Here is a question for all you users of FLOSS School Admin systems:
How do you run the school accounts?
It pains me to say this, but the school where I teach is about to spend
£x,000 upgrading their Windows Small Business server, which runs SIMS
accounting. Next thing they will have to buy Office 2007 for all the
Admin PCs ... it just doesn't bear thinking about!
Does anyone use a FLOSS accounting package?
It would be great to offer some alternative!
We were told by capita we needed to upgrade Office to v2003. It turned
out that the Office viewer will work instead.
Sadly, Capita hardcode their SIMS so it won't open reports with OpenOffice.
> Does anyone use a FLOSS accounting package?
> It would be great to offer some alternative!
> Best wishes,
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Hmm, don't they just use the system call to open the generated '.doc'
or '.xls' etc. and let Windows load the associated application? If so
you just need to associate OOo Writer with .doc. If they don't and
explicitly invoke a specific app that is rather 'bad form'.
You're clearly a highly valuable asset, since SIMS is probably the one
single item that most effectively locks UK schools onto Microsoft!
The first issue is that there are already a decent number of FLOSS
school admin packages, each of them with a loyal (if small) following,
besides your own:
IntelliSchool - https://sourceforge.net/projects/intellischool/
SchoolTool - http://www.schooltool.org/
ClaSS - http://www.laex.org/class/
FreeMIS - http://www.schoolforge.org.uk/index.php/FreeMIS
OpenAdmin - http://richtech.ca/openadmin/index.html
So far as I know, none of these offer the comprehensive facilities found
in SIMS, so the hope is that the SIF programme (School Interoperability
Framework) will provide a bunch of tools to enable different school
admin systems (including SIMS) to work together. SIF is actively being
supported by Becta, and http://sifzone.com/ is a good place to find out
The real problem with a FLOSS solution is, as usual, time to A. agree
the framework for a common solution, and B. for participants to get up
to speed on the chosen coding methodology. We came close to achieving A.
a couple of years ago, when Stuart Johnson (of ClaSS) and Robert Jones
(of FreeMIS) met up at FLOSSIE 2006...
Anyone ready for another go?
> ... so the hope is that the SIF programme (School Interoperability
> Framework) will provide a bunch of tools to enable different school
> admin systems (including SIMS) to work together. SIF is actively being
> supported by Becta, and http://sifzone.com/ is a good place to find out
Uh-oh, wrong again. It seems that Capita are no longer supporting SIF,
see John Spencer's blog entry on Sirius Corporation's website:
I too would be interested in helping, I downloaded a copy of your
database from https://sourceforge.net/projects/intellischool/ but at the
moment I have no way of reading the file.
I am also familiar with the UK version of SIF, it would be nice to see
IntelliSchool SIF compatible.
Could you set up a mailing list on you SF project page for those
Weeell, google groups act as mail list or web group, which I
personally hate but do work well for links to threads from blog posts
> My input for the the task.
> 1. how about an ajax based web offering running on a lamp stack.
Yes, but don't use ajax for ajax sake, only where it is genuinely
useful. Keep in mind progressive enhancement (Jeremy Keith et al) or
like WAI-ARIA (that prolly means Dojo).
Also lets not get side tracked in to picking the exact technologies to
use at this stage. There's loads to choose from, for example we have
at least one Rails fan on this list :-0
A couple more ideas
* Could we attempt to funding at some point for this to really work?
* What's up with schooltool these days?
Is support for SIF a really strong selling point? Even if UK SIF?
Open Source Assistive Technology Software