Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) is a cloud based system that allows data from a schools Management Information System (MIS) to be linked to other Microsoft products. Two examples are Teams for Education and OneNote Class Notebooks.
The system provides a means for schools to upload standardized data files (as comma separated variables) to secure online storage. This data can be passed to applications like Teams for Education, but the data can also be used by developers through a public API.
The data is held securely and schools can ensure that their compliance policies are maintained.
The CSVs start by identifying the school. SDS was built in the US so it can account for school districts multiple schools, or multi academy trusts in the UK. Next for each school a list of the classes (which SDS calls Sections) is provided. Students and staff are linked to a school in the next two files. Finally, the last two files link students and staff to classes.
Many of the files can accept additional information, for example the student CSV can hold home addresses. Although these attributes are not used to provision systems like Teams for Education the data is available over the API
Ruler SDS is part of the Ruler Connect portfolio. This is a specialized version of Ruler Connect that extracts data from Capita SIMS and creates the CSVs. The standard version has been configured to produce the files required by Teams for Education.
We can set the system up to populate some of the optional fields. While the standard Ruler SDS is free of charge there may be a set up fee if significant customization is required