SIMS photo export, that’s what I need! Having recently struggled to get all the photos I needed of staff and students to be able to create access control cards for use in the school I was eternally grateful to find a SIMS photo export utility here:
and (a direct link); far more important:
The SIMS photo export utility is a neat little tool that using a CLI will export all of your photos from SIMS to (small) files which can easily be used to generate access control / ID cards for staff and students. You can export single years or just the staff group. By default the program names the files as either [staffcode].jpg or [admissionnumber].jpg. Although the latest version of the program can create the filenames from a csv file which contains the admission number against the preferred name (potentially this feature is very useful).
A couple of important things the SIMS photo export utility readme.txt tells you:
- You must have SIMS.net installed on the machine you are trying to use (obviously)
- You must run GenerateConfigFile.bat every time you update SIMS or change C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS .net\connect.ini as the photoexport.exe file fails to work if you have not done this.
PhotoExport username password outputFolder [/staff] [/year:x] [/nameAsId] [/format:xxx] [/names:filename] [/thumbnail]
You do not need to use any switches (this will simply export all of your photos into a single folder).
Some important things the SIMS photo export utility readme.txt doesn’t tell you:
- The size of the images created is basically a thumbnail, this I because SIMS compresses the original images when they are imported from the original.  It seems that SIMS does not compress the images when they are imported, if you wish to import images to SIMS you will either need to be a SIMS photo partner (registered photographer) or you will be best advised to compress the images before they are added to student records. If you do not compress the images first you will find that your SIMS database grows very large as the images are stored as blob files. Whilst this did not cause an issue for SIMS it has caused an issue for Gladstone’s Cashless catering system (for us). To reduce the size of images before import we used a tool called ‘Image Resizer for Windows’, available from https://imageresizer.codeplex.com/ this is a clone of the Microsoft XP Powertoy for image re-sizing which was lost in later versions of Windows. It worked very well and created images of the correct size for importing to SIMS.[end edit]
- Although the images cannot really be used for much other than ID/access control cards the SIMS photo export utility is still a great tool to have.