FAQs

Researching RecordLink eXport?

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What is RecordLink eXport?
RLeX is SIMS compatible software that installs on SIMS client PCs. Users log-in with their SIMS permissions and are able to eXport linked documents from SIMS to a password protected file in three easy stages, guided by the RLeX wizard. During the process RLeX reports on the number of Public, Private and Confidential documents that are exported and generates an index file in the secure file to enable easy browsing. The file can then be archived for subsequent retrieval of individual documents or shared either online, by email or by using digital media such as CD-ROM or USB memory sticks.
What are the benefits?

Bulk download of linked documents from SIMS has historically been a time consuming task performed by opening individual documents from the Student record. RLeX greatly simplifies the process while maintaining document security. Users can only eXport documents according to their SIMS permissions.

  • Once an eXport has been created it can be shared with outside agencies, such as case workers, shared with Secondary schools alongside CTF in the case of Primary Schools passing Year 7 data, or archived for later retrieval.
  • Typically, linked documents are backed up with SIMS. However such backups are designed for a complete install in the event of Disaster Recovery. Retrieval of specific records is not feasible. However, with the appropriate eXport in archive, retrieving the SEN documents of a student who left the school some years previously would merely be a matter of clicking on the student's name in the index of the appropriate eXport.
  • Fast document retrieval facilitates improved outcomes by unlocking student information, especially when comparing eXports of electronic files compared with traditional paper based filing.
  • Filenames are rebuilt from meta data into sensible filenames. This dramatically reduces the time taken to browse files.
What support can I expect?
In the first instance the FAQs should be consulted for advice. We have made a conscious decision to keep the price of RLeX as low as possible. One way we can continue to do this is to share common experiences online. Once the FAQs are exhausted please contact us and we will provide support. If the problem is new the problem will be posted here along with the solution.
What are the security considerations?
Electronic documents are regarded as being more secure than hard copy but you should have adequate procedures in place to protect and manage your eXports, ensure users only share them with authorised parties, and maintain safe records of any passwords used. We recommend the Code of practice for legal admissibility and evidential weight of information communicated electronically (BIP 0008-2:2005).

RLeX uses SIMS permissions which therefore do not need to be maintained separately. You will need to ensure that User permissions are correctly set up in SIMS.

During the export process the user is prompted for a password that is applied to the eXport folder. Once an eXport has been created it will be placed in a folder on the local C-drive and will only be accessible in the first instance with the password. If the eXport is shared or transmitted the password should be shared or transmitted separately.

Once an eXport has been extracted from the password protected file it is available to view without subsequent password entry. Extracted eXport files should therefore be either carefully protected with network permissions or deleted.
What if our SIMS is hosted?
Please call us if you are using a hosted/thin client solution. Installation will depend upon some specific local criteria.
What are the licence conditions and restrictions?

RLeX licences are provided on an annual basis per school with unlimited users for each school. The software is downloaded from this site and installed on client PCs. The same licence key is entered during each installation to activate the software and all seats will expire on the same date. The expiry date is set at 375 days after the key is generated. This allows ten days for installation and 365 days of use. We have found this to be the simplest method to give schools flexibility in using their licences.

All licences are subject to our Terms and Conditions and you will be required to accept this End User Licence Agreement during installation.

What are the system requirements?
You will need a current version of SIMS client and .net Framework 2. In reality you will be able to run RecordLink Export on any SIMS client. You will need sufficient disk or network storage for your exports.
What problems can I expect?

We have found no technical issues arising from RLeX but expectations should be realistic; 

  • If a user sets out to create an archive of several Gb it will take time to compile and the user should allow for this.
  • Users can only eXport linked documents for which they have SIMS permissions.
  • If documents are not correctly linked in SIMS they will not be exported.
How do I purchase and install RecordLink eXport?
Please go to the Contact page or call us on 01453 882 719. You can order by email, fax or posted PO.

The software is available from the download page. You will have to create a profile and sign-in. We will send you a licence key to apply during the installation which is simply a matter of running the download on SIMS client PCs and applying the key in each case although there are more detailed instructions here.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

What does RecordLink Writer do?

RecordLink Writer integrates documents from MS Word, Outlook and Excel with the SIMS Document Server and Communications Log.

It appears as a toolbar in MS Office with three buttons reading “Open from SIMS”, “Save to IMS”, and “Save to SIMS As”. Using the “Save to SIMS As” button in RecordLink Writer saves the file you are working on direct to the SIMS document server and links it to the chosen student record to give the same result as logging in to SIMS, browsing to a student record, adding a linked document and browsing back to a document that is to be attached. The end user can save the same document to one or multiple student records including year and tutor groups, academic classes and user defined groups. If the database entry such as the particular Achievement, Medical Condition or Communication is not present in the student record the user can create it for one student or a list of students. Using “Open from SIMS” the user can browse the Student record according to their permissions and open documents. Changes to documents already in SIMS are saved using “Save to SIMS”.

