Setup Guide

Installing Schoolcomms

Installation from the website

  1. Close SIMS if it is open
  2. Uninstall any previous versions of Schoolcomms if you are upgrading your Schoolcomms version by going to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs
  3. Select Schoolcomms and click Remove 4. Browse to www.schoolcomms.com/download
  4. Select Click here to download
  5. Select Run to start the installation package
  6. Follow the step by step instructions
  7. Once the installation has finished double click on the Schoolcomms icon that would have been installed on your desktop
  8. For existing licence holders, select Log in for account holders
  9. Enter your login credentials and select Login

Purchase a licence

  1. Click on the Schoolcomms icon that has been installed on your desktop
  2. Select Start a Free Trial or Place an Order
  3. Select Place an order to buy Schoolcomms
  4. Enter your SIMS login details
  5. Enter your contact details
  6. Select the licence option you wish to buy
  7. Choose your login details and preferred email address for undeliverable and reply emails from parents
  8. Enter a purchase order number and agree to the licence
  9. Your Log in details and Getting Started pack will be emailed to you within one working day

Start a free trial

  1. Click on the Schoolcomms icon that has been installed on to your desktop
  2. Select Start a Free Trial or Place an Order
  3. Select Enjoy a 30 day Free Trial with no commitment
  4. Enter your SIMS login details
  5. Enter your contact details
  6. Choose your login details
  7. Agree to the licence
  8. Click Finish to submit your Free Trial request
  9. Your Log in details and Getting started pack will be emailed to you within one working day

Installing via the windows installer (MSI) package

  1. To install the MSI package for Schoolcomms navigate to www.schoolcomms.com/download
  2. Under the title Alternative resources for Network wide deployment select the link entitled the latest Schoolcomms Windows Installer (MSI) package can be downloaded from here

Print this section

Minimum requirements

  1. Supported operating systems include: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows server 2008 (inc. R2) and Windows server 2012
  2. 3.0 GHz (single core) Intel Pentium-class processor
  3. 2048 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher
  4. 30 MB of hard disk space required plus 500 MB headroom. More will be needed if the setup process needs to install Microsoft .NET 4
  5. 1024 x 768 or higher-resolution display with 24-bit colour

Print this section

Schoolcomms updates

  1. You will be notified if a new version of Schoolcomms is available upon Login
  2. Schoolcomms will attempt to update itself. However, some versions may require you to uninstall your current version and download the new version
  3. To install a new version please follow the instructions “Installation from the website”.

Print this section

Logging in

Logging into Schoolcomms

  1. After installing Schoolcomms you should now have a Schoolcomms desktop icon
  2. Double click the icon Schoolcomms, If this isn’t the first the you have launched Schoolcomms on the machine skip to step 4
  3. A few options will appear, click on login for account holders
  4. The login screen will now appear
  5. You will be asked for your username, memorable data and password
  6. If you have forgotten your password please select the “forgotten your password?” Link. If you have a problem with your username or memorable data, please contact the support team or your school multi user administrator if you have a premium licence.Login

Logging into web messenger

  1. The web messenger was designed to send out an emergency message from the school if for whatever reason Schoolcomms couldn’t be launched from the desktop. This version does not have all the functionality of the desktop version and is simply just to send messages. You can also access the payments area if you are Schoolcomms payments customers.
  2. Open up your web browser and go to schoolcomms.com
  3. In the top right hand corner will be a login button
  4. Click this button and the web messenger log in screen will load
  5. Enter your Schoolcomms login credentials and press login
  6. You will need Microsoft Silverlight installed in order to view the web messenger

Logging into mobile messenger

  1. The mobile messenger opens on devices which do not support the use of Microsoft Silverlight (Apple devices for example). On the mobile messenger you are only able to send a text message
  2. Open up the web browser on the device and go to schoolcomms.com
  3. Click the login button in the top right hand corner
  4. A login screen will appear, enter your credentials and press login
  5. On the login screen is a box which reads “I’m on a slow connection, only load my manually added groups and those marked as favourites in Web messenger.” To see all your Schoolcomms groups you will need to untick this box

Print this section

Installing the SIMS Schoolcomms Plugin

From the SIMS Autumn release 2012 your school will need to carry out some changes to ensure you’ll be able to continue using Schoolcomms from within SIMS (e.g. launching Schoolcomms from the link in the SIMS focus menu)

There are three possible steps that you’ll need to follow depending on your circumstances. We recommend that these steps are carried out by the IT specialist in your school.

Note: Please note that this procedure will need to be carried out on each machine where the SIMS.Net application is installed.

