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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Moodle/SIMS integration in Technical; Has anyone managed to integrate SIMS.net with Moodle in such a way that users are imported, and the courses they ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Moodle/SIMS integration

    Has anyone managed to integrate SIMS.net with Moodle in such a way that users are imported, and the courses they are on?

    I know the CLEO/LUNS team have managed it and are waiting on the powers that be to do some rubber stamping before they can release the code, but I would like to be able to integrate the 2 asap as an example for my boss.

    So, if you have done it, any chance you can provide a howto?

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has done this.

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    yes, SIMS then use the moodle MSSQL database module. I didn't do it so I can't provide much of a howto There is a view set up in the database called dbo.mdl_enrolments and moodle queries this view using its own MSSQL database module. After a user logs in (via AD auth) their courses are only populated after the nightly cron is run to import the courses.

    I edited this because what I originally said was inaccurate. I've posted a screeny of the MSSQL view further down the thread.

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    Doesn't connecting to the MSSQL SIMS DB violate your SIMS licence?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Doesn't connecting to the MSSQL SIMS DB violate your SIMS licence?
    Those were my thoughts too...

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    not sure. We did this with CMIS and when we migrated we were given assurances by LA and capita that it was OK to do it now (said my boss). It's only talking to a 'view' of the database so this might be a get out clause ?

    apparently teh LA have a dev license - since we are part of LA we use that ??

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    Our RBC has internally developed a tool to do this. I'm unsure of its public release status.

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    I thought CMIS wasn't by Capita? I am lead to believe that with CMIS you can connect to SQL directly anyway without any come-back.

    I woud like to refer to a post by PhilNeal in a previous thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal
    Our stance on this is that tapping directly into SIMS tables is that it invalidates our warranty. Basically if you hack into tables and you mess things up we will charge for putting it right.

    We provide the SDK which many people are happy with and we also support the use of our business objects. Your support unit would need to be involved if you take the BO route as they would need to support you.

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    > Has anyone managed to integrate SIMS.net with Moodle in such a way
    > that users are imported, and the courses they are on?

    I'm working on a solution at the moment based on parsing the XML data produced by the CommandReporter tool. I've written a Perl wrapper around this tool that presents a set of functions callable via HTTP (simple REST protocol, no SOAP or whatever). I've currently got a client application running on a another server (our LDAP server) that calls the SIMS server to get a list of current users, then synchs that list with the LDAP server. I figured that Moodle could then use the LDAP server to authenticate against.

    There's no security implemented yet, I figured I'd add some public/private key encryption functions rather than mess around with HTTPS. I was meant to be getting this finished today, but other stuff came up.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    I thought CMIS wasn't by Capita? I am lead to believe that with CMIS you can connect to SQL directly anyway without any come-back.

    I woud like to refer to a post by PhilNeal in a previous thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal
    Our stance on this is that tapping directly into SIMS tables is that it invalidates our warranty. Basically if you hack into tables and you mess things up we will charge for putting it right.

    We provide the SDK which many people are happy with and we also support the use of our business objects. Your support unit would need to be involved if you take the BO route as they would need to support you.
    no CMIS isn't capita. We migrated from SIMS to CMIS then back to SIMS (won't do into reasons - it gets me cross). The LA were very keen to see us migrate back and said the database connect thing was ok since they have a dev license. we don't write anything back to the MSSQL and we only lquery a view of it (I really am a SQL noob so please point out if what I say doesnt make sense ). If anyone wants me to get any more info to do a project let me know.

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    I see... I mis-read your post with it having CMIS and Capita in the same sentence

    I'm still not 100% sure if querying views are OK as far as Capita is concerned. I suspect not, but am willing to stand corrected on that.

    I remember a while ago several of us (including dhicks) were discussing the very thing dhicks is currently working on; that is developing ways of getting data from the (albeit poor) method of data extraction at our disposal - the "SDK".

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    I'm surprised you'd need to add fields to SIMS - surely the data is coming OUT of SIMS so you could create the fields in a table elsewhere?

    Is it possible those fields are just the fields exposed by the view they've created and so only a view has been added to the SIMS db?

    When I google I get this thread back and eventually disappear into my own belly button

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    I think it was capita themselves that migrated our CMIS -> SIMS and they migrated the user defined fields themselves. I may be wrong because I've wisely kept away from CMIS and SIMS my entire career!

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    Is it possible those fields are just the fields exposed by the view they've created and so only a view has been added to the SIMS db?
    I don't think so, I can check if you tell me what to do (again, I'm no MSSQL expert)
    I added a screenshot of moodle db setup
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Moodle/SIMS integration

    I'm a bit wary of giving you instructions as I generally don't go near my own SIMS db without saying a few prayers.

    Basically you are looking to open the database in SQL Server management studio, expand the sims database, expand views, find the view you mentioned and then right click to edit it. That shows you how the view is built, but unpicking which fields are built in and which are added would be fiddly given that SIMS has well over 1000 tables in the database.

    I'm happy to remain curious considering the safety of your MIS is at stake...

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