Using RecordLink Writer

How does RecordLink Writer open documents, are they copied to my PC?

RecordLink Writer works with documents on the SIMS Document Management Server and does not open them locally. Therefore if you browse to a document using SIMS and open the document locally (using ‘View’ rather than ‘Open’) RecordLink Writer will not recognise the link with SIMS and ‘Save to SIMS’ will not be enabled for any changes to that document. Use RecordLink Writer to open the documents. This will remove the need to upload any documents at a later date.

Using RecordLink eXport

What's the general idea?
RLeX enables fast extraction of linked documents from SIMS to a password protected file on your local drive. It's an easy 1-2-3 process of selecting students, selecting documents, and exporting. The process is guided by a simple wizard.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

What's the general idea?

RecordLink 4pdf integrates eCopy PDF Pro Office with the SIMS Document Server and Communications Log, saving Linked Documents and Communications.

eCopy PDF Pro Office (EPPO) is a PDF handling package akin to Adobe Reader, with further editing and document handling capabilities. It installs with a PDF print driver so that any printable file can be printed to EPPO as a PDF and saved to SIMS. EPPO is available through RecordLink - and you can download a 45 day trial here.

RecordLink 4pdf appears as a toolbar in EPPO with three buttons reading “Open from SIMS”, “Save to SIMS”, and “Save to SIMS As”. Using the “Save to SIMS As” button in RecordLink 4pdf saves the file you are working on direct to the SIMS document server and links it to the chosen student record to give the same result as logging in to SIMS, browsing to a student record, adding a linked document and browsing back to a document that is to be attached. The end user can save the same document to one or multiple student records including year and tutor groups, academic classes and user defined groups. If the database entry such as the particular Achievement, Medical Condition or Communication is not present in the student record the user can create it for one student or a list of students. Using “Open from SIMS” the user can browse the Student record according to their permissions and open documents. Changes to documents already in SIMS are saved using “Save to SIMS”.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

How do I install RecordLink Writer?

FOR FULL DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE

RecordLink Writer consists of two elements. First, RecordLink Manager which is installed on the SIMS Server. This element must be registered on-line with your Product Key, after which it governs the availability of licences to the second element, RecordLink Writer. This is installed on end-user PCs that are networked to the same SIMS server. RecordLink Writer is the functional software that allows the end users to integrate MS Office with SIMS.

How do I update RecordLink Writer client?

RecordLink Writer and the licence server are upgraded in parallel with changes to SIMS. We also release new versions from time to time to enhance the functionality. When updated versions are released our registered users receive an email and we post on the blog here. RecordLink Writer is upgraded on average every six to twelve months. If the new version includes an element that has been required to be upgraded in line with changes to SIMS then you will need to uninstall RecordLink Writer from the end user terminals and replace with the up to date version at the same time as the SIMS upgrade. You can do this individually or via group policy. At any time you can download the latest version and install it free of charge. If the updated version only includes functional enhancement then you may choose to upgrade or not. There is no charge for upgrades during your annual subscription.

There is no need to make any changes to the manager other than to check you have the latest version.

Using RecordLink Writer

What permissions do I have?
RecordLink Writer uses the same permissions as SIMS to manage end user access.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

What are the benefits?
 
  • Incoming correspondence such as emails from parents and members of staff can now be stored directly into SIMS in the native format against the chosen student record as a linked document or in the comms log. When opened from RECORDLINK, saved emails (for example) will automatically reopen in Outlook, complete with the audit trail (From, To, etc.) and any attachments. Likewise Word documents will open in MS Word.
  • Outgoing documents such as letters to students can be saved to the student record rather than printed and filed in hard copy. As SIMS is backed up what was previously held as vulnerable hard copy is added to the Disaster Recovery Archive.
  • Electronic documents in the student record can be distributed electronically rather than in hard copy saving both time and money and adding an audit trail.
  • Key student information is centralised for easy retrieval in the student area of SIMS rather than dispersed in various filing locations. Time spent retrieving archived documentation will therefore be considerably reduced.
  • Administration costs will be reduced as rather than being filed manually each document can be added to many student records simultaneously.
  • Paper use will decline, particularly useful for schools applying for Eco School awards.

Using RecordLink eXport

How do I log in?
Click on the RECORDLINKeXport entry in the Start menu and enter your SIMS credentials. If you cannot find the entry ask your local IT support.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

Where is the RecordLink 4pdf toolbar?
RecordLink 4pdf lies on the eCopy PDF Pro Office (EPPO) toolbar. If it is not visible go to View > Toolbars in EPPO and select RecordLink 4pdf.

Using RecordLink Writer

I can’t see the RecordLink Writer toolbar, where is it?

Look in Add-Ins on the toolbar of Word, Outlook and Excel.

In the Outlook shell this is the only place you will find the toolbar and the only option will be "Open from SIMS".

