Capita have introduced a revised way in which the SIMS, FMS and Discover software is updated. This software is called SOLUS 3. This new software works in a very different way to the current system (SOLUS 2).
SOLUS 3 is a completely new piece of software which is installed alongside SIMS. It comprises of an SQL database (which will need to be added in to the schools backup routine), a Windows Service and GUI console.
School settings need to be defined in the console.
Every machine that runs SIMS, FMS or Discover will need to have a SOLUS 3 agent installed on it so that it is able to “talk” to the SOLUS 3 console and receive updates. To enable the Agents and Console to interact with each other there are some very important changes that need to be made to the firewall, if these changes are not made correctly then all kinds of issues can arise.
A SOLUS 3 Agent needs to be installed on every SIMS, FMS and Discover workstation.
SOLUS 3 fundamentally changes the upgrade process from a ‘pull’ technology to a ‘push’ technology. Workstations no longer pull their upgrades from the server; their upgrades are pushed out. SOLUS3 requires an installation by an experienced SIMS engineer before it can be used. Once installed and configured, the SOLUS3 upgrade process starts with the latest SIMS, FMS and Discover software being made available to the school’s SOLUS3 system. The upgrade software is downloaded and the school chooses when to apply the upgrade. This process can also be set to run automatically on a schedule. The upgrade process takes responsibility for upgrading all SIMS, Discover and FMS server components, as well as any workstations that have been configured with workstation agents.
Updates are downloaded and deployed from the SOLUS 3 console.
The workstation agents need to be managed carefully in the SOLUS 3 console as if a workstation hasnt been correctly defined, it wont get any updates. Similarily, it is important to tidy up any machines that dont have SIMS on anymore as SOLUS 3 will try and upgrade any defined workstation, if it is no longer used this can cause the entire upgrade process to fail and rollback.
Workstations need to be defined by what software they have installed.
The SOLUS 3 software is designed to run on a dedicated SIMS server within your school and can require quite a high level of management time and will require some retraining and learning for staff managing SIMS upgrades. As well as the SIMS, FMS and Discover upgrades, SOLUS 3 itself also has several upgrades to its software each year, which need to be applied in addition to the SIMS Main releases.
For those schools that do not have a dedicated SIMS server, SOLUS 3 will need to be installed on the main admin PC. As it is a resource heavy piece of software it may result in staff experiencing degraded computer performance and a decrease in available hard disk space.
Also, if your school buys in to the Scomis Remote SIMS Upgrade Service this change means that it will not be possible for Scomis to continue to provide the Remote SIMS Upgrade Service, in the same way, to your school.
The cost of upgrading a school network to improve performance and allowing for the extra overheads of managing SOLUS 3 will be significant and we would strongly recommend schools consider migrating to the Scomis Hosted Application Service.
Schools that are using the Scomis Hosted Application Service will not need to install SOLUS 3, upgrades will be carried out as part of the service. For other benefits of the Scomis Hosted Application Service, please see:
If, for whatever reason, your school does not want to migrate to the Scomis Hosted Application Service then we are able to offer a SOLUS 3 installation Service (remotely where possible) to get things up and running.
Your school can also choose to install SOLUS 3 yourselves and in this instance we can supply the relevant software installation files and associated manuals.