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Thousands of School Data Applications Now Can Use Modern Data Transport Protocol

Thursday, September 28, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Penny Murray
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Washington, DC, 28 September 2017--- Responding to the growing needs in the management and usage of educational data, the Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community has released the SIF Data Model Implementation Specification (North America) 2.8 which simplifies the usage of the most utilized K12 data model supported by a modern, secure infrastructure.


The SIF 2.x Data Model is being utilized ‘on the ground’ by thousands of applications in schools across the United States[1].  It was the foundation, and continues to support the implementation, of the National Center for Education’s (NCES) Common Education Data Standards (CEDS).  The SIF Data Model Implementation Specification (NA) 2.8 release offers schools & districts the opportunity to upgrade their existing SIF 2.x implementations, keeping the same data mappings and data flows between applications. This release, developed collaboratively by member volunteers and marketplace experts, allows SIF 2 data to take advantage of the modern SIF 3 infrastructure as well as enabling a ‘hybrid’ implementation utilizing both SIF 2 and SIF 3 components.


The recently released SIF 3 Infrastructure Specification allows the SIF Data Model to be used with the well-established and secure HTTPS or mature REST transport protocols and allows for point-to-point data movement or usage of marketplace brokers to allow one to many application data transfers.  This is unique in that SIF Specifications allow for scaling based on needs of schools and states.  The SIF 3 Infrastructure includes specific API functional profiles (coined “xPress”), for Rostering, Student Records Exchange, and soon IEP generation data support.  To find out more how the SIF 3x Infrastructure is a “game changer” for data exchange click here.


Developed though a 20-year established, open processes by member volunteers driven by end user, not vendor, needs.  Schools and states need to require marketplace products to use Community developed technical standards and not proprietary mechanisms for data exchanges which locks them into applications and raise costs in the long term.  Find out SIF RFP language support here.


To review the SIF Data Model Implementation Specification (North America) 2.8, please visit:


To view the overview animation video, please go to:




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About the Access 4 Learning Community

There is no other global community made up of educational policymakers, marketplace product and service providers and the customers they serve, collaborating daily to address real word learning information and resource issues. 

The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, previously the SIF Association, is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively address all aspects of learning information management and access to support learning.  The A4L Community is “Powered by SIF” Specifications as its major technical tool to allow for this management and access simply, securely and in a scalable, standard way regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The Access 4 Learning Community has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit

[1] Based on a survey conducted in October 2016 identifying SIF usage across the US: Just The Facts: On The Ground SIF Utilization

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