Office 365 Service Accounts

A quick short blog post, which is really just a direction to some Microsoft content. Office 365 users will be familiar with the need for an account to use as a “service account” for DirSync, Azure AD Sync or other 3rd Party Sync/Integration Services. Now, how frustrating is it when this stops working because the account password expires – stopping your services working.

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SIMS Teacher App… evolving…

So, almost 6 months have passed since the release of the first version of the SIMS Teacher App – available in the first instance for Apple iOS only. All the while, the aim was to make a Teacher App for all the mobile devices – so one for devices running Android, and also one for those running the Windows App framework on Windows 8.1 onwards.

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Agora – the “new breed” of SIMS

Agora, launched a little over a year ago, is the Capita SIMS online payment solution for Schools – enabling parents to pay for school meals, trips, activities, uniforms and more. SIMS Agora allows Schools to provide a safe and secure method to make payments in a convenient way – always having access to what they have paid for whenever and wherever they like.

What really sets Agora apart from other the rest of the SIMS ecosystem is that it is the first “as a service” solution from Capita. There is no “product” in the traditional sense to buy – no “disks”, no installation or consultancy charges and no pesky system requirements.#

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Playing with HyperV Clusters

Some of you may have read from my previous Microsoft School Blog posts that I run a HyperV Clustered network. This consists of 3 HyperV Hosts, running Server 2008 R2 (considering when to upgrade to 2012)… with the VHD server data files located on a SAN.

This allows me to use the Failover Clustering feature to manage the resilience of the network.

This week; I came across an odd problem.

I was getting ready to do some maintenance across the system – and running a backup across the Hosts of each of the VMs located on them. As part of this process I wanted to move the owner of a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) disk first. Cluster Shared Volumes are the bit of power that allows you to seemlessly present the same pool of storage with all the VHDs on to all the servers simulataneously. This make the live migration work – yes, thats the feature in VMware land called VMotion – that you pay for!

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Capita SIMS Developments for 2013 – SIMs Learning Gateway

A departure from my normal blog topics to something even more relevant to a lot of schools than my normal writings.

Introduction
SIMS is a School Management database, written and supported by Capita Education Services. 6 months has passed since I was invited to join Capita at their Annual Conference to see and write about forthcoming changes, as well as report back on the year (and ask the awkward questions from the community). In this post, Im going to pick up on SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG for short) – which as I keep reminding them, needs to be renamed!

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