Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) is a free service offered by Microsoft through their Office 365 for Education platform. When properly configured, it can pull in the roster data from the school’s SIS and create Office 365 groups. These groups are used for Microsoft-based educational curricula, including classroom activities done through Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Sharepoint, and Exchange.
How Does Microsoft SDS Work?
The function of Microsoft SDS is to connect and synchronize student data from the school’s SIS with Office 365 by importing student information. The solution uses an API, which developers are able to use in order to connect class roster information and more.
How Do I Connect to Microsoft SDS?
While Microsoft SDS has an API, there are other methods they allow for rostering, including CSV files or using the OneRoster API. According to Microsoft, requirements, regardless of connection choice, include:
- A Microsoft 365 Education tenant
- Global Administrator Permissions
- School Data Sync (Plan 1) enabled
- Deployment methods using CSV Files
While CSV is an option for connecting, it does require the school to export data into excel and upload them to SDS, traditional rostering applications and processes leave a student, parent, and staff data open to risk.
Microsoft SDS Provisioning Is Complex
There are a number of different data sets that must be identified and matched in order to connect a school’s data with SDS. It can be a complex process and the error rate can be high. However, many schools, especially in providing career readiness curricula to students, find it beneficial to introduce students to Microsoft Teams, Office 365, and Sharepoint. To preserve data privacy and reduce risk, GG4L’s School Passport can be used to provision student data to Microsoft SDS.
Benefits of Using School Passport to Connect Microsoft SDS to Your School
School Passport uses easy-to-implement anonymization services to eliminate the need to duplicate student PII with every vendor. School Passport keeps your student data safe while our robust API framework facilitates any use case. Authentication, personalization, and account creation are all made possible with School Passport; even handling complex cases like communication workflows, badging, and certification reunification. We empower all of these use cases while limiting the sharing of PII with vendors. Our API framework means vendors can easily adopt School Passport and participate in the anonymized data exchange without changes to their applications.