I also thought Xporter was a SIF product regardless, I didn't realise there was an "Xporter SIF" version too.
SIF agent also exist for AD and Moodle. And external siytem with a decent api is straight forward to sif enable.
I think I have talked about SIF more in the last 3 days than the rest of my professional life put together!
My comment on SIF in the other thread is just as valid here too... well most of it
The Reports are just in Sims and start with GCX_Emerge or GCX_Biostore depending on the application the extraction is for.
So do i need SIF, i'm thinking i do. Do i have to pay for it? Or should the suppliers offer it?
SIF support should be bundled with the application not offered as an add on.
@CyberNerd - that's what i was thinking - imagine it's slow uptake, because saying you support it is good, actually supporting it - not good for business. I wouldn't mind if they just added it into the cost of what you buy, so long as they all did it.
Really, it should be enforced, certainly for education / government funded areas (what does that mean these days ??). I wonder if it's part of the recent framework released http://www.edugeek.net/forums/mis-sy...tml#post807968
Surely a massive factor in changing a MIS/VLE will be the transfer of data and associated cost. It would be silly if the best value is obliterated by cost to move. I think mostly the receiving company bears the onus of moving data, but how much do they say they can move. The criteria for companies being on that list should have been contingent on SIF compliance and availability. @penfold_99 do you know if SIF was in the loop?
SIF sounds good according to the specification and I was particularly interested when I looked at the Abstract:
An alternative SOAP-based transport and corresponding set of WSDL files which allow web services to
fully participate in these interactions;
But was disappointed when I got to page 283 which stated:
To do so and to meet the final requirement of a Web Service per [WSARCH], the use of SOAP messages, would require redefinition of much of SIF using SOAP messages. The SIF Association's Web Services Task Force has determined that this exercise has little value currently, given SIF's precisely defined transport layer and installed base. The task force has left it as a future task how to best leverage Web Services in the future of SIF's infrastructure, if at all.
To not support SOAP and WSDL is probably going to limit the takeup of SIF as there are no tools to create interfaces for the programming language being used. Each vendor would have to start from scratch from the specification. Is there any possibility of web services via SOAP? It is a standard, whereas SIF, although well thought out, does not help its uptake by being just another xml based protocol to get ones head around in terms of programming from the bottom up. Currently I've gone my own way using SOAP to interface between SIMS and Moodle. To use SIF via SOAP and WSDL would be ideal but until that's available I'll stick to what I've got. Next part to do, SIMS to AD via SOAP using C#! I already run CommandReporter.exe via web services and SOAP so it's just the AD client part to do, the WSDL is already generated.
@bantonia - man, you're keen to have read 283 pages! ;)
Skipped a few pages in between as I wanted to get to the SOAP and WSDL like the specification was teasing!
Overall I agree with the ideals it sounds good but as a programmer I don't particularly want to start from scratch having to interpret accurately most of the 283 pages before I got to the disappointing statement. Currently there are, as far as I know, no open source libraries, certified or otherwise in any programming language to create SIF messages. I tried to install OpenZIS yesterday as a test site and eventually came to a brick wall. There were also comments on GitHub that OpenZIS is no longer developed, how accurate that is I personally do not know, I may be passing on mis-information. I would be very happy to be stand corrected. So with ZIT server not working so nothing to test against, I am reluctant to spend the time and effort to move away from something I already have working via SOAP albeit not to the same ideals as SIF. As for other vendors, everyone seems to be keeping their own developments regarding SIF very close to their chests as it is a commercially viable product. Open specification is one thing but open source is quite another factor which needs to be addressed to enable the proliferation in use of the specification.