Once an individual email is opened in its own window ('Pop Out' in latest Office) the the option to "Save To SIMS" will appear in Add-Ins.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

What support can I expect?

We provide remote support via telephone and screen sharing to our direct customers. Resellers provide end user support that is explained in the purchase process. We provide second level support to resellers. In addition FAQs are updated here as necessary.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

How do I update or move RecordLink Manager?

As with any of the applications use Add and Remove Programs to remove the old version then just run the new MSI available on the download page.

REMEMBER: Take a note of the Product Key and Activation Key from the manager before you remove it. You will need these for the new version and then wont have to request a reset.

If your hardware ID changes we will need to reset the Product Key. You can then download a new Activation Key. If you are changing hardware ID and need a reset, email licences@cohesionsoftware.co.uk with your School, LA/DCSF, and Product Key, ask for a reset and we will do it for you.

In some circumstances you may wish to move or replace the SIMS server. As RecordLink Manager needs to be on this server you will need to install the latest version from our download page onto the new SIMS server and go through the activation process. The server change will cause a change in the hardware ID of the manager so you will also need to go through the activation process once more. Please notify us as above and we will reset your Product Key ready for this. Optionally you may help yourself to a ten day trial key from the RecordLink Writer product page while we do this.

 

Using RecordLink eXport

What permissions do I have?
Your SIMS permissions apply. If your permissions do not allow you to access a document or class of document then you will not see them.
What documents can I search for and export?

When running an export you first need to select which students are included before choosing the Linked Documents attached to those students. Linked Documents can be exported from student or staff records and to do this RecordLink eXport operates in two modes.

  •  When one individual student record is selected the user can then choose all documents, select all documents in one or more sub-focus areas such as SEN or achievements, or drill down to the individual document level and select those required.
  • When multiple records are selected the user is not able to drill down to individual documents but can select focus areas, such as SEN.
  • As with all RecordLink products the user can only access documents for which they have SIMS permissions to do so

Using RecordLink Writer

How do I open a file from SIMS?
From MS Word, Outlook and Ecel go to Add-Ins on the top tollbar, select “Open from SIMS” and log-in as prompted, selecting “Remember Me” if required for seamless future use. You can then browse the focus areas of SIMS according to your permissions and open documents from the Student, Staff, Contact, Agent, or Pre-Admissions areas. In the student focus area you can browse the student record according to Achievement, Medical Event etc. Once a student has been selected you will see a photograph of the student if available.

 

IMPORTANT: If you open SIMS and browse to a document and then open the document with the Open option in SIMS then RecordLink Writer will not recognise the SIMS link to the document you have opened. Save to SIMS will not be enabled. For full RecordLink Writer functionality open the document using RecordLink Writer.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

What are the RecordLink Writer firewall settings?
Port 4052-UDP inbound.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

What problems can I expect?
  • For end users the most important consideration is to remember to use RecordLink Writer when saving and opening files to and from SIMS rather than the native Open, Save and Save As options in the Microsoft application.
  • We have found no technical issues arising from RecordLink Writer, however the SIMS .ini file is sometimes incorrectly located and once this has been corrected most installations are straightforward. As long as you use Add and Remove Programs to remove old versions before updating you should not have problems during updates.

For hosted environments we strongly recommend running a trial in order to check compatibility.

Technical isssues such as firewall settings are dealt with below in RecordLink Writer installation and support.

 

Using RecordLink 4pdf

What permissions do I have?
All RecordLink products including RecordLink 4pdf use SIMS permissions to manage end user access. There is no need to maintain a seperate permissions table outside of SIMS.

Using RecordLink Writer

How do I save a changed file or document to SIMS?
  The "Save to SIMS" option is enabled when a document has been opened from SIMS or saved during the current session. Clicking on "Save to SIMS" and following the prompts will save further changes to SIMS. If you do not alter the Notes and Summmary fields and have adequate permissions you may overwrite the previous version. You will be prompted in this case. If you do not wish to overwrite the original alter the Notes field or save the file in a different location using "Save to SIMS As".

RecordLink Writer installation and support

How does RecordLink Writer handle SIMS when set to Trusted?
When SIMS is set up for TrustedAuto RecordLink Writer bypasses the login and will login with the current user. If set up for Trusted RecordLink Writer allows for either current user (radio button) or SIMS credentials.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

How much storage space will I need?
  • There is no fixed answer. It depends on the size of school and the number of processes that you choose to treat digitally rather than in hard copy. In very rough terms 80GB of storage costs less than a three drawer filing cabinet and will store approx. 750,000 A4 pages of text and graphics depending on the mix and resolution. How a school chooses to use this is highly variable but it is fair to suggest that as you use your network more you will need to invest in its resource.
  • If one file is saved to multiple student records the file will be replicated, one for each student. Storage and network traffic will reflect this.

Using RecordLink eXport

How do I create an eXport for a single Student or member of Staff?
1 Select the Student: Click on Quick Find, enter the student name and select the student from the results. Quick Find does not apply to Staff names.

