What is Groupcall Messenger?
Groupcall Messenger is used by over 2,500 Primary and Secondary schools and provides an easy-to-use solution for parental communication. The system gives schools the ability to send text messages (SMS), emails and automated voice calls to the mobile phones and landlines of parents, staff and key contacts.
To provide an accurate list of school contacts at any time Groupcall Messenger v5 integrates with the schools Management Information System (MIS) and maintains a secure copy of essential school data within the Groupcall Messenger v5 web platform.
What do I need to do?
You have been sent to this web page because your school needs Groupcall Xporter to extract information from your MIS in order to integrate with Messenger v5.
What is Groupcall Xporter?
Groupcall Xporter is a mature and versatile extraction/translation tool that specialises in connection to school and college MIS systems. It extracts data to an agreed format for a customer and then delivers the data using an agreed method.
Groupcall Xporter extends typical extraction tools by providing:
- A randomising scheduler
- Remote web-based monitoring and management
- Automatic updating
- Support for multiple sets of extraction scripts in a single installation (i.e. multiple customers)
- Delta generation and change tracking.
Groupcall Xporter is used by approximately 75% of Secondary and 45% of Primary schools in the United Kingdom. Groupcall Xporter enables real time data extraction for Schools, Academy Groups, Local Authorities, Broadband Consortia and Third Party Organisations.
This page will guide you through the installation of Xporter.
Where should I install Groupcall Xporter?
Groupcall recommends, where possible, that Xporter is installed on the MIS server. This will reduce potential complexity connecting to the MIS and will ensure that the Xporter installation is as highly available as the server.
If this is not possible in your environment, a suitable additional server or workstation will suffice. Please bear in mind that this machine should be left powered on at all times, this will ensure accuracy and availability of data. It must also have access to the MIS data and meet the pre-requisites detailed below.
Xporter Hardware requirements
Xporter has negligible hardware requirements and in most cases should go unnoticed on a computer running at least a 1.6GHz processor with at least 1GB of memory. The Disk Space required varies by extracts in use and how many you have installed, but as a rule of thumb the typical installation will need no more than 250MB working space, however busy installations can cache up to 1GB. An active internet connection is also required, this can be wireless, however a wired connection is usually more reliable.
Xporter Software requirements
Groupcall Xporter requires the following, and any additional MIS-specific requirements as below;
- Administrator access to the computer
- Both during installation and post-install to run the Xporter Management Console on an on-going basis
- Microsoft .net Framework 4.5 Full (not Client Profile)
- To be installed alongside the SIMS workstation client.
- This must be enabled as a feature via Server Manager.
- Microsoft .net Framework 3.5 SP1
- This must be enabled as a feature via Server Manager.
- Ensuring this is available ahead of installation will significantly shorten the installation process as certain systems require a restart as part of the .net installation.
- A Supported Windows Version
- Windows Server
- 2008 R2,
- 2012 R2
- Windows Client (you should always try to install on a server when you are able to).
- Windows 7
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 10
- Windows Server
- Older versions of Windows;
- Microsoft have now discontinued support for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
- Xporter will continue to run on these systems for a period of time but newer versions of Xporter are not guaranteed to be compatible.
- Following best practices for data security you should migrate away from these Windows versions as soon as possible.
Xporter Internet Access
Groupcall Services require access to the following URLs in order to operate effectively:
- http://www.groupcall.co.uk - For updates to Xporter and extraction scripts
'Groupcall.co.uk' is an update location only, so if you visit it in your browser you will see a redirection message like the below. If you can see this screen, you know that the URL is accessible. If you get any type of 'page not found' or 'access blocked' message, then it is likely your proxy settings need amending, possibly centrally.
- https://dashboard.groupcall.com/ - To report health status and receive repair instructions
- Please note this is a secured URL, i.e. it is HTTP + SSL = HTTPS. You must be able to connect to the HTTPS URL
You will see the dashboard login page, below when you visit this link. Be sure to check that you are accessing it via httpS and not plain http. You do not need to login, just the fact that you can see the page confirms accessibility. If you get any type of 'page not found' or 'access blocked' message, then it is likely your proxy settings need amending, possibly centrally.
- https://dashboards.blob.core.windows.net - To receive any files associated with repair instructions sent from Dashboard.
This is an update location only, so if you visit it in your browser you will see a page of code like the below. If you can see this screen, you know that the URL is accessible. If you get any type of 'page not found' or 'access blocked' message, then it is likely your proxy settings need amending, possibly centrally.
These addresses can be accessed via proxy; the Xporter installer will copy the proxy settings from the current user at installation. Please ensure they are white-listed as appropriate.
Depending on the purpose of your installation there may be other URLs that require access, for example, a web service upload URL or a SIF Zone Integration Server URL.
In order to download the Xporter application, you will need a link from the Local Authority or Groupcall Partner that is providing Xporter to you. You should have been sent that link along with a request to visit this page. If you don't have it, please check any emails or letters you and colleagues have been sent, and then go back to that organisation to request it. The link you need will look something like this - http://www.groupcall.co.uk/download/Clients/Name/123/GroupcallXporter_Setup.exe
The installation itself is very straightforward, however we have provided a video and some useful step by step instructions that might be of some help.
Download the installation file from the link you have been given, then save and run the file you downloaded as appropriate for your organisation.
|Having started the set-up running, you will find it a straightforward process to click through the installer. Accept the default installation points and select “Install”…|
|Choose your MIS as appropriate. Then click next or install as appropriate on next few windows.|
|Enter details of a technical contact.Why are you asking me for this information?|
MIS Specific Installation
The next few windows will change, dependent on the MIS in use. Please follow the instructions in the Blue Box (Groupcall Interactive Support) below for the specific steps.
Confirm that the installation has succeeded by opening the Xporter Management Console - by default this is accessed by an icon on the desktop
...via the default file path (C:\Program Files(x86)\Groupcall\Xporter\Xporter.msc), or via the Start menu > All Programs > Groupcall > Xporter.
Congratulations, you have completed the installation of Xporter!
You should now inform the Local Authority or Partner who provided Xporter to you that the installation is complete and they will advise you on what to do next.
If you need further assistance please contact your Groupcall Partner or Local Authority who provides Xporter to you in the first instance; they may be able to help you, or they can contact Groupcall Support on your behalf. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8502 7344.