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Web Development Thread, Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims in Coding and Web Development; Details here...
  1. #16

    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims


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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy
    If you want to access sims data you need to use the sims APIs. To use the sims APIs you need a license. Have you ever looked the number of tables used by sims? You can use to profiler with sql server to see how huge some of the queries are.

    There are 779 tables in the sims database (at least in the version we are running)
    We run a query regularly to pull data from the tables in sims to populate an Access DB so that we can run intranet room booking, pupil and staff roll asp pages with it. I can confirm that there is a lot of tables (maybe 779!) and it took ages to piece together which table did what. I assure you it will not be easy to integrate moodle with sims - but it is possible.

    What data is it that we are supposed to integrate into VLEs from sims? levels etc?

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    F*CK ME!
    seems a bit steep that does.

    Mint

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    The issue is, you aren't allowed to pull data from the sims database, capita only want people to access it with their APIs, even bromcom has to use the APIs (you have to install sims on the server)

  5. #20

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy
    The issue is, you aren't allowed to pull data from the sims database, capita only want people to access it with their APIs, even bromcom has to use the APIs (you have to install sims on the server)
    Problem I have with all this is that if you create a read only user then no damage can be done, so whats the problem, and that it is our data yet we have no access to it. Couldn't schools be given the API's (even for a small cost) or a cut down version to access the data. When you think how much intranet and online stuff we are all starting to do, pupil and student data access is becoming more and more essential and I for one don't want to have to maintain CSV exports from SIMS!

  6. #21
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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    I assume its one of the license terms, either you agree to it or don't use the software. I'm not saying what they do is right, just looking at the technical aspects of the license and any repercussions.

    Capita can look at it like this: You are currently getting benefits from their product in a way which you have not licensed by accessing the data that they have stored in a specific manner.

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Two points.

    The first being that the data is the schools and they should be able to do with it what they want (as long as the DPA is being followed). So why not go to a 1 day old backup copy and work on that. There is no way that you can do any harm and it is unlikely that up-to-date info would be required. Working with live data would be problematic to say the least.

    Secondly. The recent VLE requirements say that should be a two way flow of information between the VLE and the Management programs (like SIMS). I went to a meeting where Capita representatives said that they would provide whatever links are required. Having said that I suspect that they would be the bare minimum since they have a VLE of their own. Or am I being cynical?

  8. #23

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    I don't see how that VLE requirement can ever be satistfied in the current climate other than by a completely OSS MIS/VLE system. There's simply no incentive for comercial companies to co-operate with each other (let alone OSS like Moodle) and plenty of profit related reasons to resist furiously.

  9. #24

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Yes I would say you were cynical, but with good reason for it. These locked formats and protocols help nobody but themselves, in my opinion. Obviously business is business, and MSFT didn't get where it is today without a bit of vendor lock-in. But I'm not saying I agree with it, because I don't - not in the slightest.

  10. #25

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    What have I started? Everybody getting friday tensions out their systems?

    I'm thinking I might have to accept defeat on this one and just accept that Moodle can't be integrated into SIMS without spending as much as buying something crap (aka Kaleidos). Shame though

    Have a good weekend everyone
    Mint

  11. #26


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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    What have I started?
    A healthy debate by the looks of it

    I say you should got for it anyway, release it as OSS then let Capita worry about who to sue - if they even can. Its not like they're gonna know that your reading your own database! Its for personnal use - honest guv.

  12. #27

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    "Educational purposes only and must be deleted within 24 hours"

  13. #28

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    I don't see how that VLE requirement can ever be satistfied in the current climate other than by a completely OSS MIS/VLE system. There's simply no incentive for comercial companies to co-operate with each other (let alone OSS like Moodle) and plenty of profit related reasons to resist furiously.
    You have spotted the cunning plan of BECTa and DfES then.

    A specification is made saying the VLEs must be able to talk to MIS and in a specified format.

    So VLEs / Learning Platforms have to be adapted ... but so do MIS .. or they have to tell people how to do it.

    Welcome to stage one of the inevitable standoff between VLE producers and MIS producers.

    One option is that information is available in a format written by the MIS manufacturers. Capita are building Web Parts that will slot into Sharepoint (both portal and services) and there is nothing stopping other VLE producers to access these.

    Web Parts are due to be included in the existing licences for SIMS and not dependant on your purchasing a particular learning Platform.

    CMIS will also have Web Parts but these are running late.

    Please note that this is all through conversation and with nothing in writing (conversations with MIS and VLE producers).

  14. #29

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    Capita are building Web Parts that will slot into Sharepoint (both portal and services) and there is nothing stopping other VLE producers to access these.
    Well that shafts Moodle. Those Sharepoint API's are patent encumbered. There's no way an OSS can support them without risking legal action by Microsoft.

  15. #30

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    Re: Moodle and Assessment Manager/Sims

    The APIs that rely on data interchange between MIS and Learning Platform *have* to be published.

    This is the sticking point ... where does the responsibility lie for publishing the APIs that are part of the data interchange between MIS and VLE?

    With the VLE producer or the MIS producer?

    Part of me says the MIS producer as they cannot be seen to be anti-competetive and forcing people to use a particular VLE to work with their MIS. If this is the case then there isn't an issue as it forces MIS producers to be open.

    This is the big target ... if people can understand that it is not a question of whether this VLE or that VLE will talk to the MIS ... it is who the MIS producers will allow access to. Pressure needs to be put on MIS producers to do this.



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