Your questions answered
Looking for an instant answer to a question? Chances are we’ve been asked it before and it’s answered here. If not, feel free to contact us.
What is a web-based system?
This means the system is of a web-based design and that you only need the internet to access the information. This makes it more flexible than most systems, as you do not need to load any software onto your machine to make it work. Another plus is that you don’t have to be in school to use it. Many people think web-based means the system is hosted on the internet. This is not the case with iSAMS. Most schools run the system within school, but we do offer hosting services if required, which is a service that is unique to iSAMS.
What is the difference between a web-portal system and a web-based one?
This normally means the system is split into two interfaces. One system is server based and the other is a website that only gives you access to some of the data. These are sometimes described as web-based systems but that is not actually the case. Staff would need to be trained on two interfaces, so fully web-based is better than a web-portal system, as you get only one interface.
What does modular-based mean?
iSAMS is a modular-designed system, which gives more flexibility to our schools. You can install the core administration system and then choose from 30 other modules that can be installed as and when required. All schools are different in their own way, so we allow them to build their own system to meet their exact requirements, rather than trying to provide a “one system fits all” approach.
Is the system easy to use?
Most staff (both academic and administration) have found the web-based format of iSAMS extremely easy to use. This has been especially apparent for admissions departments and the Director of Studies, who are responsible for curriculum timetabling. Teaching staff especially like the familiar browser format and the ability to get fully functional access to the system from home.
How often you need to do upgrades?
One of the unique features of iSAMS, compared to all other products available, is its ability to upgrade itself. Schools do not have to perform any upgrades to the system themselves – iSAMS introduces many new features into the system each month.
iSAMS does appear to be quite expensive compared to other systems – why?
When comparing the administration system against other systems, iSAMS is very competitive. But the reason some schools spend more money on an iSAMS system is because we have more products available for them to buy. Many schools have 6 – 8 suppliers supplying different services, and if a school was to combine the cost of running and maintaining these various systems, it would be much more cost effective to buy them all from one supplier.
What is iSAMS software written in?
iSAMS was originally written using Microsoft ASP and is now migrating over to Microsoft ASP.NET. All new modules are written using ASP.NET.
Where is our data hosted?
Although iSAMS is a browser or web-based system, the data is actually held within the school, using the existing network infrastructure. The iSAMS system only uses a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, to access the relevant system – and that’s why it’s described as web-based. This allows you to access the same data and have full functionality from anywhere in the world, as long as the machine has access to the internet.
Do you have to buy any licences to use the system?
No, iSAMS is a site licence product – we want schools to encourage everyone to use the system. At iSAMS, we believe the licensed methodology would limit the product to a handful of users, and therefore hold back its potential.
Do you need lots of training?
Unlike many large software systems, iSAMS is very intuitive and only requires a minimal amount of training. A large number of our existing schools have not had any official iSAMS training at all.