About the SIF Certification Program:
The objective of the Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, formerly the SIF Association, is to enable disparate vendor applications to exchange data, without the end-user re-entering data multiple times, to provide secure and consistent information to all applications across a given zone/environment. The A4L Community established the SIF Certification Program to help ensure that data is successfully transferred between applications and that the transferred data successfully resides in all sharing applications, by using an open, community developed data standard – the SIF Specification. The SIF Certification Program is a voluntary program, and is open to any member of the A4L Community.
Several documents are of particular use to any solution provider considering obtaining SIF Certification for their product:
- The SIF 2 Certification Guide and SIF 3 Certification Guide provide an overview of the entire SIF 2 and SIF 3 certification processes, including 'checklists' to assist with every certification process, and should be referred to first.
- The SIF Certification Policy documents in detail the policies that govern the operation of the SIF Certification Program. These policies define what software products can be certified, what it means to be certified, and the process for achieving and maintaining certification. Buyers intending to procure SIF-certified products will also find this document useful for understanding what they may expect from such a certified product.
- Taken together, the SIF Certification Agreement and the Trademark License Agreement (TMLA) constitute the set of requirements and obligations for achieving certification.
All these documents can be found at the bottom of this page.
All products that have successfully completed the SIF Certification Program are listed in the SIF Certification Registry. A full list of the SIF Certification Fees is also available from this site.
The Certification Program benefits both customers and vendors by:
- Providing end users an assurance of a high level of conformance and interoperability between SIF-certified products.
Reducing the vendor’s costs and risks involved with getting a product certified.
- Under the SIF Certification Program, vendors warrant conformance to a specification. This requires that their product will remain conformant throughout the life of the product’s registration, and that any non-conformance will be promptly fixed.
Find out what products are available:
If you are interested in finding out what products are currently SIF Certified and available in the educational marketplace, please visit the SIF Certification Registry.
Participate in the SIF Certification Program:
If you are interested in participating in the SIF Certification Program, please review the relevant Guide to the SIF Certification Program document which is designed to answer the basic questions of an applicant and walk you through the certification process. It should be the first document referred to.
Guide to the SIF 2 Certification Program: Section 4 of the guide provides checklists to help you through the SIF Certification Program. For the first time, vendors have the ability to test the mandatory features as defined in the SIF Implementation Specification and to document support for any optional/conditional features in the associated conformance statement. The SIF 2 Certification product standard is intended for SIF-enabled applications that send data per a given SIF Implementation Specification in the SIF 2 lifecycle. This most recent version, for North America, is the SIF Implementation Specification 2.7. All programs support the processing of events, requests and responses from the relevant SIF Implementation Specification in the SIF 2 release cycle. This maximizes interoperability as the A4L Community continues to follow its membership-driven release cycle for the specification.
Guide to the SIF 3 Certification Program: Released in October 2014, our newest certification program offers the latest quality assurance for all SIF 3 products. An exciting aspect of the new SIF 3 Certification Program is the strong, flexible, and scalable foundation that it is built on. From a simplified and streamlined Conformance Statement Questionnaire (CSQ) that will enable better reporting to the scriptable Test Sessions, we are truly walking through a door that will enable innovation for years to come! The SIF 3 API and upgraded tools and policies all make this release a great step forward for the educational market which not only adds some quality control to marketplace products but also helps clarify expectations between education software providers and their school, district, and state clients.
A detailed description of each process step can be found in the relevant Guide to the SIF Certification Program document, Checklist section.
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact John Lovell, Technology Director, or Penny Murray, Community Director.