MIS Systems Thread, executing CommandReporter from scripts in Technical; I've seen a few posts on here regarding people using commandreporter to generate/automate running the reports and exporting .xml files.
7th October 2011, 04:12 PM #1
executing CommandReporter from scripts
I've seen a few posts on here regarding people using commandreporter to generate/automate running the reports and exporting .xml files.
For a while now ive been creating a set of templates in excel to create graphs/student/department/behaviour profiles for students etc. command reporter is very usefull and plays right into my hands having based my excel template files on reading xml reports.
I've got my head around the param files and using filters and have now got a batch script running as a scheduled task.
The script essentially does the following: open and excel file with auto_open macro that >Works out the date range for last week for the report parameters > generates a prama.xml file for the command report (to make the date rang dynamic)> closes the excel file> Runs commandreporter> opens the excel template for the chart/profiling sheet i'm using> this then reads the XML output from the report and emails PDF's to departments/people etc in the template.
Setting up the reports has reduced so many repetitive tasks but i think i could refine this further. I looking to code this further/simplifiy how I've done this and am think maybe .Net or something may help.
Has anyone else gone down this route themselves or have people tended to buy in software from other vendors.
IDG Tech News
7th October 2011, 04:19 PM #2
I'd be looking to create a VBS which runs through the steps you want to automate the lot. Also, are you using the first Excel you open just to calculate the date? If so, you can definitely streamline that by doing that all in VBS
This thread might help: SIMS.net Reporting
7th October 2011, 04:31 PM #3
That thread had prompted my post. Most of my work has been VBA in excel, hence the workaround for the date parameter ie. =today()-8 and =today()-1 to give a range of the last week. It has worked quite well for me but i do hate to have to use such a long winded work around
Originally Posted by LosOjos
the other method suggested for creating the param file is much neater but i'd also like to look at a better way of coding the production of the graphs and reports etc.
I'm trying to produce something with visual studio that will automate the whole thing and allow a manual running of the reports/graphing so they can also be produce on demand or by members of staff, and include them setting parameters for reports as required.
8th October 2011, 11:07 AM #4
Visual studio should work, and not long ago there was a thread where someone was using Delphi to program i think, the only issue was how to send the parameters in.
I'd say .net will be easier as the you can easily port vbs to a compiled app.
The other option would be to just buy in the services of a company that will take the raw data out of SIMS and do analysis on it. Something like 4matrix.org ..
But before all that, have you looked at Discover and what it can do for you? It's built in and free
EDIT: and the word on the grapevine is that it will soon handle staff data, e.g. achievement points awarded by staff; absence data etc.
Last edited by vikpaw; 8th October 2011 at 11:08 AM.
10th October 2011, 09:22 AM #5
I had the Beta of discover last year and have looked at the full release a little.
It doesn't quite produce what we want.
I have set up some very specific dashboards in excel to produce analysis and discover just doesn't get anywhere near what we can produce in excel. They only thing i'm really wanting to streamline is the link between the dashboards and the data in sims, hence looking at commandreporter.
sample 2 ks3.png this is one of the samples ive produce, theres also a specific KS4 model and an individualized student sheet. It pulls together Behaviour, attendance and attainment by group (teaching class, year, reg group, SEN cohorts etc).
I've had some good feedback from staff and they are actually using them to see whats happening with classes (which is nice, my work usually goes in a folder and forgotten by most). a new improvement has been the addition of reading ages and the range of age within the class.
10th October 2011, 09:47 AM #6
Looks good, and if they are using it, that's great. Good luck.
10th October 2011, 10:06 AM #7
i think thats always going to be the hardest part, the number of times i seem to end up saying "but have you read such and such sheet".
Since we started using these ive had teaching staff asking if they can have an updated sheet if they enter some more attainment tracking, or if they've done set changes and want to see the impact on the groups.
Never thought id see the day
10th October 2011, 10:10 AM #8
You could re-write your script in a VBA module in the Excel template, drop it all in to a sub routine and then simply add a button to the Excel template to refresh the data, which would simply run the sub routine to download and import the XML...
I made a database a while back that did this, it's in Access but the principle is the same: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4779199/SIMS...ace%202003.zip
10th October 2011, 10:15 AM #9
Thats exactly how i've done the excel sheets (read the xml output for the data), the issue was the export from Sims.The process ive used is a .bat script to run command reporter first, open an excel document once it finnishes, the excel document has an auto_open macro that executes the analysis part of the code produces PDF's that are email to specific staff, then closes once complete. i arrive to work monday morning with last weeks data sheets already emailed to staff! Its a great time saver.
Im currently moving alot of my templates to the same format/method.
(but dont tell everyone, they need to keep employing me)!
10th October 2011, 11:28 AM #10
Good work Pubgrub.
Originally Posted by pubgrub277
To calculate 'last Friday', use this function: =INT((NOW()+1)/7)*7 - 1
To calculate 'last Monday', use: =INT((NOW()+1)/7)*7 - 5
You can replace NOW() with any date, of course, if you want the previous week for a specific date.
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 10th October 2011 at 11:34 AM.
10th October 2011, 12:36 PM #11
Id used =TODAY()-8 And then =today()-1 within the sheet to create the date because some of the date ranges are not always monday to friday but thanks for the tip, it will probably be very useful for some other work im doing.
Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx
10th October 2011, 01:31 PM #12
could you post your script? actual examples of using command reporter are thin on the ground.
Originally Posted by pubgrub277
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