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Configuring the Communicator Tab

Introduction

Communicator is a powerful tool designed to integrate with your school’s SMS/SMTP services. With this feature, you can enable Edulink One to create push notifications, send text messages, and send emails. It is also customisable, so you can choose which features you would like to turn off or on for employees, learners and parents.

Messages in front end
Edulink One’s Communicator in the User Interface

To configure your school’s SMS/SMTP settings, you need to log in to your account and select Administration from the settings cog in the top left corner of your screen.

Once you are in the Setup screen, select the Communicator tab.

Communicator Tab
Communicator Tab

The Enable Communicator screen must remain ON during the process of configuration. If turned OFF, this hides the messaging capability from the system.

Note
If you are NOT intending to use the communicator screen, but you are intending to send messages from Edulink One (e.g. via notifications), you will need to configure the settings here. These settings are located below the ‘Enable Communicator Screen’ option. You can then disable the communicator screen after adding the settings if this is your intention.

The SIMS Log Confidentiality Level refers to the confidentiality settings within SIMS Communication Log. Edulink One only writes to the SIMS Communication Log and will utilise the same settings configured in SIMS. Authorised employees can only read the Communication Logs in SIMS if they have been given certain permissions. By default, the SIMS Log Confidentiality Level is set to confidential. It is recommended that this is always the case.

Enable Communicator Screen and SIMS Confidentiality Log

SIMS Log Confidentiality Level is a SIMS only function.

Enable Push Notifications

Push notifications are messages that ‘pop up’ on your devices from an app, even if it is not open. They are designed to draw your users’ attention to important information.

To enable push notifications for your school from Edulink One, ensure that the Enable Push Notifications setting is ON.

You will then be asked for a Push Title. We recommend that this is the name of your school, so employees and parents know who the push notification is from.

Enable Push Notifications
Push Notifications

SMS Messaging Configuration

You can use Edulink One as the front-end of your current text messaging system. Edulink One needs to integrate with your provider in order to enable this service.

If you would like to configure your Edulink One to send SMS to employees and parents, turn ON Enable SMS Messaging.

Enable SMS Messaging

Restricted SMS to: You can restrict which employees have access to SMS messaging by using the dropdown menu to select the staff members who are authorised to send SMS messages.

Restricted SMS to

Gov Notify Provider

Provider: Edulink One integrates with a number of SMS providers and each provider has their own way to verify the integration. Most providers use a username and password, but Gov Notify provides you with a template ID and an API key that you need to register for. For more details on how to do this, please see this article on registering for Gov Notify.

Provider

Other SMS Providers

If your SMS provider does NOT appear in the list below, please contact Edulink One support and we will contact your provider to see if it is possible to integrate with them.

Providers

URL Override: This is a setting required by certain providers that create accounts on multiple servers. Edulink One support will change the URL to overwrite this in code. If you are not sure if your provider requires this setting please contact OND support.

Only support should use this setting. Contact Overnet Data Support Team if you think you need this.

URL override

User name: Include the username from your provider here.

User name

Password: Include the password from your provider here.

Password

Override from number/text: This is who should be displayed as the ‘from’ number. It is recommended that you enter the school name in this field.

Warning: If Override from number/text is left empty, it will use the mobile number of the employee sending the SMS. This could lead to a breach of GDPR.

Override from number/text

Email/SMTP Configuration

To enable email messaging from Edulink One, ensure that the Enable Email Messaging setting is turned ON.

Enable Email Messaging

You can select the TYPE of messaging that your school uses, either SMTP, Gov Notify or Gmail if you are registered with them. Click here to find out more about registering with Gov Notify.

SMTP TYPE SETUP

Host: Set your SMTP server address here.

Host

Local MTA Configuration Test is not required if you are Cloud hosted. This only applies if you are planning on hosting your Edulink One onsite. Your Edulink One support provider will use this to test your connection.

Local MTA Configuration Test

Port: The port to use when connecting to the SMTP host. Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook) uses port 587. This information can be found in either your mail account’s settings or your mail provider’s help centre. If you still do not know the correct port number, contact your mail service provider’s support team.

Port

Encryption: By default, the encryption is set to TLS.

Encryption

Authentication: If the SMTP requires authentication when connecting, turn ‘ On’ and then select the ‘Auth Type’.

Authentication

The ‘Auth Type’ refers to the type of authentication required. If you select ‘Basic’, enter the username and password to use.

Authorisation type
Username
Password

Certain SMTP providers are requiring an OAuth authentication. If you are using one of these providers, i.e. Microsoft, select the OAuth authentication type from the dropdown menu.

O Auth

Input your Provider in the dropdown menu (Microsoft).

At this stage, a message appears stating that access is not granted; however, to grant access to your SMTP provider, simply click on the Grant Access to button. This will take you to the login screen for your SMTP provider where you need to input the credentials for your SMTP authentication user.

Once access is granted by the SMTP provider, a green box will appear. You can click on the revoke access button at any point if you need to disable access to your SMTP provider.

