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ReportWorks vs. Object Reports

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With the release of PS 7 we also have some new versions of related software ( Report Works 1.5x, PowerTeacher Gradebook 2.3 and Oracle 11). With respect to standards-based report cards, we now have three options to create them
1) Report Works 1.5
2) Object Reports
3) use a Report Writer like Parkbench Visual PST.

So which do I learn?
At this time, I do not believe Object Reports as an option will be removed anytime soon. For at least six years, we've been hearing rumors that Report Engines would no longer be available in future releases. PS 7 was just released and Report Engines still work and still not supported by Pearson. With millions of staff development hours invested in training and working Object Reports, I can't imagine all of our existing standard-based report cards or object report not working. So my best guess would be at least 5 years from now, there may be a movement to eliminate object reports. Certainly if folks hear differently at any PSU's or PSUG-Vegas, I will immediately update this page. ReportWorks 1.5 has been created so those who use it will not have to be "wizards" to create report cards, transcripts and fee reports.


Can current Object Reports be converted to ReportWorks files?
NO! Object reports are based on legacy code that's not compatible with ReportWorks (RW). RW runs outside of PS with Java and is far more "dynamic" with fields and values versus the strict structure of Object Reports.

Can you currently use RW to create a standards-based report card?
The short answer is YES, however, and attendance queries have just been added. Also RW doesn't work if teachers are entering grades through the portal, only through PT Gradebook. RW also comes with several templates for displaying standards as a list, not like the traditional grid type report cards we've create and send home with students. Soon the PowerSchool User Community that we all belong to will start sharing these RW templates, actually it's already started with some early adopters to ReportWorks. Several RW instructors do share the positioning of standard based comments is a bit funky as is the grids. As more folks use this software, robust sharable RW documents will be just around the corner through user group forums.

Can you make a grid like report with RW?
YES, but you have to layer multiple tables within a table. I certainly will be making RW a focus of my personal growth plan for this summer and early fall. That said, I would still recommend the creating of a standards-based report card with what you know best as this time. For me that's using an object report writer like ParkBench Software.
1) If you have time to learn RW and do not need the reports at the beginning of the year- plan to build them with RW.
2) If you need these reports this fall, and have some knowledge of object reports, I'd certainly recommend that you stay with what you know.
3) If you need these reports this fall and do not have local expertise, I would contract with Pearson or one of many independent contractors.

ParkBench VisualPST Software

( demo's available)

Hope this update helps

Bob Cornacchioli, CEO
DERO Technical Services