Schools can access the SIMS business objects layer for their own purpose FOC; these can read and write to the SIMS DB. We also provide the command line reporter to schools FOC as an easy way outputting a wide range of data to be used elsewhere. If the LA is the licence holder you will need their permission to make use of these facilities.
We also provide an IMS link FOC which will automatically maintain an external system with pupil names, groups and staff names. Most VLEs are either using or planning to use this link. We are in discussions about developing an IMS write-back of assessment data. SIF may or may not overtake this if Becta can reassure us that standard SIF doesn’t expose schools to data protection risks.
If you use SIMS business objects to write data back to SIMS we will deal with any data issues i.e. fix them in the normal way. We get about 5 cases a month of schools that have written to the SIMS DB directly and caused corruption. Typically a school in this position doesn’t mention that this is what they have done and as a result we spend days trying to find out if SIMS could have caused the data to be in the state it is in. If you write back to the database directly we will charge for any data fixing that is required.
We employ 4 staff that permanently assist with third party support so we do charge for the commercial use of SIMS business objects.
Please could you define SIMS Business Objects as this is a very generic term?
Are these Business Objects accessible from a non Microsoft OS?