2 Select Documents: Click on the Select Documents tab and either drill down to the individual documents, choose all documents in one or more areas such as SEN, or just choose All Linked Documents.

3 eXport: Click on the Export tab and change the default destination and file name if required. Choose a password and Export. We cannot suggest your policy for choosing and storing passwords but do remember that your eXport folder cannot be extracted without it.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I open a file from SIMS?
 

From eCopy PDF Pro Office select “Open from SIMS ” and log-in as prompted, selecting “Remember Me” if required for seamless future use. You can then browse the focus areas of SIMS according to your permissions and open documents from the Student, Staff, Contact, Agent, or Pre-Admissions areas. In the student focus area you can browse the student record according to Achievement, Medical Event etc. Once a student has been selected you will see a photograph of the student if available.

If the file is not in pdf format it will open in the default application.

 

IMPORTANT: If you open SIMS and browse to a document and then open the document with the Open option in SIMS then RecordLink 4pdf will not recognise the SIMS link to the document you have opened. Save to SIMS will not be enabled. For full Connector functionality open the document using RecxordLink 4pdf in the PDF Pro Office toolbar.

Using RecordLink Writer

The “Save to SIMS” command is not enabled, why?

“Save to SIMS” provides a rapid save of the current version back to the same location and allows an overwrite of the previous version if required and if permissions allow. The “Save to SIMS” command is therefore only enabled when the current file has live links to SIMS. RecordLink Writer therefore requires that the current document either be opened from SIMS using RecordLink Writer or saved with “Save to SIMS As” before “Save to SIMS” is available to use.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

How reliable is the software?
The core elements of RecordLink Writer have been operating since August 2006 in the SIMS Connectors for eCopy. The wrapper for MS Office products has been in use since January 2008. The technical resource for RecordLink Writer is provided by Cyclone Industries, a Capita Technical Partner since 2005. Both Cyclone Industries and RecordLink Ltd work closely with schools and Capita to ensure the stability and increasing utility of the software. Our incedent rate is approximtely one incedent per 80 software licence years. Most technical incedents relate to installation support, such as the connect.ini file being incorrect. No RecordLink products have been reported as associated with data loss or ongoing unresolved issues.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

How to handle "An error occurred loading the Record Link Writer lib"

No problem here, if you get this message then your SIMS client is likely not updated. 

If you’ve had a recent upgrade which hasn’t updated all the DLLs (they all need to be the same version as they’re tightly bound) then check the Cache.dll on the client PC and you’ll probably find it isn’t the same version as the others.

Unless you’re solus 3 (in which case you could try re-deploying the update) you could try running the SIMSApplicationSetup.exe again. Does SIMS itself run OK? I’d suspect not.

If the above fails to fix it then take a look at the SIMS.ini on the affected device(s).

The key line is:

        SIMSDotNetDirectory=

That's invalid - it needs to have the path to the SIMS folder. We use it so we know where to look for the assemblies. The sims.ini should always contain that entry and it should point to the installation folder which is where the SIMS assemblies (among other things) are located. 

Here's the SIMS.ini on my laptop by way of example;

[Setup]
SIMSDirectory=C:\SIMS
SIMSSetupsDirectory=C:\SIMS\Setups
SIMSDotNetDirectory=C:\Program Files (x86)\SIMS\SIMS .net
Folder=SIMS Applications
SIMSSQLAppsDirectory=C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.SIMSSQL\MSSQL\Binn
[LastChecked]
SIMSInfrastructureSetup=1.617.1.0
[InstallationLogs]
SIMSApplicationSetup.exe=C:\Users\TIMHAM~1\AppData\Local\Temp\SIMSApplicationSetup.log
SIMSSQLApplicationSetup.exe=C:\Users\TIMHAM~1\AppData\Local\Temp\SIMSSQLApplicationSetup.log

Using RecordLink eXport

How do I create an eXport for multiple Students or Staff?
Follow the 3 step process in the same way as creating an eXport for an individual. The only difference is that with multiple records you can select classes of documents, such SEN, and not drill down to the individual document level. You can choose one or more classes.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I save a changed file or document to SIMS?
  The “Save to SIMS ” option is enabled when a document has been opened from SIMS or saved during the current session. Clicking on “Save to SIMS ” and following the prompts will save further changes to SIMS . If you do not alter the Notes and Summary fields and have adequate permissions you may overwrite the previous version. You will be prompted in this case. If you do not wish to overwrite the original alter the Notes field or save the file in a different location using “Save to SIMS As”.

Using RecordLink Writer

How do I save a new file to SIMS?
 

“Save to SIMS As” is where the major functions of RECORDLINKwriter lie. Much of the workflow mirrors that of linking a document in SIMS so many elements, such as searching for a student, mirror the commands in SIMS.

