Step 4: Sync your SIS using School Data Sync (SDS)


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School Data Sync (SDS) is a free service in Office 365 for Education that reads the school and roster data from a school's Student Information System (SIS). It creates Office 365 Groups for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, class teams for Microsoft Teams and OneNote Class notebooks, school groups for Intune for Education, and rostering and SSO integration for many other third party applications. Key app integration scenarios that SDS enables include:

  • Teams for Education – SDS enables automatic Class Team creation based on SDS-created O365 Groups and Rostering.
  • OneNote Class Notebooks – SDS enables automated OneNote Class Notebook provisioning within Teams for Education. When enabled, each Class Notebook will have sections created and permissions set based on SDS class rostering data imported during sync.
  • Exchange Online and SharePoint Online –SDS creates Office 365 Groups for online messaging, file sharing, and collaboration.
  • Intune for Education – SDS creates schools-based Security Groups for granular device policy and can also provide automated bulk licensing of Intune for Education for all students and teachers synced.
  • 3rd Party Apps – SDS integrates with numerous apps within the Microsoft Store and enables Rostering and Single Sign-On (SSO) app integration.

Once you have identity integration with On-Premise AD, or you’re ready to create cloud-only Identity, your next step is to enable School Data Sync (SDS). SDS can be used to either create new cloud-only identities or evolve your existing identities for all users. Users will be evolved to “students” and “teachers”, and associated to “grade,” “school,” and other EDU specific attributes and associations.

SDS will also synchronize and create all of your classes in Office 365, for use as Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Class Teams. SDS will add teachers as class owners, and students as class members, based on the roster data stored in the SIS. Click here for the benefits of using SDS for IT Admins, Teachers, Students, SIS Vendors, App Vendors, and SIs.

Deploying School Data Sync

SDS offers two methods for directory sync and creation.

  1. Sync from SIS using an API – Seamless API integration with several top SISes including PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Classlink, Capita SIMS, and several others.
  2. Sync from CSV Files – Any SIS which can export data to one of the three supported CSV formats (SDS CSV, OneRoster, and Clever format), can be synced via SDS.

School Data Sync requirements

  1. An Office 365 Education tenant account (from Step 1)
  2. Global Administrator Permissions (from Step 1)

Before deploying SDS, please go to the SDS Settings page to configure your global deployment settings.

The following links take you to deployment "how-to" articles for each available method.

How to deploy School Data Sync by using PowerSchool SIS API

How to deploy School Data Sync by using OneRoster API

How to deploy School Data Sync by using SDS format CSV files

How to deploy School Data Sync by using Clever format CSV files

How to deploy School Data Sync by using OneRoster format CSV files

Automatic group and class site creation.

Next step: Once you have synced your SIS using SDS, please proceed to Step 5 to License users.