Salamander Active Directory supports Google Classroom Calendars and Verified Teachers

Salamander Active Directory can maintain the calendars in Google Classroom just as it can any other calendar in G Suite ( Typically this would be putting the class timetable into the calendar so it’s easily to hand for the teachers and pupils.

Salamander Active Directory can also automatically verify teachers in Google Classroom. There’s more information on verified teachers in the Google support at

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BETT Show 2013

It’s that time of the year again and the BETT show is upon us. It’s the largest technical education show in the world and this year has moved to new premises in ExCel which I’m looking forward to seeing.

This year, due to birthday conflicts, I’m only down for two days, Wednesday and Friday. So if you want to have a quick chat or coffee, drop me an email, tweet or phone call and we can meet up and have a quick chat about our products, integration or SharePoint.

Hope to see you there.


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Announcing iSAMS to PASS Finance integration

isams_logo I am pleased to announce that SalamanderSoft has developed an integration solution from iSAMs to PASS Finance.

The solution will pull data from iSAMS and ensure that your PASS Finance system reflects the data in iSAMS. This avoids manual re-keying and the resulting mistakes creeping in.

We are partners with both iSAMS and WCBS so you can be assured that the solution is fully supported.

Currently, we support updating pupil and contact information in PASS. So whether it’s applicants, current pupils or leavers we can update PASS. The system is completely configurable, so you can integrate as little or as much information as you want.

It’s also not just iSAMS we can integrate with PASS, we can pull data from any of our supported MIS systems (e.g. Sims, Facility CMIS, Integris, Phoenix) and update PASS with it.

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Tech.Days Online – UK

techdays Over the next few months Tech.Days online will be bringing you IT insights and debate most Tuesdays afternoons from 1400 – 1500 GMT. These will be real-time webinars will be hosted by Microsoft’s leading experts on the private cloud, public cloud and the desktop and are completely free.

The full list is:

Public Cloud

15th February

Microsoft Public Cloud for the IT Professional

22nd March

Security Integration with the Cloud Using Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS)

19th April

Managing the Cloud

17th May

Office365 for the IT Professional

21st June

Government Risk and Compliance in the Cloud


8th February

The Modern Desktop

8th March

Practical Development of the Optimised desktop and application compatibility.

5th April

Desktop Virtualisation

3rd May

Deployment with the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP)

10th May

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Private Cloud

22nd February

What is Hyper V Cloud?

15th March

Creating your own Private Cloud

12th April

Automation and the Private Cloud

7th June

The Dynamic Duo: Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

14th June

Mixing and Moving Services Between the Private and Public Cloud

I’ve created an iCalendar file containing all the events which you can import into your favourite Calendar program. Download from here.

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SharePoint 2010 Licensing for Education – My Current Understanding

SharePoint licensing has always been a bit of a black art, but the release of SharePoint 2010 seems to have complicated it even more. This is my attempt at understanding it and may well be completely wrong! If nothing else it should help your understanding when talking to your Microsoft Education Partner who you buy your licenses from.

Dave Coleman posted a great blog on it at, however on further investigation it has since come to light, and verified by Microsoft that he is missing a component which will in all likelihood double the price.

Basics of Licensing

Forgetting the educational differences to start with, the different types of license which may or may not be required to run SharePoint are:

  1. Server License per server running SharePoint
  2. Device CAL to allow a specific computer in your intranet to connect to the SharePoint server
  3. A User CAL to allow a specific user in your intranet to connect to the SharePoint server
  4. A student device CAL for student users
  5. A student user CAL for student users
  6. A device CAL to allow access to SharePoint from a specific computer/device
  7. Office 2010 licenses to use Office Web Applications
  8. External Connector License is required if you have an external users (i.e. not part of your organisation) logging into SharePoint. It covers an unlimited number of external users.
  9. SQL Server licensing. Every authenticated user must also have a valid license for SQL Server.

The server licenses break down into Standard or Enterprise and then again into intranet or internet options.

