Bridging The Gap: Modernising The School Timetable Sync


Our client is a leading independent school for girls, with a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and a commitment to the development of the whole person. With a focus on empowering young women to become leaders in their communities, the school provides a challenging and supportive learning environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, creative thinking, and social responsibility.

The Challenge 

When the school decided to move to a new school management system, they faced some major challenges with their existing scripts and integrations. The scripts were outdated, not maintained, and tightly integrated, making it difficult to update or rewrite them. Additionally, the team members who had developed these scripts were no longer with the school, leading to a large knowledge gap.

One such script is the timetable synchronisation script. The purpose of the script is to synchronise the timetable of the teaching staff, which is managed within the school management system, with their Microsoft 365 account. This enables staff to conveniently manage their teaching calendar within Microsoft Outlook. However, it is important to note that the current script was using outdated technology that is no longer supported. Several concerns were identified, including the utilisation of the deprecated and insecure basic authentication and the Exchange Web Service (EWS) library, the absence of source control or version history, and an absence of documentation. The script also only supported teaching staff; there was no functionality or equivalent solution for student calendars.  Due to the transition to the new school management system, Synergetic, there were significant changes in the data sources and data schema. As a result, a complete rebuild was required.

Antares tackled these challenges head-on with a comprehensive approach that identified the issues and created a solution that seamlessly integrated with the new school management system. Our team assessed the feasibility of leveraging the existing scripts and integrations, determined what changes were needed, and designed new application that could seamlessly integrate with Synergetic.

The Solution 

Antares leveraged their extensive experience in creating tailored, contemporary applications to develop a robust solution for the school. After an initial in-depth assessment, our team identified that updating the existing scripts was not feasible due to the outdated and tightly coupled nature. Instead, Antares developed and deployed new console applications that effectively replace the obsolete scripts.

One of the most important applications developed by Antares was the Timetable Sync app. To meet the minimum requirements specified by our client, the app had to perform several functions, including synchronising both teachers’ and students’ calendars with the school system, updating classes for substitute teachers, notifying students and staff of any changes, and populating a term in advance. The app also had to use modern authentication and ensure efficient logging and exception handling to minimise the impact of any operational issues.

The Results 

Antares has successfully delivered a modern application that meets all of the minimum requirements. The new application is built on a modern framework and is accompanied by comprehensive documentation to ensure smooth operation, and future maintenance and is in line with best practice standards.

The new application has added in several new features with an intuitive custom design. It allows for seamless management of changes in staff, teaching schedules, and learning periods, making the overall process more efficient and streamlined.


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