History of Class
With each new generation of Class, Infospeed have provided clients with the migration tools needed to convert their existing system data over to the new format with minimal effort.
Many language schools have been using Class software for decades. In fact, our first Class customer Kings School Bournemouth (1989) still uses Class today!
As a software company, you’d probably expect that we have a geeky side. If you do too, then read on for a trip down tech memory lane to learn about how we evolved over the last 30 years (and contact us any time with questions – we love Geek Speak!).
Late 80s: Class ‘Classic’
This was launched back in 1989 when MSDOS was king… for those that can remember that far back! Through continued upgrades and enhancements, Class ‘Classic’ stepped its way up to global recognition to become the leading language school system.
The last ‘Classic’ installation was carried out in 1997, but the systems use continued on until Dec 2005, when the last client finally converted over to the new generation of Class. The original version of our system stood the test of time for 16 years!
1997-2001: Class ‘Access’
This was the first Windows-based Class system and was initially written in Microsoft Visual Basic 4 with a Microsoft Access database for data storage. Document production was handled by integration with Microsoft Word 97. Reporting and statistics were generated with the use of Microsoft Excel 97 and Crystal Reports 5. Full accounting was achieved with integration to the ‘Enterprise’ accounting system.
This version of Class saw the introduction of email and electronic faxing of documents. The system was successfully upgraded using Microsoft Visual Basic version 5, with integration to Microsoft Office 2000/2003 and Crystal Reports version 6 and 7.
2002-2014: Class ‘SQL’
The entire system was rewritten in 2002 to make use of Microsoft SQL Server version 7, and was gradually updated over a 12 year period. This version of Class saw the introduction of the Class Ledger Module, SMTP emailing, internal messaging, Agents’ promotions, SMS texting, Class Web for online web bookings and agent/student/host family access of Class data via the web.
The system’s document and statistics production was upgraded to use Microsoft Office XP/Vista and Crystal Reports version 8.5. We now supported the Microsoft SQL 2000 and 2005 database versions. Class boasted over 1,500 users signing on every day, and was firmly established in all corners of the world as the leading product for language school administration.
We invested over two years in redeveloping Class into all new .net technologies, not only to bring our system up to date but also to ensure that our client’s systems keep running for years to come.
Class.NET was out on beta release during 2011 and became available for all clients in January of 2012. The new system advanced Class beyond its predecessor’s functionality and included drop down quick menus, agent room allocation management, pictures for schools, teachers, agents and host families, as well as contacts and payment plans to name just a few.
Class.NET runs with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and above, and also integrates with Microsoft Office 2007 or higher. It also supports the latest Windows 7 operating system.
Class.NET continues to be supported and will be for the next few years, but existing .NET customers are encouraged to move over to the Cloud in preparation for the introduction of Class Web.
2017-Today: Class Cloud
Our latest version of our Class system moves Class.NET into the Cloud. Class is a powerful and extensive solution for language schools with financial integrity at its very core. Class Cloud has all of the features of Class.NET but since it’s on the Cloud, you have web access from any location. The look and feel of Class remains the same, however, many back end features and changes have been introduced (e.g. we ramped up the sign on and security required for Class to be available on a secure multi tenancy web environment.).
Class is now available on the Cloud to all new customers and a new subscriber model has been introduced. This is just the first phase in our move to the web (see Class Web below). New features are constantly being added to Class Cloud and we are consistently working to keep Class the most sought after new product in the market!
The Future: Class Web
With web technologies reaching a level of maturity that gives us the confidence that a system with the complexity of Class can be safely transferred to the web, we are currently working on the next generation of Class – a complete overhaul and re-working of Class into Class Web.
The new version promises a fresh interface, online access from anywhere on any device, and hundreds of user function improvements and exciting features. Class Web will be launched in stages (iterative releases) and the first of these is expected to be available to our Class Cloud customers in 2019.
Iterative releases allow us to launch sections of the Class Web interface to our customers as early as possible to gain feedback on usability and make sure we are creating the very best software for our customers.
Class Cloud customers will be able to use Class Web and Class Cloud. Class Cloud use will then ultimately reduce as the web product grows into the full Class platform. We are fully committed to the ongoing development of Class, and Class Web will ensure that Class remains the world’s leading language school administration system as the product and the company transitions into a pure web-based software development company.
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