CSV file sync automation

There's a new way to automate CSV synchronization in School Data Sync (SDS), which moves the process from a Windows scheduled task into Microsoft Flow with the SDS Flow Connector. The benefits of using Flow are as follows:

  • Makes managing and monitoring file uploads easier.
  • Provides nice visualization to see a history of file uploads and the result of each stage of upload process.
  • No more cached credentials of the Azure AD global admin on the local server.
  • Manage entire upload process via UI in the cloud, which is much simpler to use than PowerShell scripts.
  • All monitoring and management of the solution happens in Office 365.
  • Server OS Support for better reliability.

You'll first need to install an on-premises Data Gateway, which should take about 5 minutes to configure. Then, you'll go to the Flow website to use the “Automate CSV Files upload to your School Data Sync profile” template that will connect to the gateway, and use the SDS connector to push files into SDS for continuous processing.

There's one limitation. SDS will only allow the creation of three sync profiles. If you're trying to sync more than 500 K+ Users, including student enrollments, you should contact the SDS Onboarding Team for support and effective planning SDS deployments.


Do not forget to create a Local Service Account on the machine that has the Gateway installed on it. Instructions can be found here. This is required for the File System portion of the Flow creation.


Refer to Install an on-premises data gateway for a full list of requirements and in case there are any installation problems.

Minimum requirements

  • .NET Framework 4.6 (Gateway release August 2019 and earlier)
  • .NET Framework 4.7.2 (Gateway release September 2019 and later)
  • A 64-bit version of Windows 7 or a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 R (or later)
  • An 8-core CPU
  • 8 GB of memory
  • A 64-bit version of Windows Server 2012 R2 or later
  • Solid state drive (SSD) storage for spooling

Important considerations

  • Gateways aren't supported on Server Core installations.
  • The user installing the gateway must be the admin of the gateway.
  • The gateway can't be installed on a domain controller.
  • If you're planning to use Windows authentication, make sure you install the gateway on a computer that's a member of the same Active Directory environment as the data sources.
  • You shouldn't install a gateway on a computer, like a laptop, that might be turned off, asleep, or disconnected from the internet. The gateway can't run under any of those circumstances.
  • If a gateway uses a wireless network, its performance might suffer.
  • You can install up to two gateways on a single computer: one running in personal mode and the other running in standard mode. You can't have more than one gateway running in the same mode on the same computer.


The gateway creates an outbound connection to Azure Service Bus. It communicates on outbound ports: TCP 80, 443 (default), 5671, 5672, 9350 through 9354. The gateway doesn't require inbound ports. If you restrict outbound ports on your server, you must ensure these outbound ports are open. See table.

Next Steps

  1. Configure CSV file location

  2. Set up your SDS Flow