On the RecordLink Writer toolbar click “Save to SIMS As” and follow the prompts. Once a student has been selected the user can then browse to the correct area of the student record. Select the sub-area of General, Medical Notes etc and hit “Next”. In General and Medical Notes you will then be taken to the final screen and be prompted to chose the document type, given an option of “Read Only”, and asked to add Notes and optionally, Summary information. In other sub-areas where the data is organised as database entries such as Medical Conditions, you will find another layer of navigation. You will be asked to select the relevant entry before proceeding to the final screen.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

How do I purchase and install RecordLink products?
You can purchase annual unlimited seat site licences direct from us or from our resellers. If you would like to be contacted to discuss your requirements or for a formal quote please contact us. We require a Purchase Order from the school domain email address before delivery of your licence by email and instructions. Once you have received your Product Key, from the Download tab download the licence manager and install on the SIMS server. Download the latest version of RecordLink writer and install on your choice of end user terminals either individually or using group policy. More detailed instructions will be found with your licence and below in How do I install RecordLink Writer?

RecordLink Writer installation and support

How to handle "Unknown error obtaining licence from ...."

For one reason or another the RECORDLINK manager service may stop working on SIMS server.

When loading Word, Outlook or Excel on RecordLink Writer client PCs you will receive the message;

Unknown error obtaining licence from SIMS server IP address RECORDLINKwriter will be disabled.

Restart the service on the SIMS server in Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Services and change the action on failure to restart.

Be sure to set the action on failure to restart in all three instances as detailed in the installation guide.

If this fails then check the latest version of the manager is installed.

Check out any firewall issues and finally check for multiple IP addresses. We have seen a user with two network cards in the server, the second one had a funky IP address on it (which was a surprise as the network manager was aware of only one). The RLmanager service was using this to listen for licence requests. Set which IP address to listen on in RLmanager config and disable the second network card. The RLw clients now successfully obtain licences.

 

Using RecordLink eXport

I can't create an eXport for Students and Staff. Why not?
RLeX maintains segregation of information between Staff and Students due to the different permissions required and the possible end uses. You will need to perform separate eXports for Staff and Students.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

The “Save to SIMS” command is not enabled, why?
  “Save to SIMS ” provides a rapid save of the current version back to the same location and allows an overwrite of the previous version if required and if permissions allow. The “Save to SIMS ” command is therefore only enabled when the current file has live links to SIMS . RecordLink 4pdf therefore requires that the current document either be opened from SIMS using RecordLink 4pdf or saved with “Save to SIMS As” before “Save to SIMS ” is available to use.

Using RecordLink Writer

How do I create a database entry such as an Achievement, Exclusion or Medical condition?
Follow the instructions for How do I save a new file to SIMS? until you arrive at “Select Student Sub-Area” then select the Sub-Area you require. At this point you will have the option to create a new entry if the required entry is absent (such entries are not used in General and Medical Notes). Hit “Create” and fill in the required fields as in SIMS. Having created a new entry and been returned to the list of all entries for that student you can again create further entries or select an entry and proceed to the final save screen. To create an entry for multiple students see How do I create multiple database entries?

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

What about Trusted Logon?
In the August 2007 Release of SIMS Trusted Logon was introduced as a new method for authentication. RecordLink uses this same logon method.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

How to handle Error Code 2755
You may find this problem when running a software install from another drive. Its an encryption issue.

Save the .msi file to a local drive or desktop and run from there.

Using RecordLink eXport

What is 'Quick Find'?
Quick Find enables the user to enter a name and jump quickly to a single student record. The user may use this method multiple times and add each found student to the selection before searching for further students.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I save a new file to SIMS
“Save to SIMS As” is where the major functions of RecordLink 4pdf lie. Much of the workflow mirrors that of linking a document in SIMS so many elements, such as searching for a student, mirror the commands in SIMS.

 

On the RecordLink 4pdf toolbar click “Save to SIMS As” and follow the prompts. Once a student has been selected the user can then browse to the correct area of the student record. Select the sub-area of General, Medical Notes etc and hit “Next”. In General and Medical Notes you will then be taken to the final screen and be prompted to chose the document type, given an option of Public, Private or Confidential, and asked to add Notes and optionally, Summary information. In other sub-areas where the data is organised as database entries such as Medical Conditions, you will find another layer of navigation. You will be asked to select the relevant entry before proceeding to the final screen.

Using RecordLink Writer

I want to save the same document to several student records. How do I choose the students?

Using “Save to SIMS As”, you can choose to save to multiple student records and the first process is compile the list of students. Follow the prompts to the “Select student” screen and use predefined lists under “Advanced” or create your own bespoke list using “Search”.

1. To browse lists of Academic Classes or User Defined Groups select “Advanced” and pick the appropriate group and “OK”, then use “Select All” to add the names to the Multi Pick list. You can edit the returned list by selecting “View” under “Multi Pick”.

