How to deploy School Data Sync by using CSV files

You can use Comma Separated Value (CSV) files with School Data Sync (SDS) to import and synchronize your Student Information System (SIS) data to Office 365. SDS can sync students, teachers, schools, sections, and roster information from your SIS to Azure Active Directory and Office 365. Using this method, you will export or create six CSV files from your SIS data, set up a synchronization profile, and upload the CSVs into SDS for processing.

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Before you get started

Before you start synchronizing with SDS using the CSV Import method, read the Overview of School Data Sync.

Make sure you meet the following prerequisites:

  1. An Office 365 for Education tenant.

  2. Global Admin account with the Classroom Preview license applied

Note: The data that you provide through School Data Sync may be accessible to third-party application providers through their apps, so you should sync only the data that you want to make available to these third parties.

Create a Sync Profile and Import your CSV files

Watch the video: Deploy School Data Sync

Deploy School Data Sync Video

Make sure you've created your six CSV files and they're ready to use. Then follow these steps to import the files and create your sync profile. A sync profile is just a group of options and settings used by SDS to sync the CSV data which you plan to upload. You can create multiple sync profiles within a single Office 365 tenant. 

SDS Access and First Time Login

  1. To access the School Data Sync Admin Portal launch a private web browser, navigate to sds.microsoft.com, and then sign in using your O365 Global Admin account.

  2. If this is your first time signing into SDS, you must choose to enable/disable SDS and Microsoft Classroom. To enable School Data Sync and proceed with the setup, toggle the School Data Sync switch to the On position. 

    Screenshot of Settings in School Data Sync, to turn School Data Sync on or off.

Create a Sync Profile and Upload your CSV Files

  1. After School Data Sync is enabled, click +Add Profile in the left hand navigation pane to create a Sync Profile.

    Screenshot that shows creating a new profile
  2. On the Before you begin page complete the form as appropriate. Once complete, click Start.

    Screenshot of Before you begin page
    • Name this profile  -  Enter a name for your sync profile. This name will be used to identify the sync profile in the SDS Dashboard, and cannot be changed once the profile setup is complete.

    • Choose your sync method  -  Choose between the 3 available sync methods shown. If you're syncing using CSV files, select the option for CSV files. 

  3. On the Sync Options page, select the appropriate option to create new users or sync existing users. Then click upload files to upload your 6 CSV files. Once uploaded, complete your selections on the page as appropriate.

    Screenshot of Sync options page
    • Existing Users  -  Select this option if you already have user accounts create within your O365 tenant for each of the students and teachers contained within your CSV files.

    • New Users  -  Select this option if you want SDS to create user accounts for each of your students and teachers contained within your CSV files.

    • Upload Files button  -  Click this button to upload your 6 CSV files. Upon upload SDS will perform some brief validation tests to ensure the files are formatted correctly. If the validation passes, your files will be uploaded into the sync profile.

    • Select Domain for schools / sections  -  Select the domain from this dropdown menu which you would like to associate to the schools and sections contained within your CSV files. This domain suffix will be used in the each Section's primary smtp address for the corresponding O365 Group which SDS creates for each section.

    • School properties  -  After uploading your CSV files, the attributes contained within your School.csv will be auto- selected. You should validate the attributes selected here are the same attributes contained in your School.csv

    • Section Properties  -  After uploading your CSV files, the attributes contained within your Student.csv will be auto-selected. You should validate the attributes selected here are the same attributes contained in your School.csv

    • Sync option for Section Group Display Name  -  Checking this box will allow teachers to control the section display name after the first sync, and prevent SDS from overwriting Section DisplayName changes made by teachers.

    • License Options  -  Checking this box will assign the Classroom Preview license to all students and teachers contained within your CSV files. This will grant those users access to Microsoft Classroom.

    • Intune for Education  -  Checking this box will license all student and teachers for Intune for Education. This will also auto-create several default groups which can be used within the Intune for Education app.

  4. On the Teacher options page, select the appropriate identity matching options, confirm the teacher properties are selected, then click Next. Screenshot of Teacher options page

    • Primary Key (Source Directory) -  This is the Teacher attribute in the CSV file used for SDS Identity Matching. Watch the Identity Matching video for additional information on how to select the appropriate source directory attribute, and properly configure the identity matching settings for teacher.

    • Primary Key (Target Directory)  -  This is the User attribute  in Azure AD used for SDS Identity Matching. Watch the Identity Matching video for additional information on how to select the appropriate target directory attribute, and properly configure the identity matching settings for the teacher.

    • Domain (optional)  -  This is an optional domain value that you can add to the selected Source Directory attribute to complete your Teacher Identity Matching. If you need to match to a UserPrincipalName or Mail attribute, you must have a domain included in the string. Your source attribute must either include the domain already or you can append the appropriate domain to the source attribute using this dropdown menu.

  5. On the Student options page, select the appropriate identity matching options, confirm the student properties are selected, and then click Next. Student Options page_C3_2017430231613

    • Primary Key (Source Directory) -  This is the Student attribute in the CSV file used for SDS Identity Matching. Watch the Identity Matching video for additional information on how to select the appropriate source directory attribute, and properly configure the identity matching settings for teacher.

    • Primary Key (Target Directory)  -  This is the User attribute  in Azure AD used for SDS Identity Matching. Watch the Identity Matching video for additional information on how to select the appropriate target directory attribute, and properly configure the identity matching settings for the student.

    • Domain (optional)  -  This is an optional domain value that you can add to the selected Source Directory attribute to complete your Student Identity Matching. If you need to match to a UserPrincipalName or Mail attribute, you must have a domain included in the string. Your source attribute must either include the domain already or you can append the appropriate domain to the source attribute using this dropdown menu.

  6. On the Review page, ensure you've made the appropriate selections. If no additional changes are needed, click Create Profile

To help automate the sync process after setting up your sync profile, you can install the Microsoft School Data Sync Toolkit. This tool helps you to create an automated sync schedule between CSV files and Office 365 , and can also be used to verify the CSV file data. For details, see Install the Microsoft School Data Sync Toolkit.

Video: How to match source and target attributes for sync

For various examples of matching logic success and failure for sync, watch the Identity Matching video:

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Related Topics

Overview of School Data Sync
Install the School Data Sync Toolkit
CSV files for School Data Sync
How to deploy School Data Sync by using PowerSchool Sync
School Data Sync required attributes for PowerSchool Sync
How to deploy School Data Sync by using Clever Sync
How to deploy School Data Sync by using OneRoster CSV files
School Data Sync errors and troubleshooting

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