students external ID (obtainable via third party reporting - a permission you can add via system manager that becomes available in the report builder) as I have found that guest pupils don't get an admission number - that was a headache for a few hours trying to figure out why my ID system refused to download guest pupils!

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I wasn't thinking of the link being unique, just a link to the top folder, under which you get all the student folders. A bit fiddly granted, but far easier to use. Yes, it's not just in SIMS, but how much hassle is it to manually go to each kid and click linked documents, then find it, open it, view it, accept whatever popups come up. Use it. close it. then close all the other windows to move to the next child. Harsh! I was just thinking a universal document uploaded to all with a note to say - "Pupil Target sheets are stored at this link: xx\yy ; Self-assessments are stored at this link zz\pp ; follow the link and open the student's folder where all data will be available."

    It's defo homegrown, workaround territory, but i just like the way it's easily accessible. However to be honest you could just cut SIMS out of the loop altogether and tell people where you store the files!

    For the SIMS way, the work is already done but you just have to pay for it. Cohesion Software
    Example

    You wish to send the same letter to every year 10 student and add a copy to each student record. Compose your letter in MS Word and print and distribute as normal. Use RECORDLINKwriter to save the letter directly from Word to each student record in one easy process. Selecting all year 10 students takes just a click of a mouse
    The example is spot on, and it's only 60p per student per year for that functionality, capped at £800. Not bad if it saves you the quintuple clicks to add 1 doc fiasco. Plus credit for actually showing prices on the website and not saying "Call for a quote"!

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    Tham (23rd September 2011)

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    pubgrub277's Avatar
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    I've used both Record link products. Writer and exporter and can highly recommend them.

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    Tham (23rd September 2011)

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