As I said in our phone conversation Richard, this is a key area. But intergration or interoperability?
Two way data movement particularly assessment data back to the MIS as well as one way enrolments provisioned out of the MIS is needed. The Capita IMS Enterprise Services interface is supposed to provide both of these but the former in a very limited fashion I believe?
A really big issue isn't the connection to provision the VLE out of the MIS regarding simple memberships, it is the ease with which you can handle the configuration of the memberships as well as the range of patterns for creating usernames. Simply taking, for example, the SIMS timetable classes and creating courses 1 for 1 isn't what most secondary schools would want. Maybe not even what primary would want. SIMS course Manager could be providing a better source as it allows any groups and memberships to be formed including FE, clubs etc.
Different subjects in secondary may want different models of mapping classes to course, For example:-
All year 7 classes in History mapped to one Year 7 History course but maybe top year 10 science classes mapped to one course and bottom Yr 10 Science classes to a different course, it would vary from year to year etc. the interface to allow someone to do the mapping would be crucial unless it was customised by you as part of the support. What matching is wanted depends on how the teachers in any particular dept etc. work together and share resources.
I think Moodle would need global groups to interoperate with a directory service or MIS system fully.
Perhaps more important is the movement of data between the two. Where do people think the online markbook will sit for day to day use? The VLE or the MIS system? I woulod go for the former. nd where would the reportimng system best sit? I would want pupil comments, parent comments and other learnin g provider comments to merge with the report so getting them back into the MIS such as back in Profiles for SIMS isn't going to be easy is it? Reporting for personal reports to parents and pupil would best be part of the VLE system in my view, pulling data out of the VLE and MIS to create the report. Web 2.0 Ajax style technology is needed not some horrible system locked into Microsoft Office.