SIF (Schools Interoperability Framework)


Definition: SIF is an open standard for exchanging data from one education software application to another.

What This Means: SIF has become widespread at the school district level to allow data entered into one application to update all other applications. For example, when a new student enrolls, entering basic information into the student information system would update the library, food service, transportation, instructional management, and other applications. State education agencies have begun to incorporate SIF into their collections to accommodate the school systems that are ready to have their data move directly from their local applications to the state. Other terms associated with SIF:

– Choreography: The technical design for how SIF exchanges data

– Zone Integration Server (ZIS): The software that functions as the U. S. Postal Department for moving data from the sender to the intended recipient

– Agent: The software that pulls data directly from an application and sends them to the ZIS

Horizontal Integration: Connecting all the applications within a single agency (e.g., school or school district)

– Vertical Integration: Connecting local applications with a higher level agency

– Vertical Reporting Framework: The choreography for sending data from one level to another

– Student Locator Framework: The choreography for updating a student’s data, assigning a statewide student identifier, and updating the local application with the assigned student identifier


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