SIMS.net & Lesson Monitor over RDP/Terminal Services.
We currently run SIMS.net on our admin network, (which consists of 35-40 clients, and two servers (one for SIMS share) and the other running SQL 2005.
On the curriculum network, we have restricted access to both staff and students. This works okay, and actually gives us very little trouble. However, we ran Lesson monitor around 2003, and it was rubbish. Updating of client machines was a pain, and it was always a problem setting up permissions using scripts etc. We then went to a SIMS bolt on called TEAM from education software ltd. This solved our problems in terms of deploying to clients, but now a colleague who basically 'micro managed' the system has left, we are now finding more and more issues with the syncing (sp?) of data between the two databases (SIMS and TEAM) concerning classes in timetables, and registration data not copying back properly to SIMS. There are also other issues regarding TEAM (which I am personally not happy with) but that is another story. We are then thinking of going back to SIMS, to solve our syncing issues and make the whole system simpler, but don't really want to spend ages looking at deploying SIMS (since I believe that it is currently not feasible).
We currently only have Fat clients around school for registration. However, we have some ageing machines which are a ball ache when it comes to logging on, so I had considered converting them to fatish thin clients using thinstation or a possible alternative.
With this in mind, I had also considered possibly running SIMS.net and more importantly lesson monitor over TS. I have thought this might cause havoc with our network (in terms of speed) since the TS would have around 120 teacher workstations all trying to access it at the same time (logging on at the start of each lesson), but I believe this could be solved using managed/team'ed NICs on the servers, and further improvements.
I am also not sure how we could use RDP using our fat clients, except providing a mstsc client shortcut on teachers desktop which automatically logs the user on with a standard user logon to the TS, and runs SIMS.net immediately at user logon to the TS. I think this might only be short term until SIMS web-parts come out (please please please!).
If anyone has any experience in doing this with SIMS, I would love to hear from you, and any problems that you had.
Excellent Performance with Bromcom's Winfolder Programme
Have you considered Bromcom as a solution to your electronic registration? I have used this at my last school for around 2 1/2 years and at my current school for around the same period. The client is called Winfolder and it is made available via a shortcut to a shared install on a server... so, 1 install on the server and a single shortcut for all users.
We have some old machines and they run it a treat! The application itself is only 700K and is on the server anyway. The data that it sends back and forward is in bytes or maybe kb's at worst and it works really quickly. All of our staff have access to students home contact details, timetables, photographs and SEN information at the touch of a button (All this information is passed to Bromcom automatically from our SIMS server) We have very few staff who have access to SIMS.net as its a fat client and takes an age to install and upgrade.
We also see some benefit in terms of reliability as if the SIMS server is down for any reason we still have a copy of data in Bromcom and can still look up TT's and Students Attendance. All Attendance is also exported overnight to SIMS.net and so we have a fairly fault tolerant setup as an added bonus.
Our staff really picked up the client quickly as it is very intiutive and straightforward to use and we are really looking forward to using the behaviour module that we have recently purchased which complements the registers perfectly.
All of the guys at Bromcom are helpful and we get our problems resolved much quicker than calling the capita helpdesk.
Just my thoughts but I hope they are useful.