 2. Instead of using predefined lists you can also create a bespoke list. Search by surname, year group etc using the text boxes and drop down lists before hitting “Search”. To add multiple students to your Multi Pick list, select the students and hit “Add”. You may then conduct a new search, e.g. by a different year group, and add some or all of the students to the Multi Pick List. You can edit this list at any time using “View”.

 

RecordLink Writer installation and support

Muli-homed host on CC4
We found a problem with a server acting as a multi-homed host.

RECORDLINKmanager has now been updated to allow specifying which IP address the licence service should listen on. Enter this IP address on the Config page of the manager during Activation or at any time after.

Using RecordLink eXport

Remember Me does not always work. Why?
To prevent unauthorised access on an unmanned PC the SIMS password will drop from the Remember Me field after 10 minutes.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I create a database entry such as an Achievement, Exclusion or Medical condition?
  Follow the instructions for How do I save a new file to SIMS? until you arrive at “Select Student Sub-Area” then select the Sub-Area you require. At this point you will have the option to create a new entry if the required entry is absent (such entries are not used in General and Medical Notes). Hit “Create” and fill in the required fields as in SIMS. Having created a new entry and been returned to the list of all entries for that student you can again create further entries or select an entry and proceed to the final save screen. To create an entry for multiple students see How do I create multiple database entries?

Using RecordLink Writer

How do I create multiple database entries?

First compile the list of multiple students (see I want to save the same document to several student records. How do I choose the students?), then follow the prompts to choose the Student Sub-Area. In General and Medical Notes you will be taken directly to the final save screen as database entries are not used in these areas. 

In all other areas except SEN you should first choose or create a database entry against which the file will be saved. SEN is handled on a per student basis so creation of multiple entries is not available although you can still create a new database entry for single Student Records.

RecordLink Writer caters for the situation where you may know that the correct database entry exists for at least one student. If you know this to be the case select the first student and pick the known database entry (e.g. a Medical Condition or Achievement). Otherwise browse the list by picking other students and checking the entries. At any time you can proceed and select an existing entry for the first student or hit “Create” and fill in the required fields as in SIMS. Having created an entry and been returned to the list of entries for that student you can create further entries or select an entry and proceed to the next student. The chosen entry, whether selected or created is copied and the copy is temporarily saved.

For subsequent students you can then use the “Auto-Create” option and “Next” to copy the saved database entry to the new student and proceed to the next student. Alternatively, to create a different entry use “Create” once again and fill in the fields as required. NB you can create several entries for each student before choosing one and proceeding with “Next”.

You can then process the list, student by student, selecting or creating entries as required. To process all remaining students in Achievement and Behaviour select “Apply to All” to save the document and create the required database entry in SIMS and apply it to every student in the list at one click of the mouse. It is not practical to use “Apply to All” for Exclusions, Medical Conditions and Medical Events due to the frequent occurrence of overlapping or incompatible entries. You can still use “Auto-Create” and should apply this to each student in turn by selecting “Next”.

To skip a student, select “Skip Student”. To skip all remaining students and go straight to the final screen select “Skip Student” and “Apply to All Students”.

This may all seem rather complicated, in reality each step takes seconds. So should you need to send a letter to thirty Contacts informing them that their child has been made a prefect, you can save the template letter direct from MS Word via RecordLink Writer and create the Achievement of Prefect in SIMS simultaneously for all thirty student records. We estimate this to be a saving of approximately three minutes per student for each multiple save.

Thinking of switching to RecordLink Writer?

What are the licence conditions and restrictions?

RLw licences are provided on an annual basis, per school with unlimited users for each school.

The software is not transferable and will cease to work in any way at the end of the licence period.

All licences are subject to our Terms and Conditions and you will be required to accept this End User Licence Agreement during installation.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

New RLw clients are not working

When rolling out RecordLink Writer to new SIMS clients you may receive an error loading the library when Word, Outlook or Excel are fired up.

When this is only new installations the likely fault is be the SIMSDotNetDirectory entry in the C:\windows\sims.ini file is missing or incorrect – we've seen it either missing or pointing to Program Files instead of Program Files (x86).  RLw uses this to locate the DLLs. 

Using RecordLink eXport

I have created an eXport file, now what?
Unless you have specified otherwise your eXport file will be created as a password protected zip file in C/My Documents/My RECORDLINKeXports. Each zipped file contains an html index file and two further folders named Documents and Indices. You cannot access these folders nor the documents they contain until the folders are extracted. At this stage the eXport is in its most secure state and should be transmitted or archived at this point. DO NOT TRASNMIT THE PASSWORD WITH THE EXPORT FOLDER.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

I want to save the same document to several student records. How do I choose the students?
 

Using “Save to SIMS As”, you can choose to save to multiple student records and the first process is compile the list of students. Follow the prompts to the “Select student” screen and use predefined lists under “Advanced” or create your own bespoke list using “Search”.

 1. To browse lists of Academic Classes or User Defined Groups select “Advanced” and pick the appropriate group and “OK”, then use “Select All” to add the names to the Multi Pick list. You can edit the returned list by selecting “View” under “Multi Pick”.