Step 1: Copying the Schoolcomms SIMS plugin to the machine where your SIMS.Net application is installed

For the vast majority of users this will happen automatically when you launch Schoolcomms. If this is the case you will see the following confirmation success message.

1

If you see this message then the plugin has been successfully copied to your SIMS.Net folder and you can skip the rest of step 1

If the automatic copying does not work you will see this message:

2

In this instance you will need to copy the plugin manually as follows:

  1. Download the plugin from the following URL: schoolcomms.com/simsplugin.zip
  2. Unzip the downloaded folder. You will find a single file inside called dll
  3. Drag and drop the above files to the following location (assuming that your SIMS application is installed locally on your C drive) C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS .NET\Plugins\PartnerLinks

Step 2: Enable the plugin in the SIMS database

Now that the SIMS plugin has been successfully copied to the SIMS.Net folder you need to enable it in SIMS so that the Schoolcomms links are displayed for your SIMS users.

Note: To complete this step the SIMS user will require system manager privileges.

1. Login into SIMS.NET as a user with system manager privileges

2. Open the partner plugin configuration screen as follows

33. Click on the first Focus Menu Item with a red cross next to it and press the Openbutton

4. Drop down the plugin menu that opens and choose Schoolcomms Desktopfrom the list

45. Click OK

6. Repeat this process for the first Students, Staff and Attendancebuttons with a red cross next to them

Note: The Schoolcomms plugin can only be applied to the staff and attendance screens if you are using SIMS 2013 spring release or later.

7. Save your changes by clicking Save

8. Close and re-open SIMS in order to see the Schoolcomms shortcuts appear

Step 3: Disabling the old plugin

This step will only need to be carried out if the version of SIMS you are using is before the autumn release 2012. The old plugin will automatically be disabled from the autumn release onwards.

Approach 1:

  1. Open your SIMS This is C:\SIMS by default, but you can check the exact location for you in the SIMSDirectory key of sims.ini
  2. Rename TP_communications.ini to be Tp_communications_old.ini

Approach 2:

  1. Open the SIMS Plugins This is typically at: C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS.net\Plugins on your application server but you can check the exact location for you in the SIMSDotNetDirectory key of sims.ini
  2. Open the Commsfolder from within here
  3. Rename SchoolCommsInfo.dll to SchoolCommsInfoOld.dll

After following the above steps SIMS users should now be able to see the Schoolcomms links form within SIMS as they did before.

5

SIMS Patch 17755 for autumn release of SIMS

If the Schoolcomms shortcuts do not appear in SIMS after following the above steps, it may be related to the SIMS issue with Schoolcomms and the SIMS Autumn release. As of the 1st January 2013, if your school has upgraded to the SIMS Autumn release, you will cease to be able to see and launch the Schoolcomms links in SIMS. To continue to use the Schoolcomms links in SIMS you will need to apply SIMS patch 17755. Please contact your SIMS Support team to obtain patch 17755.

Print this section

Running an import from SIMS into Schoolcomms

  1. If it is the first time you have logged in, before you can run the import, a window will appear asking you to choose your import settings.
  2. Your import settings determine the contacts and information that are imported from
  3. When entering contact details into SIMS, please note that section 4, Telephones and Email Addresses, is for the student’s contact information. Section 5 Family and Home is for parent’s contact details.
  4. To change your settings at a later date, go to Management > Import Management > Edit settings
  5. Select the pre admissions tick box if you wish to send messages to this group
  6. Choose whether you wish to import All groups or just Active groups (faster)
  7. Select to import contact details from SIMS and whose contact details you wish to import. By default, the import is set to include Priority 1 parents and all are flagged as prime. If you wish to include other priorities and/or parental responsibility and set another choice for prime/non-prime, click on Change.sims import
  1. Select whether you wish to import email address and/or mobile numbers.
  2. Tick the Send a text/ email to each new or changed number/address if you do wish to notify each new contact. We advise that the ‘Send a Text message to each new or changed number?’ option is left unticked as this will send a text to each new or changed contact you import and this will use a large amount of text credits.
  3. Once you are happy with your chosen settings to import members, groups and contact details into Schoolcomms from SIMS you will need to run an import. This data needs to be refreshed regularly to ensure it is up to date.

sims import 2

  1. Each day when you first log into Schoolcomms, the import wizard will open automatically
  2. Select Run to run the import
  3. If you choose to run the import you will be asked to enter your SIMS login credentials
  4. Select Remember my SIMS credentials to avoid entering them each time
  5. Go to the Management screen and select Run Import to refresh your data manually at another time
  6. The import will be confirmed as successful when it has completed

Print this section

User Permissions

SIMS User Permissions

Download the guide

Schoolcomms User Permissions

Download the guide

Print this section