Not that I want to discredit SIMS of course, I'm not here to knock SIMS I just like the ethos behind ScholarPack and the fact it's completely web based I think is great, it has to be the future for MIS systems
Merlin is a version of RM learning platform created for SWGFL. It has number of tools including the standard learning platform from RM plus number of third party tools integrated into it.
The parent reporting brings in things from VLE (RM own custom code not sharepoint), MIS data and few other bits and bobs..
Accessing SIMS data isn't all that bad, since all the data is just stored in an SQL database. I wouldn't suggest writing back data until you are confident on how the data is manipulated, but as soon as you get the hang of it, its not too bad.
We have created some T-SQL that export data from SIMS into our learning platform automatically every night. The only writing back I do is replacing data - not creating new data, just in case!
i.e. We use SIMS for our reports, the staff can just enter a number which corresponds to a comment bank (hence creates the data in SIMS) then our code just replaces that number with the correct comment.
Hope that helps, and if you need any more info please just ask.
What VLE is that going into? And wouldn't it be better to go via the API so your not sticking to fingers up at SIMS auditing and security?
Thanks for all the replies everyone - ScholarPack sounds interesting (that's a decision beyond my control though and while I can do my best to influence ultimately I can't see it happening - too much training already been put into SIMS).
Have contacted LA and they could provide us with SIMs in the classroom. They state in their email that...
The price for Sims in the classroom is as follows:
1 x 5137 Checkpoint box @ £182
1 x 5138 Checkpoint licence @ £53
Configuration on Curriculum Side (installation of SIMS on workstations etc) - up to 4 Hours - £210
Does this sound good?
Check Point - Security Appliances, Security Gateways, Firewall, Security Management, Endpoint Security & Software Blades). Whether you need that or not purely depends on your network infrastructure. 4 hours at £210 doesn't sound that bad for the SIMS installation (depending on the number of workstations) and Curriculum - Admin link.
Assuming a few things about your network, the 4 hours should include:
- Ensuring there's a network link between the two networks.
- Setting up a domain trust between the two domains.
- Setting up the permissions on the domains for the Curriculum staff.
- Configuring the DNS suffix search order list.
- Altering the login scripts on the Curriculum side to map the SIMS share for teachers.
- Install SIMS.
- Make sure it works.
This will be the bare-minimum to get SIMS in the classroom and there are a boat load of things that can interfere with the plan. You'll also still need to know if the network can handle it, and that the SIMS server can handle it (specs of the SIMS box would still be useful).
To give you an idea as to why the SIMS server needs looking at, 8 months ago I was still working in the UK, offering SIMS and network support to approx 150 schools in a large local authority. There were primary schools, with a lot more pupils than yours, running the SIMS server on the admin's workstation, with several other SIMS workstations in use. The 'server' was a single core P4 2.8GHz, 1GB RAM, single HDD, Server 2003 running on a 100Mb network, with tape backup. And they thought SIMS was just a clunky, slow mess. They didn't stop to consider the server specs, or the network.
Hope this helps!
£210 for half a day sounds really good, i'd have expected double that.
If they sign the job off, you can at least be sure it's set up and working properly.
@northernsands - now i see where you get your hate for P4 single cores from ;)
The worst case had a colony of Silverfish living underneath!
Sorry, a tad OT...
Merlin is a SIF based project that provide an SSO identity, access to Kaleidos (more but i cant remember what else)
The identify is shibboleth based allowing suppliers to integrate there shib enabled products.