SMTP Provider Access Granted: OAuth

Gmail Setup

Select Gmail from the ‘Type’ dropdown menu.

A message appears stating that access is not granted. However, you can grant access to your authenticating user’s Gmail account by clicking on the ‘Grant Access to’ button.
This will take you to the login screen for that account where you need to input the correct credentials.

Email Settings

Default from email: The email address to use if the user does not have an email address in MIS or LDAP.

Default from email

You will need to create a dedicated email for your school; e.g. edulink@… and input the details and credentials into this setting and also for the following settings.

Override from email: All email will be coming from this address. Certain SMTP hosts do not allow emails to be sent with a ‘from’ address which is different to the email address of the authentication account. If this is the case for the SMTP host you are using, you should enter the email address for the account you are using for authentication (the reply-to address will be sent to the user sending the messages). This field must always match the authentication settings.

For instance, you have your override from email set up to Edulink@yourschool.com. All the messages in your Received folder will come from this default address; however, when you reply to an email it goes to the person who sent it.

Override from email

Allow Reply To: Allows authorised employees to set the reply address when sending a message.

Allow reply to

Employee Default Reply To: What the default ‘reply to’ address should be when employees send messages. If nothing is specified in the setting, this will default to the employees’ email addresses.

Employee default reply to

Restricted Email to: This allows you to restrict email access to only the employees selected.

Restricted Email to

Email demo mode: If enabled, this allows you to test the function of the system without ever sending an email. By default, Email demo mode is turned OFF.

Email Demo Mode

Message Signature Settings

Enable Message Signature: Appends a signature to all messages using Edulink One. You cannot upload a graphic to this, but you can add the variable {{ sender.name }} which will be replaced by the sender’s name.

Signature Text: The content of the signature which you can customise for your school. The variable {{ sender.name }} will be replaced with the sender’s name.

Message Signature Setting
Message Signature Setting

Set Default: The set default button reverts your message to default. You will be asked to confirm this action before your message resets to default.

Set default
Set Default Button

Append regarding learners: Append regarding learners relates to appending the details of the learner to the signature of the email, or if the sender is a parent, append all children related to the email.

This feature is especially useful for employees to see which learner the email is regarding.

Append Regarding Learners
Append regarding learners setting

Note: The following are the max sizes for messages and attachments in Communicator.

MAX ATTACHMENT SIZE COMMUNICATOR = 30MB

MAX BODY SIZE COMMUNICATOR = 20MB

MAX RECIPIENT BODY SIZE COMMUNICATOR = 100MB
(The message body size, multiplied by the number of recipients cannot exceed 100MB.)

Permissions Settings for Messaging

Allow parents to create new messages: Allows parents to create and send messages using Edulink One to the teacher. If you want to allow parents to send messages, switch this setting ON.

Allow Parents to Create new messages

Allow parents to reply to messages: Allows parents to reply via Edulink One to messages sent by the teacher within Edulink One. If you want to allow parents to reply to messages, switch this setting ON.

Allow Parents to reply to messages

Allow learners to create new messages: Allows learners to create and send messages using Edulink One. If you want to allow learners to send messages, switch this setting ON.

Allow Learners to create new messages

Restrict recipient types: If you want to allow learners to create and send messages, this setting allows you to restrict the recipients of messages to Teachers, Form Tutors and Head of Year.

Communicator: Restrict Recipient Types
Restrict recipient types for learners

Parent Select Settings

We do not recommend you change these parent identification settings unless you understand the possible repercussions of doing so. If in doubt, speak to your Edulink One support team to find out more.

Restrict parent select options to: Only the authorised employees selected here will be able to restrict the custom parent selection options.

Restrict Parent Select Option to

Custom Parent Identification: Configures who Communicator identifies as parents. If turned OFF, only the highest priority parents will get messages as configured in SIMS. If you would like to enable this setting, switch to ON.

It is recommended you proceed with extreme caution if you turn on Custom Parent Identification.

Document Messaging will use these settings unless changed and custom parent identification is left on.

Custom Parent Identification On

Max Priority: This is the order of priority of parental responsibility registered in SIMS. The highest settings (1 is the highest down to 10 as the lowest) will select only those contacts with the highest priority in SIMS, which can be multiple. Ignore will ignore the value of priority entirely. Edulink One will automatically communicate with the highest priority parent in the family by default unless this setting is changed.

Max Priority

Court Order: DANGEROUS
Selects the contacts with a court order set. This should usually be set to NO to avoid a safeguarding breach.

Court Order

Parental Responsibility: Selects only contacts with parental responsibility set. This should usually be set to YES.
If you need help creating a login for an individual(s) you would like to treat as a parent, e.g. legal guardians, please see our article about creating manual logins.

Parental Responsibility

Correspondence: Selects only those with correspondence set (data request must be accepted). This is usually set to Ignore.