 2. Instead of using predefined lists you can also create a bespoke list. Search by surname, year group etc using the text boxes and drop down lists before hitting “Search”. To add multiple students to your Multi Pick list, select the students and hit “Add”. You may then conduct a new search, e.g. by a different year group, and add some or all of the students to the Multi Pick List. You can edit this list at any time using “View”.

Using RecordLink Writer

Remember me doesn’t always remember me, why not?
Remember me is configured to retain your log-on details for any single session of MS Office. As long as you have at least one Office application running Remember me will remain current. This configuration balances ease of access for the user with workstation security.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

An unexpected error has occurred whilst saving the document. Direct access to the SIMS database is forbidden

This error is a strange one and emerged in January 2017, affecting just two users, both on 64 bit MS Office. It is caused by .Net jitter, differently affecting the same code compiled for the two operating flavours.

The fix

Straightforward. Please contact your LSU and request SIMS Patch 22679 or download the zip file from here

Capita guidance is here. Please contact your LSU for further support.

Using RecordLink eXport

How can I share an eXport online?
You can share an eXport online in a number of ways. However, remember to only share with trusted users and never transmit the password with the eXport. You can use a drop box service from a variety of providers some of whom will also provide further security.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I create multiple database entries?

First compile the list of multiple students (see I want to save the same document to several student records. How do I choose the students?), then follow the prompts to choose the Student Sub-Area. In General and Medical Notes you will be taken directly to the final save screen as database entries are not used in these areas.

In all other areas except SEN you should first choose or create a database entry against which the file will be saved. SEN is handled on a per student basis so creation of multiple entries is not available although you can still create a new database entry for single Student Records.

RecordLink 4pdf caters for the situation where you may know that the correct database entry exists for at least one student. If you know this to be the case select the first student and pick the known database entry (e.g. a Medical Condition or Exclusion). Otherwise browse the list by picking other students and checking the entries. At any time you can proceed and select an existing entry for the first student or hit “Create” and fill in the required fields as in SIMS. Having created an entry and been returned to the list of entries for that student you can create further entries or select an entry and proceed to the next student. The chosen entry, whether selected or created is copied and the copy is temporarily saved.

For subsequent students you can then use the “Auto-Create” option and “Next” to copy the saved database entry to the new student and proceed to the next student. Alternatively, to create a different entry use “Create” once again and fill in the fields as required. NB you can create several entries for each student before choosing one and proceeding with “Next”.

You can then process the list, student by student, selecting or creating entries as required. To process all remaining students in Achievement and Behaviour select “Apply to All” to save the document and create the required database entry in SIMS and apply it to every student in the list at one click of the mouse. It is not practical to use “Apply to All” for Exclusions, Medical Conditions and Medical Events due to the frequent occurrence of overlapping or incompatible entries. You can still use “Auto-Create” and should apply this to each student in turn by selecting “Next”.

To skip a student, select “Skip Student”. To skip all remaining students and go straight to the final screen select “Skip Student” and “Apply to All Students”. This may all seem rather complicated, in reality each step takes seconds. So should you need to save a copy of a letter to thirty student records, you can print an MS Word letter to PDF using File\Print and select the ScanSoft PDF print driver installed with PDF Pro Office. Once in PDF format in Pro Office save the PDF letter to the student records and create the database entry such as an Achievement in SIMS simultaneously for all thirty student records. We estimate this to be a saving of approximately three minutes per student for each multiple save.

Using RecordLink Writer

How do I handle PDFs?
 

See RecordLink 4pdf

PDF handling is a growing means of working with incoming documentation by scanning the original and handling the scan on the network as a PDF. Under certain conditions a non-compressed scan is perceived legally as an original. For more information search on BIP 0008-2:2005. Whilst Adobe Acrobat Reader is free of charge, to mark up invoices for payment or annotate scanned coursework without altering the original we recommend eCopy PDF Pro Office from Nuance. This gives users easy to use mark-up capability. For example, merging several original documents into one to forward to a Local Authority to notify of an exclusion is a straightforward drag and drop operation. Text such as student names can be blacked out easily and the final electronic document can be emailed to the LA. This replaces the common practice of photocopying originals, using Tippex or markers to obscure unwanted text, photocopying the altered documents and sending the final hard copy to the LA. We also provide identical connectivity between SIMS and eCopy PDF Pro Office with RecordLink 4DPF. Contact us for a trial of these products or search eCopy PDF Pro Office Trial.

Using RecordLink eXport

I have an eXport file. How do I use it?
 

Whether you have created your own or been sent or given access to an eXport file the access is the same. With your mouse, right click on the zipped eXport file and select 'Extract All ...'. Change the default criteria if you require and enter the password. The file will be extracted to the chosen location. AT THIS POINT THE EXPORT FILE IS NO LONGER PASSWORD PROTECTED. You must use network or physical security to protect it. The new folder will contain an html file named 'Catalogue' and the same folders as before. The Documents folder contains the actual documents while metadata is held in the Indices folder. To browse the documents by Student name double click on the Catalogue file which will open in your web browser with basic information such as where and when the eXport was created. Follow the link to access the index page. Documents will be listed with metadata (summary, filename etc.) and grouped by student or Staff member. Click on a filename to open a document.

