~What is Spider?

Spider is the web interface to PCSchool. It was initially designed to be an easy to user interface for teachers to perform their daily tasks such as roll marking, updating absence entries, entering marks and creating behaviour notes. Since its launch, the Spider has added a large number of additional controls and is becoming the user interface for all aspects of PCSchool. In time, it will replace the current Windows application being used. It now caters for students and caregivers, giving them access to see information pertinent to themselves, as well as adding controls for the financial staff to create financial reports within the web environment.

It is installed on a server running IIS within the school’s network, unless PCSchool is being externally hosted. For system requirements, refer to System Requirements

If you plan to make Spider available beyond your school’s internal network (EG Staff access from home, parent access for profile updates , interviews, viewing school reports and statements…), your school needs to organise an external URL. This is generally done by creating a 4th level domain name and pointing it to your school’s gateway. If your gateway does not have a static IP, an application like DynDNS will need to be used. In many cases, the word “portal” is added to the school’s existing domain. An example is shown below.

Existing URL  http://www.learning.nsw.edu.au points to the school’s external website.
Spider URL     http://portal.learning.nsw.edu.au/Spider points back into the school to the internal Spider website.

Once Spider is set up, it is advisable to have an internal DNS record to match the external URL. This allows users seamless access to Spider using the same address. If an external URL is not set up, the default address for Spider will be http://<YourIISServerName>/Spider

Although not essential, PCSchool strongly recommends a certificate is added to the Spider server so access is through https://, ensuring data is encrypted between the Spdier server and the end user. More information about this can be found at: HTTPS Information

The following documents may assist you preparing for the implementation of Spider.

Setting up families within PCSchool

Preparing Staff, Students and Caregiver Security for Spider