The SIF Association is proud to announce completion of the next set of its scheduled SIF Implementation Specification 3.0 release documents to the education marketplace. Software developers can now begin leveraging the release in order to respond quickly and easily to the growing data system interoperability needs of schools, districts, and states. SIF 3.0 has been openly and jointly developed by SIF Community vendors and end users to standardize the data needed to operate and report on student learning progress, while utilizing safe and secure local control mechanisms when moving data “across the wire.”

“Interoperability is something that education must move forward with now and get away from data silos”, states Jennifer Schmidt, Director State & Federal Reporting, TRECA in Ohio. “By moving to interoperability between software applications, we will get a fuller, more accurate picture of each student and enable our teachers to better instruct all of their students. SIF is the easiest way to achieve this interoperability, not just from one data provider but many, with fidelity and security.”

Unlike the various central data store initiatives in the news today, the SIF Specifications provide an “interoperability blueprint” for builders of data systems to construct solutions in which school and state data managers can more efficiently and accurately “enter data once and use many times.” The Specifications allow for systems to be developed, and data to be more effectively maintained at all levels of the learner’s lifespan, from early childhood through K12, college, and on into the workplace. Educational software purchasers are increasingly asking for SIF Certified products that allow them to leverage their local resources more effectively without surrendering control over who obtains access to their sensitive data.

The technical highlights of this latest set of SIF 3.0 release documentation include:

• Expansion of the SIF Data Model into the areas of assessment and student record exchange (SRE).

• Inclusion of the complete version 3 of the Common Education Data Standard (CEDS) into the SIF Data Model. CEDS extends SIF to support the needs of early childhood through workplace data systems. SIF 3.0 now standardizes how any number of CEDS-compatible systems can achieve seamless application-to-application data transfers securely, robustly, and in real time.

• The publication of the final Utility Services document which defines a set of standardized interfaces to Error Alerts, XQuery scripts and service governance registries. A separate Appendix details the “minimum” set of functionality a SIF-conformant client and service each need to interoperate successfully.
“This commitment to better enabling the teaching and learning marketplace is built off the unique position that the SIF community maintains”, states Larry Fruth II, Ph.D., CEO/Executive Director, SIF Association. “SIF is tough enough to be the foundation for some of the largest education data exchanges in the world, yet simple enough to solve schools needs and built by a global community – the only education open standard which spans the globe.”

The SIF Association also announced the first SIF 3.0 “connect-a-thon”, scheduled in June 2013, where developers can bring their prototype SIF 3.0 REST implementations and test them against each other and the SIF-RS REST Developer’s Sandbox. To find out more about this event, please visit the website: https://www.sifassociation.org/Events/Pages/SIF-3.0-Connect-a-thon.aspx

To find out more about the SIF 3.0 Specification, please visit our website: https://www.sifassociation.org/Resources/Developer-Resources/SIF-3-0/Pages/

About the SIF Association
The SIF Association is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of over 3,200 schools, districts, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively define the rules and regulations for educational software data interoperability. The SIF Implementation Specification enables diverse applications to interact and share data efficiently, reliably, and securely regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The SIF Association has united these education technology end users and providers into a single community, resulting in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach.
For further information, visit https://www.sifassociation.org.

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