Restrict employees messaging parents to: Allows administrators to select the employees allowed to message parents. If you add a member of staff to “Restrict employees messaging parents to” then it will mean that they can email the parents of one learner. However, if you then select ‘All Employees’ in the Employees Allowed to Bulk Message Parents setting below, the member of staff chosen in this setting will be the only one allowed to bulk message all parents (more than one learner). This overrides anything in the next setting, for example, selecting ‘All Employees’, so change this setting with caution.

Employees allowed to bulk message parents: This allows All Employees, Teaching staff or a fixed user group the ability to bulk message parents. Select the group you wish to be able to bulk message parents. If you leave the above Restrict Employees Messaging Parents to setting blank (none) and set the bulk message setting to ‘All Employees’, then all employees will be able to bulk message parents.

Note: If there are employees selected in the Restrict employees messaging parents to setting, only the employees selected there will be able to message there, overriding anything you set up here.

Further Settings

Autoselect recipients: By default, the system autoselects all recipients when selecting particular recipient types. An example is if a parent clicks ‘teachers’,  all of their child’s teachers are automatically selected, disabling this setting means they will have to manually select who they wish to contact.

Autoselect Recipients

Switch user: Selected employees can switch users; i.e. they can view the inboxes and outboxes of other users. For example, the Head Teacher’s PA needs to read the Head’s emails in order to organise the Head’s calendar, etc…

Switch User

Form tutor recipient- use supervisors: Uses supervisors from SIMS for all form tutors associated with a form group. If set to OFF, it only selects the main form tutor from SIMS.

For Tutor Recipient

HOY recipient- use supervisors: Uses supervisors from SIMS for all Heads of Year associated with a Year Group. If set to OFF, it only selects the main Head of Year from SIMS.

HOY Recipient

HOH recipient- use supervisors: Uses supervisors from SIMS for all Heads of House. If set to OFF, it only selects the main Head of House from SIMS.

HOH recipient

Teachers- only timetabled: Set to ON by default. This will only return those teachers who appear on a student’s timetable, not all teachers of a teaching group.

Teachers-Only Timetabled

You have now configured your Communicator Tab settings. Press Save to save your settings and Log Out if you wish to log out of Edulink One Setup.

Save
Save

Messages Log

Messages Log is a new feature of Edulink One’s Communicator tab. It allows administrators to search for messages and read them when necessary.

There are various ways you can search for messages within the Messages Log.

Message Ids: Each message has a unique Id and support can search for the message Id from the servers.

This function is largely for support.

Message Ids

Message Subject: Any part of a message subject can be searched for within the messages log.

Message Subject

Message Body: Any part of a message body can be searched for within the messages log.

Message Body

Message Type: The type of message you are searching for. Administrators can search for email messages, Push Notifications and SMS (text) messages.

Message Type

Message Sender: Search for any message sender’s name.

Message Sender

Created Date From: Input a start date for when a message was created.

Created Date Until: Input an end date for when the message was created.

Created Date Until

Scheduled Send Date From: Input a start date for when the message is scheduled to be sent.

Scheduled Send Date Until: Input an end date for when the message is scheduled to be sent.

Scheduled Send Date Until

Message Statuses: Search for a variety of different message statuses. You can choose to search for Aborted messages, Attaching messages, Complete messages, Queued messages and Started messages. You can also search for All statuses to include all of the status types.

When you have finished inputting your search information into the fields you require, press the Load Messages Logs button to view the messages from your search.

Load Messages Logs

Once you have clicked the Load Messages Logs button, a table will expand with the information you have requested. You can modify the amount of entries per page under the Show entries.

Messages Log

The table consists of several columns which relate directly to the search fields.

The first column is Action where you can view messages in greater detail. Click on the magnifying glass icon to view a particular message.

Inside Actions is a table with multiple columns, including details regarding the email. There is the message subject, message body (which you can expand to read), regarding learner (who the learner is), recipient type (parent, learner or employee), recipient (who the message recipient is), recipient phone, recipient email, read (has the message been read), sent SMS, sent email, sent push, failure sms, failure email, failure push.

There is also a search bar to search through the columns. When you are finished, press the Close button.

Message Subject: Details what the message relates to.

Message Subject

Message Body: Details the contents of the message. You can read a full-text version if you click on Show Full Text within the message.

Message Body

Type: Corresponds to the message type search field, either Email, Push or SMS (text).

Type


Sender: The name of the person that created the message.

Sender

Created: The date from the message was created.

Scheduled Sent Date: The date the message was scheduled to be sent.

Scheduled Sent Date

Job Status: Job status corresponds to the message status field. This will detail which messages are completed, aborted, queued, started, attaching etc…

Job Status

You can scroll up and down and use the arrow keys to change the order of the columns. At the bottom of the table, you can use the page numbers to search for more pages of messages.

When you are finished searching through your messages, press the Logout button.

Logout
Logout Button

MIS Compatibility

MIS Compatibility: SIMS; Yes, Arbor; Yes,
Updated on 20 October 2022

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