  • The Enterprise version has more features than the standard one.
  • If you want to host an internet site with anonymous users you need the internet option.

    For Education

That the basics of SharePoint licensing. Now to consider the educational licensing:

You obviously need a server license per server. I’ll come back to internet or intranet later.

Each SQL Server which is used by SharePoint will need licensing in the normal way. Every user which access SharePoint is will need a license for SQL as well. If you’re using the same SQL server as for other applications, you may well already be covered, otherwise a per-processor license is usually cheaper than individual SQL Server CALs.

Then for each staff member who will be using SharePoint you need a full user CAL (£11.95). So far nothing complicated.

For students it’s where it gets different. For SharePoint 2007, you needed a student user CAL per student. Now if you refer to the licensing for SharePoint Server 2010 at it states

Student Only CALs (Academic Open License and Academic Select)
Student Only CALs are restricted to license student owned PCs or institution owned PCs dedicated to an individual student and are NOT for use in labs or classrooms.

So you will still need a student User CAL(£0.85) per student to cover them accessing SharePoint from home. However in addition to this you will need a full Device CAL (£11.95) for every classroom PC which is not dedicated to an individual student. This is where it could get really expensive. Microsoft estimates that there’s approximately 1 PC per 3.5 students in the UK, so using Dave’s figures of 1000 students, that’s about 285 machines which will cost £3,405.75, which is slightly more than the other licenses put together. Of course if you one of the fortunate schools who has issued on laptop per student you only need student CALS, and if you are on the Schools Agreement the core CAL should cover SharePoint access.

What if you want to use SharePoint to communicate with parents, feeder schools and prospective students? Ray Fleming has blogged on this at Licensing parents for SharePoint – what’s free and what isn’t. Basically for every student which is licensed for SharePoint, then their parents/legal guardians are also licensed for no extra cost. In addition if ALL of your students are licensed then you get a no cost External Connector license for

  • Prospective students
  • Alumni – student & staff
  • Students & staff of collaborating academic institutions or government institutions

You can find out more details about these no cost licenses from Ray’s blog post and download the Parent/Guardian CAL Grant Letter and External Connector Grant Letter. In particular this should mean that you can host sites for your feeder schools with no additional license costs.

What about using SharePoint for my internet sites?

In my reading of the grant letters, they give you:

  • CALs for parents
  • The above groups of your community rights to log in to SharePoint

My reading of an External Connector License is that it only applies to authenticated/logged in users. So in a strict reading you would be licensed for parents (and your licensed students and staff of course) to access an internet site. You would not be licensed for anyone else to anonymously access an internet facing site as those groups above are only licensed to log on.

Arguably, the intent of Microsoft is to allow all those groups above access to your SharePoint, and you could argue that would include anonymous and logged in access. I don’t have an answer as to whether you are truly licensed for this or not, and neither is anyone I have spoken to, including Microsoft employees! If it doesn’t license you then you will need an internet edition of SharePoint, but if it does, then for the majority of schools their target audience for any anonymous internet web site is going to exactly be those groups above.


The release of SharePoint 2010 has only seemed to muddy the waters even more over SharePoint licensing. I have been told that Microsoft is looking at this area of Educational licensing for SharePoint and feedback is valuable so I would suggest emailing Ray via his blog and letting him know your thoughts.

Sorry about that Ray, but I hope you get lots of feedback!

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BETT 2010


It’s that time of year again when Olympia opens its doors to the world of IT in Education and BETT begins. I’ll be there on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and would love to meet as many of your as possible, whether you are customers, SLK users or just vaguely interested in what we do. Again I’ll be spending most of my time looking at the stands, so if you want to meet we can either arrange a date and time or you can just give me a call when you are free – although judging from past years it’s not always possible to hear my phone at BETT. Failing that, I’ll probably spend some time at the LP+ stand (E46 in the Main Hall), currently I’m planning to be there 1400-1445 every day. I also expect I’ll be hanging around the Microsoft stand as well as I know quite a few of the guys on there.

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