SIMS 2019 Summer 7.188 Upgrade Information
We are pleased to let you know that the SIMS 2019 Summer Upgrade is now available. This upgrade will be required to enable schools to complete the Autumn School Census for your phase on 3 October 2019 so must be applied BEFORE then.
We have made this release available as soon as was possible, as it enables Exams Officers to complete the work required in Manage Performance Indicators BEFORE examination Results Day. This release is also required to ensure calculations and reporting are up to date and accurate on Results Day itself. Please liaise with your Exams Officer as they may require this upgrade to be applied before the start of the holiday period.
This page contains the following main sections:
Should you have any queries regarding the details below, please do not hesitate to contact the ICT Service Desk.
Important items requiring action
The details on this page will differ from previous upgrades and so it is important that you read ALL of the information below:
- It is imperative that ALL staff log out of SIMS, SIMS Discover and FMS each night to prevent any upgrades from failing.
- If you are having any problems with backups, please advise us immediately. We will need to halt the upgrade process until such time as backup issues have been resolved.
- If your school are notified of an Ofsted inspection and you would prefer to delay the SIMS upgrade until after the inspection takes place, please contact the ICT Service Desk.
- It is highly recommended that your SIMS Server/Office Master be restarted before the upgrade takes place, as this will ensure any pending Windows Updates, on which the SIMS upgrade may rely, finish installing. This should improve the upgrade process and reduce potential errors from occurring.
- If your school uses any 3rd party software that connects to SIMS (e.g. Schoolcomms) then you must ensure the program is closed on every machine overnight, as the program being open will prevent the workstation upgrade for SIMS processing. If you open SIMS first each morning and do not receive a message to say that the SIMS upgrade is being run, it is safe to open those 3rd party applications.
- If your school manually schedules upgrades to run in SOLUS3 the SIMS package will appear as “SIMS Summer 2019 Full Release (7.188.41)”. Please note that you do not need to deploy the ‘Database’ updates separately, as these will be installed as part of the ‘Full Release’.
- Capita have scheduled maintenance on the SOLUS3 servers every Wednesday between 20:00 and Midnight. Please ensure you schedule any patches or upgrades to deploy outside of these hours.
- It is highly recommended that you ensure the SOLUS3 v3.12.41 Upgrade has applied across your school environment before deploying the SIMS 2019 Summer release, as the update to SOLUS3 reportedly includes improvements to how workstations process upgrades when they are first logged into.
- If your school has decided that you would prefer to set up an automatic schedule for upgrades in SOLUS3, or similarly you wish to remove any automatic schedule in place, please contact the ICT Service Desk so that we can make the necessary changes to your SOLUS3 Deployment Server (if not already done) and update our records for managing the release of future upgrades.
- If SIMS is installed on any school laptops that are used away from school, using VPN access, they must be brought into school to receive the upgrade; they will not receive the upgrade when logging into SIMS if outside of the school. Please also be aware that laptops, if being connected to the school network via cable, should have this connected before starting the machine and left connected until SIMS has completed the upgrade, which you can confirm by logging into the application.
- SIMS InTouch schools only - before upgrading your SIMS database, please check the Settings page in SIMS Services Manager, on the SIMS Server/Office Master, to ensure the Auto Update and Auto Install check boxes have been selected. Providing these boxes are ticked, SIMS InTouch will be upgraded automatically with no further intervention required.
Note: If users receive an error message on trying to access SIMS, SIMS Discover or FMS following an upgrade, e.g. ‘Incompatible Database’, please ask them to follow the instructions in this document in the first instance:
Upgrade specific information
Any new functionality or issues identified with the release will be noted here and you should ensure that these are passed onto the person who has responsibility for that particular area of the software in your school:
Potential CTF Issues – Check 100
As per recent email communication to all schools, Patch 25058 has been released so that schools can check that their data has not been adversely affected by a potential issue with CTF imports. Please refer to the below two documents for information regarding this issue and how to identify that your data hasn’t been affected. Please liaise with your Network Manager / Network Support Provider to check that this patch has installed before carrying out these checks.
Secondary schools that use SIMS to calculate Performance Indicators (PI) must upgrade to the SIMS 2019 Summer release in order to complete Manage Performance Indicators in SIMS before results download day. The SIMS 2019 Summer upgrade includes a new tick box for new 16-18 Performance Measures regarding the Attainment of approved Level 3 maths measure.
The SIMS 2019 Summer release also includes enhanced PI reports, updated calculations and functionality for Results Day PI calculations and reporting.
The “SIMS Discover 2019 Summer” upgrade is also now available. Discover should be scheduled to be upgraded immediately AFTER the SIMS Summer 2019 Upgrade as the transfer of data will cease to work until both are on the same version. If you are not yet using Discover, please visit here for information on this analysis tool.
The next FMS upgrade is currently being tested by Financial Services and we will advise you separately once this is made available for schools to apply.
Details of the latest FMS upgrade will be made available by Financial Services via their bulletin page here.
Nova-T6 Satellite Installations
Please can you ensure that all satellite versions of Nova-T6 are on version 6.39 (Build 2) after the SIMS Summer 2019 upgrade. To check this, please ask the user to open the Nova-T6 satellite application on their machine and go to Help > About and the version number will be displayed.
If they need to upgrade please see document S1257 - Upgrade and Install Nova T6, found here.
Capita SIMS - Full Release Notes
These can be found from within the Documentation Centre, located on the SIMS Homepage. You will also find within this area a copy of the latest SIMS Roadmap and SIMS Technical Roadmap, outlining planned future developments and supported hardware/software timescales, as well as the latest SIMS Permissions spreadsheet.
Post Update Tasks
The following tasks should only be performed by ONE person within the school, at any workstation, immediately after the SIMS Upgrade has installed:
Importing Updated Reports
After the upgrade has completed, log into SIMS and select the menu options Reports > Import. Click on the Open icon, then navigate to the Sims .net folder, which is usually located in C:\Program Files (x86)\SIMS\ on all workstations (or D:\Sims-SP\ on a server). Find and select the file named PreDefined_Reports_v7188.RptDef and click Open. Click Import to import the latest reports into SIMS. Once the reports have been imported, the 'status' column will change from 'pending' to 'imported'. Click Close. If you do not have access to your local C:\ drive, you can download a copy of this file from the HGfL from here.
Assessment – AMPARK Import
After the upgrade has completed, the first time the assessment menu is accessed (via Focus > Assessment), a dialogue box will appear for the Import of Assessment Manager Resources. In order to avoid the automatic import of lots of irrelevant assessment resources, it is important to UNTICK any pre-selected boxes before selecting the Yes option, which will have the effect of not importing any of the resources. Any resources which are required later can be manually imported, e.g. if your school are using the Programmes of Study resources produced by Capita. If you do choose to import all the resources following the upgrade, please note that the import process can take 10 minutes to complete, during which time you will be unable to use SIMS on that machine.