The Software

Pulse Central is an elegant, modern desktop application that allows teachers, managers and administrators to interact with all aspects of the Pulse-App software suite.  Access to features is dependent on user permissions allowing a single package to be used for a variety of different tasks. 

This software is supported by a set of back-end services (BaaS) that can be installed and managed within your organisation – providing you with complete control over and confidence in the whole communication process. 

The Software is the second link in the Pulse-App software suite.

Pulse Central
Notification Centre
Import Wizard
Data Metrics
Back-end Services

Pulse Central

Pulse Central is your ‘go to’ Windows® application for controlling, managing and interacting with all aspects of Pulse-App package. It has been developed as a stand-alone, desktop application, which allows users to harness all the features and power that Microsoft Windows provides. Unlike other systems that use web-based interfaces (which were never intended for complex, mass data exchange) we have opted to develop an elegant, super-efficient desktop program.

We have carefully followed the design guidelines, developed by Microsoft, with the result that users are presented with a UI that is already familiar to them and intuitive to use.

Once authenticated, either via LDAP or password-based Pulse-App managed accounts, users are presented with only the features and options that are specific to their account type. Account permissions are based on a series of five predefined account types which are hierarchical. This means that permissions can be easily applied or revoked, without requiring knowledge of complex permissions systems such as Active Directory or Group Policies.

Whilst Pulse Central comprises of over 24 distinct interfaces, teachers are only presented with two. The ‘Notification Centre’ and ‘My Notices’. Using these two pages, staff can engage and communicate with individual students, classes, enrichment groups, entire year groups, staff or parents. Administrators and Managers can use the many other aspects of Pulse Central to manage the day to day use of the software and gauge and monitor the use of system. In summary, Pulse Central has been design to provide a single point of interaction for all organisations, big and small.

Notification Centre

Whilst Pulse Central provides a comprehensive interface for managing all aspects of communication, it can also be overwhelming, particularly to teaching staff who are sometimes unsure about new technologies. We would say to those teachers, that at the heart of Pulse-App the key principle is:

“first and foremost the technology must work for teachers.”

If it’s difficult, convoluted or time consuming, teachers will not embrace it. And if teachers don’t then students and parents won’t. 

The Notification Centre provides a single interface from where staff can push out Notices to individual students, groups, whole year groups and parents. The interface provides many advanced features to customise Notices, create automatic Alerts and control how they are sent. However a new Notice can written and sent in as little as 4-clicks.

Import Wizard

One of the key concerns that most potential organisations have is the question of how to get their data into the Pulse-App software. Pulse Central provides a comprehensive set of pages for managing users and groups but we know that nobody wants to sit and type in all their student, parent and staff data.

Direct interfaces, and synchronisation with existing MISs is always the preferred option but this presents numerous issues. There are a multitude of different school MIS providers and no common link between them. Some smaller schools do not have direct access to their MISs and rely on managed systems. Additionally, organisations are often reticent, and rightly so, to allow other software packages to interface with their critical MISs. Although none of these barriers have deterred us in the development of our MIS Synchronisation systems, the Import Wizard offers a simple alternative.

Using the Import Wizard, organisations can quickly and easily import their core data directly into Pulse-App. The wizard provides a set of Excel spread sheet templates that can be easily populated with data taken from your existing MIS. These templates allow organisations to import users (student, parents, staff, managers etc), groups (classes, forms, year groups) and link the relationships between students and parents, teachers and groups. With a few simple clicks, all of your core data can be validated and migrated into Pulse-App. It’s that simple!

Data Metrics

Pulse-App was developed first and foremost for teachers, students and parents, we know that organisation need and want to be able to assess the effectiveness of systems that they spend money on. Additionally, managers have a responsibility to ensure that systems are being used and to try and assess the impact that those systems are having.

Pulse Central provides managers with a simple and easy to use way of assessing staff and student engagement through its Data Metrics interface. The Pulse-App software records and collates all interactions, by all users and the Data Metric reports provide summative visual overviews of this data. Every time a teacher sends a notice, it is recorded, every time a student or parent downloads and reads a notice it is recorded. Collating these two outputs provides an insightful overview of the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of Pulse-App to engage with students and parents.

The reports that come as standard with Pulse Central allow you to assess notices sent vs notices received over a period of hours, days, weeks, months and years. Each report provides a simple set of filters that allow you to refine the data that is being shown, and all reports can be saved or printed in a variety of different formats.

Back-end Services

One of our other founding principles of Pulse-App was that:

“wherever possible, data and services should be maintained within an organisations own ICT infrastructure. Why? Because this is the only way that customers can be assured that their data is safe. Other companies may tell you your data is secure but if you don’t have control of it, how do you really know?”

The technology world is raving about the cloud and the IoT (Internet of Things) and their collective potential. And while we fully appreciate these technologies, our approach to development is a balanced one – there is a place for each and every different technology and it is our responsibility to use them appropriately.

Whilst users will see the elegant and intuitive interfaces of Pulse Central and PulseApp, the true power of the whole system is driven by a few, complex, hardworking services that are installed within your organisation. These services act as the conduit (or middle-tire) between the central MS SQL database and various users who need to interact with it. Each service has a specific role, each is intentionally independent of the other, and each is located within, and controlled by, your organisation.