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SIF Basics - Building a Working Knowledge and Vocabulary of the Specification and Projecting ROI MIS 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "SIF Basics - Building a Working Knowledge and Vocabulary of the Specification and Projecting ROI MIS 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 SIF Basics - Building a Working Knowledge and Vocabulary of the Specification and Projecting ROI MIS 2009

2 Welcome and Introductions

3 Agenda Overview Software Components ZIS Agents Applications SIF Data Objects SIF Data Elements Other Concepts Examples Getting a bang for your buck – ROI and SIF

4 SIS Network Accounts Cafeteria Library Transportation The situation in many schools and school systems is that there are a series of software applications which all may require the same data, but which have no way to talk to each other. It may be possible for one or two applications to share data through proprietary methods, but open, dynamic and synchronized data sharing does not occur. ? ? ? ? ? Traditional Data Systems

5 SIF Overview DirXML Network Account H.R. & Finance Data Warehouse Instructional Services Library Automation SIS Grade Book Transportation Zone Integration Server (ZIS) SIF Agents Applications SIF Data Objects

6 Software Components of a SIF Implementation Zone Integration Server (ZIS) – The central point of data exchange in a SIF implementation. Provides queuing, security, and communication services to Agents. Software vs. Hardware SIF Agents – Software which allows an individual application to communicate via the SIF Infrastructure. An agent can publish and/or subscribe data. It sits on top of EACH application and is typically different from application to application. Multiple agents (at least 2) are needed in order to implement SIF.

7 Zone Integration Server (ZIS) Routes messages Controls access – which agents are allowed to see which messages and request which information Persists messages when agents are asleep Configure HTTP or HTTPS transport Health of Zone and Monitoring

8 Agents: The Universal Translator SIF Agents have 2 faces Translate between the application and the SIF data model Responsible for generating and processing SIF objects ZIS Application Application Native SIF Data Model Agent

9 SIF Agents Publisher and Subscriber Agents Publish – Events that may be published (currently) include Add, Change, and Delete. Subscribe – The process of listening for and processing SIF Events. Integrated vs. Standalone Contains core business logic of Subscribing application

10 Applications Applications – Specific software for a particular department or internal client. Typical SIF applications include SIS, Directory, Transportation, Food Service, Library Science, Assessment, etc. Determining SIFAbility of Applications in your network SIF Certified vs. SIF Compliant SIF Certification – Part of SIFs product standard that includes 3 rd party verification that the Application and Agent conform to the SIF specification. Certification includes a legal component that guarantees vendors will adapt their software to meet requirements, if needed. SIF Compliance – A general term used by software vendors that are not Certified. Such agents may work with SIF, but lack third party and vendor guarantees of interoperability. Find your Application How to siphon what you need

11 SIF Data Objects SIF Data Objects – A logical grouping of fields (similar to a database table) within an application that can be shared among applications. SIFs Data Model defines Data Objects using XML Schema Definition language. The data exchanged using SIF standards Objects comprise the schemas that define information managed by the applications Objects contain specific data elements that serve to characterize them. For example, the StudentPicture Object shown below is made up of three data elements.

12 SIF Elements Objects are expressed using standardized web-based structured data formatting called eXtensible Markup Language [XML] XML allows the creation of customized data tags that enable the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations REFIDs Examples - S31 SMITH HIGH SCHOOL - Dr. John Doe (999) STRAWBERRY HILL AVE. SMITHFORD S31

13 Naperville Community Unit District 203 District profile 18,000+ Students 1,000+ Teachers Systems SIS - Maximus SchoolMAX Parental Communications - ParentLink Human Resources - Carter-Pertain Transportation – VersaTrans Food Service – Comalex Library - Alexandria Data Warehouse - SPSS


15 Other SIF Concepts SIF Zone Logical group of applications, their agents and the ZIS services that manage them Data for the SIF zone is private to the zone Request/Response SIFs Request/Response protocol allows for data to be requested in its entirety, or filtered via query mechanisms. Used in Synchronizations Event Processing SIFs Event protocol enables an application to notify other applications in the Zone when something changes. Daily transactional processing for adds, changes, deletes, etc


17 Be Informed, Get Involved! Working Groups Assessment Data Warehouse Data Model Task Force Food Services Grade Book Human Resources & Financials Infrastructure Instructional Services Library Automation Professional Development Special Programs Student Information Systems Student Record Exchange Transportation Vertical Reporting

18 Contact Information Jeremy Davidson SIF Services Program Manager 816 S. Eldorado Rd. | Bloomington, IL Toll free: ext. 190 | Fax: | Cell: Visit our new website at

19 Getting the most bang for your buck with SIF - - Projecting ROI MIS 2009

20 Pains Addressed by SIF Situational Fast growth Legacy systems Large student enrollment Small staff size Data Redundant data entry Data accuracy Data integrity Data latency

21 Benefits of SIF Data is entered only once, into the authoritative source system, and is shared seamlessly & immediately with other applications Data is exchanged automatically and thus more effectively, without manual import and export processes Near real-time access to important information for better data analysis and information dissemination Ease the burden of vertical reporting to the State

22 Cost-Benefit Example Network Account Creation and Management SIF capability Student directory accounts created at registration into SIS Example SIF is used to create and manage user accounts and home directories, eliminating the additional manual step as the student is enrolled Benefit Huge time savings to I.T. department Does your I.T. staff have more valuable ways to spend its time?

23 Cost-Benefit Example Transportation SIF capability Data accuracy & Saved data entry time Example SIF is used to update the transportation system data from the student information system as the student is enrolled in school Benefit Real time communication of bus stop information is possible for every student Potential liability issues are avoided How many phone calls could be saved? How much bad publicity could be avoided?

24 Cost-Benefit Example Food Services SIF capability Data accuracy Example SIF is used to update the student management system with meal status information that is stored in the food services system Benefit Accurate free/reduced lunch count possible. How much additional funding could be generated?

25 Cost-Benefit Example Assessment Reporting SIF capability Data integrity and accuracy Example SIF is used to intersect demographic data stored in the student management system with state and local assessment results Benefit Administrators, principals and teachers can run reports that utilize the most accurate set of demographics for students How accurate are your current reports? How much time does it take to generate reports?

26 Cost-Benefit Example Library SIF capability Near real time information dissemination Example SIF is used to update the library system with up to date student information from the SIS Benefit The media specialist who used to spend 4 hrs a week updating student information and class lists on the computer can reallocate that time towards students (ROI can be seen in better utilization of resources as well as bottom line numbers)

27 SIF Benefits Teachers Real-time access to critical information Better data analysis Teachers time better spent Students & Parents Improved teaching and learning processes Availability of school and student data Increased efficiency IT Departments Reduced support costs Reduced time needed to manage multiple data sources Save money using existing systems and infrastructure Administrators Increased efficiency Reduced redundancy & errors Reduced compatibility issues

28 ROI Calculator

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