Alternatively browse the documents folder which is organised with a named folder per student populated with the exported files with rebuilt and sensible file names.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I upgrade RecordLink 4pdf?
RecordLink 4pdf and the licence manager are periodically upgraded in parallel with changes to SIMS. We also release new versions from time to time to enhance the functionality. When updated versions are released our registered users receive an email and we post on the website. RecordLink 4pdf is upgraded roughly every six to twelve months. If the new version includes an element that has been required to be upgraded in line with changes to SIMS (ie a breaking change) then you will need to uninstall RecordLink 4pdf from the end user terminals and replace with the up to date version at the same time as the SIMS upgrade. You can do this individually or via group policy. At any time you can download the latest version and install free of charge. If the updated version only includes functional enhancement then you may choose to upgrade or not. There is no charge for upgrades during your annual subscription.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

"Failed to load assembly"

This bug struck in summer 2017 and does not affect all SIMS clients equally. Upgrade RecordLink writer to V1.7.0.1 or above.

Using RecordLink Writer

Public, Private and Confidential explained
These are document settings applied at the point of saving a linked document in SIMS. They are an additional level of security within SIMS and are applied when using RecordLink Writer.

Public – the document will be available to all users with sufficient add/view/edit document permissions.

Private – the document will be available only to you.

Confidential – the document will be available only to SIMS users with School Administrator or Senior Management Team permissions.

Using RecordLink eXport

What local security can I apply to an eXport
You should develop a policy for protecting information stored in eXport archives. Physical media such as USB sticks can be protected in some instances by passwords and should always be kept safely. eXport files, whether locked or unlocked can also be protected using network share options. Right click on the archive, select Properties and then Sharing or Security. As networks vary you should develop your own policy on which configuration to choose should you choose to use this type of security.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

How do I handle Word, Outlook and Excel Files?
RecordLink Writer  provides similar functionality to integrate common MS Office formats with SIMS. You can download a 10 day trial or to contact RecordLink to discuss this or any other matter just click here.

RecordLink Writer installation and support

"Unhandled exception" error on SIMS server license manager.exe

Check for multiple installations of RecordLink Manager and remove the oldest version. While you're there its worth checking the manager is the latest available version, just take a note of the activation and product keys before uninstalling it. You'll need them to activate the licence on the new manager version.

Using RecordLink 4pdf

Public, Private and Confidential explained

These are document settings applied at the point of saving a linked document in SIMS. They are an additional level of security within SIMS and are applied when using RecordLink Writer.

Public – the document will be available to all users with sufficient add/view/edit document permissions.

Private – the document will be available only to you.

Confidential – the document will be available only to SIMS users with School Administrator or Senior Management Team permissions.

Using RecordLink eXport

How are invalid or empty documents treated?

Take three cases :-

Emptiness

A file which is structurally valid as a document but has no contents as a document (e.g. blank Word document). This could only be detected by the appropriate application and RLeX would not detect this. A file which has no length. RLeX does detect and report this.

Validity

All files are valid - the document requires context to detect validity. Again only the appropriate application would detect this.

Extraction errors

If SIMS does not return a file or there is a problem saving the file then we do detect and report this.

It’s worth adding that the RLeX log only reports on the files for which the user has correct permissions and will not report on files omitted by the absence of permission. It’s probably overly MI6 but it means the user cannot use the log to search for hidden documents, albeit in their existence rather than their availability.

Can I change the default location for my exports? Yes you can.

The default location is fixed during installation. If you would like to change it uninstall RLex and run the installer again. It takes but a few seconds. You will be given the option to accept the default location as C/My Documents/My RecordLink exports, or you can change it. Which ever you choose, this will be the initial option presented on the final page of the export wizard. 

Make sure you have a note of the Product Key. You will need this when you run the installer. Drop us a line if you can't find it.

Technical support for RecordLink 4pdf

RecordLink 4pdf installation instructions

Click here for detailed instructions on installing, activating and renewing RL4pdf.

RecordLink 4pdf requires the .Net2 framework
If a newly installed RL4pdf connector fails on first use then go to Programs and Features and check the .Net2 framework is in place.
For a download just search online for "microsoft .net framework 2".
The firewall port is 4601.

That's it. 4601.

Take a look at all our SIMS integration products:

RecordLink
Writer
RecordLink
eXport
RecordLink
4pdf
RecordLink
4ShareScan

For more information or to place an order please call us on 01453 882 719 or email us here

View T&Cs. RecordLink Ltd, 59 Down View, Chalford Hill GL6 8NB. Company Reg. No: 05988154