Setting up a scheduled task to upload pupil records from SIMS into ParentPay

You should have by now successfully connected SIMS to ParentPay using MIS Sync and completed an upload. You're possibly thinking "This would be great if it were automated!" Most systems, not all, can create a scheduled task using Microsoft's inbuilt Task Scheduler.
Pass this guidance to your IT team as they should have the right access to set this up for you.

  This article will teach you...

How to configure the Windows Task Scheduler to allow for automatic imports of pupil data.

Before starting

Prerequisites
  • the scheduled task(s) created will be configured on the server that the SIMS instance is installed on.
  • you have installed and configured the most recent version of the ParentPay MIS Sync application on the server that the SIMS instance is installed on
  • you have successfully uploaded a pupil import using the MIS Sync installation above manually, before attempting an automated setup using the task scheduler.
  • the account used to configure the scheduled task has full administrative privileges to the network.
  • the SIMS account used has School Manager permissions as a minimum.
  • the SIMS account used has Third-party reporting rights configured.
Limitations
  • Scheduled task will not work where SIMS is hosted (Cloud-Based).
  • Schedule task will not work for schools using SIMS ID
  • Schedule task will fail when no change in the data is detected.

How to...

  1. Launch MIS Sync
  2. Navigate to Tools > Settings
  3. Select the SIMS tab
  4. Ensure the ‘Click here to enable windows auto-scheduler.’ checkbox is selected.
  5. Select Save

Configuring Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler

  1. Select the Windows to Start button
  2. Navigate to All Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager
  3. Select Tools > Task Scheduler
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  4. Create Task from the Actions menu (located on the right side of the task scheduler window).
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  5. On the General tab
    1. Enter a name for the task (e.g. Weekly MIS Sync pupil upload).
    2. In Security options, check that the correct administrator account is in use (must be the currently logged in account with admin privileges).
    3. Ensure the Run whether user is logged on or not option is selected.
    4. Ensure the Run with highest privileges ;check box is ticked.
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  6. On the Triggers tab
    1. Select the New… button
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    2. Confirm that the Begin the task = On a schedule
    3. Choose a Period (Suggest Daily or Weekly)
    4. Ensure the Start time is outside of the core working hours (0800 to 1730) and that it is not during any scheduled maintenance of SIMS.
    5. Select the Stop task if it runs longer than option and choose 1 hour from the drop-down box.
    6. Ensure the Enabled check box is ticked.
    7. OK to save.
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  7. On the Actions tab
    1. Select New…
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    2. Ensure the Action field is set to Start a program
    3. Select Browse and then locate the MIS Sync application (usually C:\ProgramFiles\ParentPay\MISSync.exe or C:\Program Files (x86)\ParentPay\MISSync.exe)
    4. In the Arguments field enter “/sims /quiet” (NOTE there must be a space between these two arguments)
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  8. On the Conditions tab
    1. Default settings can be used
      (Please note: If you are using a UPS monitoring application that runs over the on-screen standard mains power display you must set the Stop if the computer switches to battery power checkbox to clear/unticked).
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  9. On the Settings tab
    1. Set the Allow task to be run on demand checkbox to ticked
    2. Set the Stop the task if it runs longer than checkbox to ticked and set the dropdown to 1 hour
    3. Set the If the running task does not end when requested, force it to stop checkbox to Ticked
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  10. Select OK

Checklist

Please ensure all of the below have been completed or the task will fail
  • The task needs to be set up on the SIMS server directly.
  • Task scheduler must run on a Server/ PC that remains powered on during its scheduled window.
  • The user profile that is logged in must have administrator permissions.
  • The Author of the scheduled task needs to be the same as the login profile.
  • ParentPay2018 report (or later) must be installed on SIMS. This should be part of the standard MIS Sync installation if using the latest release or can be achieved by either:
    1. Logging into MIS Sync>Tools>Settings>SIMS Report>Click Reset.  Restart MIS Sync, or
    2. Manually importing the report into SIMS (file available from ParentPay Support if required).
  • A successful pupil upload must be carried out via Pupils > Auto Update in MIS Sync before attempting to run the scheduled task.
  • The Enable scheduled task must be ticked in Tools/Settings/SMS location as above.

NOTE

Where the scheduled task is being run with the SIMS.ini file saved to a mapped drive or it is running via virtual location then a NetUse script will be required to run simultaneously with the task. Please note, this type of configuration has known issues and is not guaranteed to operate correctly.