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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Moodle and Sims - Is there free intergration anymore? in Technical; Just playing about with a moodle install and have just started looking at the Sims to Moodle link. Are there ...
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    Unhappy Moodle and Sims - Is there free intergration anymore?

    Just playing about with a moodle install and have just started looking at the Sims to Moodle link.

    Are there available any FREE ways of doing this anymore to auto create users and courses, timetables etc?

    It looks like all the free options that were available have now become payable items.

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    Hi we have had a look at the free options, but if you really want intergration you need to contact a company called webanywhere. What they offer is excellent and makes admin/teachers life easy with a few clicks and the cost is excellenty priced. You will be surprised how good the product is. Pm if you need any advise regarding this.

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    Nice info itgeek worth knowing.

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    Hooray!!!

    Finally got SIMS and Moodle user and class integration, with no modification of the SIMS SQL database ie no added views. Three SIMS reports run remotely through my CommandReporter Java library to populate an intermediate database, another library, MoodleRest I created to talk to Moodle 2.0 via the REST web services which creates and deletes users also creates classes. The final piece of the jigsaw is Database enrollment. All run via cron at night. Together with meta course enrollment the courses created for teaching should be kept up to date.
    Last edited by bantonia; 22nd January 2011 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Corrected number of SIMS reports used

  6. Thanks to bantonia from:

    dhicks (23rd January 2011)

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Out of interest did you work out your own solution or use one of the links above? Also how are you using meta-courses & is that part of the solution you found/created?

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    Worked out my own solution, does not touch any of the links above. Meta courses
    are just a bonus.

    What I have written is 2 Java libraries, a RMI server and a client with an
    intermediate MySQL database.

    The RMI server runs on a machine that has SIMS and Java installed. It also has
    to have the path to the directory containing the CommandReporter.exe tool put
    into the System environment "Path". One problem that may be encountered is that
    sometimes port 1099 has already been taken by another process, stop that
    process, start the RMI server then restart the process, it will get another
    port assigned to it.

    Within SIMS, a user which has access to the SIMS data, not directly to the
    database I might add, but importantly also to "Third Party Reporting". Three
    SIMS reports are needed, one to get student data, another for teachers and
    lastly one to get the id's of members and supervisors of classes along with the
    class details. One other point, all users needed to have their login usernames
    within a SIMS user defined field.

    The glue/client runs on a Linux box via cron which in turns runs the three
    reports, retrieving the data via RMI calls. The client updates the intermediate
    database and also via Moodle's web services, creates new users and courses
    within Moodle and deletes users from Moodle who are no longer current within
    SIMS. The intermediate database is then ready for "Database enrolment". The
    original idea was to enrol users into the SIMS courses in Moodle via web
    services but this would need the contextid's of the courses within Moodle, but
    this is not currently achievable unless you read the Moodle database directly.

    When users and classes are created in Moodle I get their Moodle id's and store
    them in the intermediate database. This means when using database
    synchronisation I'm not relying on "idnumber" or "email", students and staff can
    have access to change their profiles, I can change them back whenever I want to
    via web services! POWER!

    Teachers will create their own courses and use meta links to the SIMS courses to
    populate their own course with staff and students. By synchronising the SIMS
    courses the teacher created courses are also synchronised with SIMS.

    The client code is still being tested at present but I will release the code
    when it's finished. The libraries and source code for CommandReporter Java API
    and MoodleRest are available for download from SourceForge, the CommandReporter
    one has the RMI server included.

    Authentication is done via MS LDAP.

    Another little project I've done recently using the CommandReporter library and
    RMI server is a SLG equivalent, obviously no write back, for parents to view
    their children's SIMS data. This uses Glassfish, Java server pages and
    servlets. Priority 1 contacts with an email address could see the data by
    logging on using their email address for authentication to which a URL with token is sent. The URL with token would allow the parent to see the data, all taken live from SIMS using reports. It works, tested, although not released to parents. This is just
    proof of concept at present.

    Phew, quite a long post!

    Bill
    Last edited by bantonia; 24th January 2011 at 01:56 AM.

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    rpwillis's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I don't know if you do this already from those brief details, but make sure that everytime a parent logs in that you check that they have parental responsiblity and don't have a court order.

    Over SSL obviously and just having one token needed to authenticate seems a bit weak for security.

    Richard

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    Wow nice work Bill and thanks for the summary.. maybe something I need to look into but I may lack some skills to complete the project for here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpwillis View Post
    Bill,

    I don't know if you do this already from those brief details, but make sure that everytime a parent logs in that you check that they have parental responsiblity and don't have a court order.

    Over SSL obviously and just having one token needed to authenticate seems a bit weak for security.

    Richard
    Currently it's only proof of concept, parents have not been given access. What I was trying to show is that almost any SIMS report can be run and the data returned can be consumed without the need of any intermediate storage of the XML data by having to parse an XML file from storage. SSL could be used, just need to open a port to the Glassfish server. Token is time limited and the IP address of the client is checked in the database and compared to the original login for each request. As for court orders etc, its just making sure the SIMS report excludes those entries during the authentication process, yes variables can be passed to the SIMS reports.

    Bill
    Last edited by bantonia; 24th January 2011 at 10:55 AM.

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    Here is my current glue/client. It's just an example how you can call the two libraries. Obviously it's early code but it's functional. More work to be done. I've substituted the secret bits, these will eventually be placed in a parameters file later. It will be modified so others can use it in a more friendly manner. I'm also planning tools for those with populated Moodle installations, not just for new installs.

    To use RMI in the client you have to create a .policy file, the all.txt is one which allows everything, it has to be renamed to all.policy and passed as part of the java parameters.

    I know allowing everything is not good practice but it serves my purpose, it's lazy!

    syncmoodle.txt
    all.txt

    (Just adding, as reference to an earlier post. Priority 1 contacts in SIMS means parental responsibility as far as I'm aware, Keep Kids Safe use this in their software)
    Last edited by bantonia; 25th January 2011 at 12:32 AM.

  13. Thanks to bantonia from:

    CyberNerd (16th February 2011)



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