How to deploy School Data Sync by using PowerSchool Sync

PowerSchool is a Student Information System (SIS) that integrates with School Data Sync (SDS). Using the PowerSchool sync method, you can connect directly to your SIS using the REST-based APIs provided by PowerSchool, and synchronize data directly instead of using CSV files. To set up SDS using the PowerSchool Sync method, follow the instructions detailed in this article.

In this topic:   

Prerequisites

Before you start synchronizing with SDS using the PowerSchool Sync method, read the Overview of School Data Sync and make sure you meet the following prerequisites:

  • An Office 365 for Education tenant

  • Global Admin Permissions

  • Attributes synced from your PowerSchool SIS must not contain any.

    invalid characters

Note: 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.

Install the REST API plug-in for PowerSchool

Before SDS can access data from your PowerSchool SIS, you must install the application plug-in below within  PowerSchool and obtain OAuth credentials following these steps.

  1. On your local computer, create an XML plug-in installation file with following content, and save the file as “plugin.xml”.

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
     
    <plugin xmlns="http://plugin.powerschool.pearson.com" 
    
            
    
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" 
    
            xsi:schemaLocation='http://plugin.powerschool.pearson.com plugin.xsd' 
    
    
    
            name="Microsoft School Data Sync" 
    
            version="1.0.0" 
    
            description="Plugin for PowerSchool REST 
    
    API for Microsoft SDS"> 
    
        <oauth></oauth> 
    
        <publisher name="Microsoft Corp."> 
    
            
    
    <contact email="sis@microsoft.com" /> 
    
        </publisher>  
    
    </plugin> 
    
  2. Sign in to the PowerSchool admin portal website using your System Administrator credentials.

  3. On the start page, choose System from the main menu, then go to System Settings > Plugin Management Configuration > Install.

  4. Enter or select the plug-in installation file you just created (.xml), and then choose Install.

    The plug-in will appear in the Installed Plugins section on the Plugin Management Dashboard page. Make sure the plug-in is enabled. If it is not, choose the Enable option on the Plugin Management Dashboard page.

    On the Plugin Management Dashboard page, make sure that the plugin is enabled.
  5. Choose Data Configuration to view the OAuth credentials that were generated for the plug-in:

    Choose Data Configuration to view the OAuth credentials for the plugin
  6. Record the values for the Client ID and Client Secret so you can enter these credentials when you create your School Information Sync profile.

Make sure the REST endpoints are Internet accessible

Microsoft School Data Sync must be able to reach your school’s PowerSchool server. To make sure the server is accessible, open ports 80 and 443 from the Internet to your PowerSchool server.

To validate that the endpoints are set correctly, check that you can open the PowerSchool server website pages from the Internet. For example, in your browser, go to https://<instance>.powerschool.com/public/ and http://<instance>.powerschool.com/public/.

About AADConnect deployment warnings

If you are configuring School Data Sync for a tenant which is synchronized from onpremises Active Directory through AADConnect, you may notice an increase in the number of Disconnectors shown in your miisclient. This is a result of Office 365 Group being unable to synchronize back to the AADConnect Metaverse and on-premises Active Directory. These warnings do not have any negative impact on your current AADConnect deployment, and only provide an informational note on the resultant sync failure. You should expect these warnings in AADConnect after enabling sync in SDS, as one Office 365 Group is created for each class synchronized through SDS.

Synchronize your SIS data using the PowerSchool sync method

Watch the video: Deploy School Data Sync

Deploy School Data Sync Video

After you've installed the plug-in and set up access, create a profile in Microsoft School Data Sync to synchronize your users' information.

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 Sync your SIS Data

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

    Add Profile_C3_20175211236
  2. On the Before you begin page complete the form as appropriate. Once complete, click Start.

    Before you begin - PowerSchool_C3_201752112132
    • 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 PowerSchool, select the option for PowerSchool API. 

  3. On the Sync Options page, select the appropriate option to create new users or sync existing users. Then complete your selections on the page as appropriate.

    Sync Options Page PowerSchool_C3_201752113040

    • 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 PowerSchool.

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

    • Web Access URL  -  This is the URL for your PowerSchool SIS which is Internet accessible.

    • client Id  -  This is the client Id recorded in the Install the REST API plug-in for PowerSchool section of this article.

    • client secret  -  This is the client secret recorded in the Install the REST API plug-in for PowerSchool section of this article.

    • Select Domain for schools / sections  -  Select the domain from this dropdown menu which you would like to associate to the schools and sections as they are synced from PowerSchool. 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.

    • Select schools to sync  -  This option allows you to select the school you want to sync from PowerSchool.

    • Select School Year  -  This is the school year from PowerSchool you wish to sync under this profile. Only 1 school year can be synced per profile.

    • Teacher and students have classes at multiple schools  -  If you have a teacher or student associated to more than one school within PowerSchool, check this box.

    • School properties  -  These are the school attributes contained within PowerSchool that SDS can sync. The greyed out attributes are the required attributes, and must be present in PowerSchool for each school to sync. The additional attributes shown are optional, and can be synced if you choose.

    • Section Properties  -  These are the section attributes contained within PowerSchool that SDS can sync. The greyed out attributes are the required attributes, and must be present in PowerSchool for each section to sync. The additional attributes shown are optional, and can be synced if you choose.

    • 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.

    Teacher options_C3_201752121124

    • 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.

    • Primary Key (Source Directory) -  This is the Teacher attribute in PowerSchool 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.

  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_201752123140
    • Primary Key (Source Directory) -  This is the Student attribute in PowerSchool 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.  

    Review Page PowerSchool_C3_201752123513

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:

Identity Matric Matching video

Related Topics

Overview of School Data Sync
School Data Sync Required Attributes for PowerSchool Sync

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