Advice on using Construction and Maintenance Datasets

When a construction dataset is submitted to Sims it reads the curriculum from Sims .net and matches what is in the file with what is already in Sims and if it is the same doesn’t change anything.  Where there are differences in the submitted file to what is held in Sims, changes are made in Sims with effect from the start date of the submission.  A construction dataset will not protect anything in Sims which differs from the submitted file because the expectation is that each construction dataset sent across will contain everything that has been previously submitted, together with any changes.

 Maintenance datasets are intended to meet the requirements of temporary changes and lock down existing any changes that have already been sent across in the affected period to protect them . Maintenance datasets use a fixed date range (e.g. a start and end date for the change in question). However, the school can easily get into trouble if other changes need to be made in the same fixed period, or if a mixture of maintenance and construction datasets are being used.

For that reason Scomis do not recommend using maintenance datasets but to send across changes to the timetable using construction datasets which have different start dates but always retain the same end date (i.e. last working day of the school). Best practice is

  • Send changes across using construction datasets as near as possible to the time they are occurring (e.g. teacher change from tomorrow, change is sent across today with the start date of tomorrow). If the change is temporary i.e. a teacher is changed for the week, another construction dataset is sent across at the beginning of the following week with the change back to the original teacher.
  • ALWAYS use the previous sent construction dataset to make new changes and do not make changes which will occur too far in the future.
  • Save the changed dataset with a new sequential name. In that way you will avoid overwriting any changes already sent to Sims as the previous version will contain all the changes already sent to Sims AND you will retain a history of changes by sequentially renaming every dataset which is sent to Sims.
  • Keep a record of the name and changes in each dataset so that if more than one person is maintaining the timetable the correct file will be used for the next change in the timetable.

If you have started using maintenance datasets and would like to go back to using construction datasets please follow the this faq.



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