Student management system

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(For most people) a Student management system (SMS) is software to manage all day to day operations for a school. They are also called student information systems (SIS), Student information management systems (SIMS), Student records system (SRS). Functionalities of such systems are not the same and this may reflect in the name adopted by users and vendors.

Some learning management systems also may provide SMS functionality, but the two are different.

List of typical features

  • Handling inquiries from prospective students;
  • Handling the admissions process;
  • Enrolling new students and storing teaching option choices;
  • Handling examinations, assessments, marks and grades and academic progression;
  • Maintaining records of absences and attendance;
  • Handling the award of credit or qualifications and graduation;
  • Post-graduation contact with alumni.
  • Fees
  • Parents
  • ...


At university level SMSs often have been developed in-house (using enterprise software kits such as SAP or even J2E). Today, most institutions seem to adapt specialized software kits to their needs (with more or less success). For simple needs, there exist also turn-key applications.

See Comparison of student information systems (Wikipedia).

Some free systems found are below:

DART:Data Analysis & Reporting Toolkit

DART started out as a GPL/GNU, LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) system for K-12 standards and achievement tracking, but is now being re-factored and released as a complete SIS for a school district, or for an individual school. It not just a bare bones system, and although being improved this summer, already has many features that other "open" SIS projects do not. There are short-term and long-term development goals in place, and we are in a very active development cycle for Summer 2011.

Key features & characteristics:

  • Complete school district SIS software package for US or International schools
  • In Year 6 as day-to-day system for around 2000+ students, 250+ staff members at 17 locations
  • Works with MediaWiki 1.16+ ( or any other open or proprietary content system) to link learner relative weaknesses directly to curriculum content and support materials
  • Handles multiple grading scales (traditional, standards-based, roll-your-own) even with a K-12 building
  • Uses Harvard's new multiple "Pathways" approach to program completion (Harvard Pathways Report, 2011) that can be customized to view learner progress toward any post-secondary goal
  • Modules for attendance, discipline, achievement testing, special education tracking, required US federal school improvement planning, etc.
  • Student, teacher, administrator interfaces within schools, or district-wide
  • New partnership with Carnegie Mellon University's TCinGC program - All new release and milestones for easy, generalizable installation and customization
  • Documentation assistance from Drury University (Technical Writing) and Missouri State University (Ed Tech) students

The project is currently using GitHub for development, but will mirror our new code on SourceForge.

The GitHub site is:

We have a Google Group:

Our live demo site with nightly development builds is here:

The DART Project is actively seeking diverse types of districts who want to experiment with this code in the coming months, and welcome participation from all in continuing to develop our feature set and milestones.



  1. Manage courses within a class environment
  2. Sopport for profile based management: Administrator, Teacher and Student
  3. Online teacher and student registration
  4. Allow students to self manage class enrollment
  5. Allow teachers to manage student attendance
  6. Ability for students to submit course evaluations

Centre SIS

  • Centre SIS, the premier Open Source Student Information System.
  • Implementation: PHP, AJAX, PostgreSQL
  • Features: student demographics, scheduling, attendance, assignements, gradebook, progress reports, report cards and transcripts, eligibility, library management, discipline, state reporting, parent portal and many more. (Softpedia)


  • OpenCartable.
  • Seems to be more of a student/teacher support portal in the typical french tradition of "cartables électroniques".
  • Implementation: Java
  • “OpenCartable project is an electronic school and schoolbook system. OpenCartable is an online tool for teachers and their students organized around textbooks and bibliographies of links to Web sites or uploaded files. (Softpedia)”

Open Admin for Schools

  • OpenAdmin for Schools (homepage)
  • “Open Admin for Schools is a School Administration Program. It is a freely available, open source software package and is licensed under the GNU General Public License. (Softpedia, retrieved 13:01, 11 March 2008 (MET))”
  • Implementation: Perl


  • ClaSS (ClaSS Student System)
  • Features: student tracking, reporting and information management system (focussed on classroom support).
  • Implementation: JavaScript, PHP, PL/SQL

A1 Academia

  • A1 Academia (Open Source Enterprise Student Information System for Higher Education)
  • Features: student records, curriculum management, student finance, gradebook, workload management, facilities management
  • Implementation: Java, GWT/GXT, Adempiere Application Dictionary, PostreSQL


  • RosarioSIS free & open source Student Information System for School Management.
  • RosarioSIS, a fork of Centre/SIS, has evolved to offer the Discipline & Student Billing modules by default. Moreover, it features Moodle integration and a multilingual interface.
  • Implementation: PHP, PostgreSQL