We were looking at integrating both systems to make our schools run easier for the staff and IT people. We looked at Centre and e-mailed the developer a list of items we would like to see including adidng a block to Moodle for the SIS, integrating the gradebook, ability to e-mail progress reports to parents and students, ability for parent/students login integrated with Moodle. When the budget was finally complete we couldn't do it this year. I will look through my correspondecne with the developer and post what we proposed. I am interested in how you are planning to integrate the two and what your rollout expectation would be. I will follow-up with that correspondence tonight.
Thanks and it definitely is a project that will be useful. I had posted our goals on these forums a few months and Martin responded he may include it in the main release depending on what it can do.
I am very interested in this as well.
Please keep us informed of your progress.
I've recently decided to change directions with Centre and have created a new project Focus/SIS (http://www.focus-sis.org).
Version 1.0 is pretty similar to Centre version 2.5, but the beta version 2.0 of Focus/SIS includes an integration engine which should make this project much more feasible.
The integration engine works by allowing developers to create small plug-ins that are executed by Focus/SIS when certain events take place.
For instance, when a student is added, Focus/SIS executes all the plug-ins that correspond to this action. To accomplish Moodle integration, a simple plug-in would be created to add a student to Moodle's database when this event occurs in Focus/SIS.
A number of plug-ins would have to be created to accomplish the complete integration.
I'm currently setting up a repository of 3rd-party plug-ins as well as some developer docs on creating these plug-ins. My hope is that this plug-in functionality will spur community development of Focus/SIS and that Moodle integration will lead some Moodle developers to take part in the Focus/SIS project. This project is also a great example that can be used to demonstrate how to create plug-ins and integrate Focus/SIS with other pieces of software.
However, I don't know too much about the internals of Moodle. Does anyone want to help me create these plug-ins?
You'll have to decide whether or not to stake your school, school district or consortium on the stablity, availablity, and consistency of a college student.
this from the Centre miller group website
"Flattery! We suppose that imitation is the best form of flattery, but we want to suggest that you not be fooled by imitations of Centre / SIS.
We've been told by our clients and friends that they have been overwhelmed by an onslaught of spam from an ex-employee of ours. He's advertising a "fork" or variant of Centre / SIS that he purports to offer.
You'll have to decide whether or not to stake your school, school district or consortium on the stablity, availablity, and consistency of a college student. Most of the time, they're just hard to wake up in the morning."
From the focus/sis 'about page'
"So, I began to write Focus/SIS (then called Centre), trying to design a system that solved the problems I'd heard repeated from district after district. Focus/SIS would use enterprise-level technologies and would avoid the use of expensive, proprietary platforms used by other school software. School districts loved my software so much that I continued developing."
My question is, who is the lead on writing the code? While I'm not connected to any of the development work going on, i do suggest centre to organizations as a option to very expensive alternatives. Forked software makes me nervous.
We will see...
When evaluating open source software, one of the key criteria in my own evaluation, is that the community structure is vibrant and the communication flow between developers and between users is healthy. A fork, in my opinion, is a suggestion that something may have gone wrong in this critical community building process and that the project may not be one with a good prognosis for long term health.
IMO, this is especially the case when the fork is somewhat hostile, as in the case of the Joomla/Mambo. In other cases forks may simply be a genial difference of opinion or direction, in which case it may not be a big deal.
It may be a good thing for Centre/Focus, when we looked at the code in Centre it kind of looked like a 'first run', it may be that we'll see a similar evolution toward a more usable codebase come out of this process, as we did with PHPNuke-Postnuke, and final evolution into a really nice 3rd generation system like Drupal.
It also makes me nervous that the main complaint against the Focus developer seems to be that he is a college student, as in my experience college students can create first class code, esp. when they plug in to a project with helpful development community and a reasonably well designed API and have a decent project manager to help them keep on track.
I agree with your last remarks about the complaint being
that he is a college student. To say that the fork is no good because
of his age or his current vocation, sounds simply like a scare tactic to
influence people not to use Focus.
If the Miller-Group doesn't want people to use the fork, they simply have to prove that their project offers more to the educational institution than its counterpart. Right now, they have a larger community base, and this is very important when it comes to OSD as your base lets you know what is missing and what isnt: not to mention the code, financial, and other resources that make a community simply indispensable. Focus, being new, really has not had a chance to build a community base; time will tell if this will change.
However, in Moodle, there are no sections (that I am aware of). Is this correct?
The Moodle integration that I have working creates a course in Moodle when a course is created in Focus/SIS, and assignes teachers to that course when a section is added. Students are added to the Moodle course when they are assigned to any section of that course in Focus/SIS.
Originally, each section in Focus/SIS was created as a course in Moodle, but the other way seems more practical. Is this how most schools setup Moodle?
In other words, should each section in Focus/SIS have a corresponding course in Moodle, or should there be only one Moodle course per Focus/SIS course?
I hope this makes sense and I appreciate any thoughts anyone has,
240 ALGEBRA 1
--240.01 Per. 1 Doe
--240.02 Per. 2 Doe
--240.03 Per. 4 Doe
--240.04 Per. 5 Doe
--240.05 Per. 6 Doe
--240.06 Per. 3 Schmoe
--240.07 Per. 5 Schmoe
--240.08 Per. 2 Smith
That should create three courses in Moodle: Algebra 1/Doe, Algebra 1/Schmoe, and Algebra 1/Smith. We do it this way because almost all HS teachers use the same plans for their sections, but different teachers will want individual control. Hope this helps.
i just installed moodle for our institute..and ofcourse i need students information system..so i found you. ie focus/sys.
but how to integrate focus/sys with moodle?
we are using moodle 1.9 with mysql db....
can you guide us for this ?
Our district may be changing SMS's (which one is yet to be determined), and integration with Moodle would be a great bonus.
With recent versions of MySQL it should be possible to support almost everything Pg can do.
If you have a go at it, I'll be happy to help from the sidelines. I'd say it can be done to a pretty polished level in a weekend.
Code to integrate the ArtenaSMS can be found at...
Click on the "snapshot" link