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The Schools Interoperability Framework Association Releases New Version of SIF Implementation Specification

Posted Oct 31, 2006
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The Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA) has released a new major version of its SIF Implementation Specification and the first Web Services Reporting Specification. Both of these releases have been developed to support greater out-of-the-box interoperability for school software products and to reduce the data reporting demands placed on schools and states today.

The 2.0 Implementation Specification is the fourth official release of the specification, adding improvements to its infrastructure and expanding the current SIF data model. There are now 118 SIF data objects defined for exchange and interoperability between educational software applications.

Highlighted changes and additions to the SIF Implementation Specification include the following:

- a new online presentation format
- leveraging XML Schema for definition and data typing
- removal of deprecated code sets and elements, and more consistent design across all objects
- the introduction of SIF_ExtendedQuery to support queries spanning multiple SIF objects
- a redesigned set of assessment-related objects
- grade book integration and student period attendance
- student record exchange objects to support the exchange of demographic, academic, special education-related and other records between schools and districts, including eTranscripts
- calendar objects
- discipline incident data
- the new SIF Metadata common elements available in all SIF data objects

With the new release, the Association is nevertheless assuring existing SIF users that the it will continue to support, utilize, and certify the previous versions of the SIF Implementation Specification.

SIFA has also released its first version of the SIF Web Service Reporting Specification, version 1.0. It leverages SIF's reporting infrastructure to open up the wealth of educational data in SIF Zones to applications over popular Web Services technologies. With the capability of this specification, state agencies, districts, schools, and other entities have an industry-standard method for sharing report data from SIF Implementations.

Both specifications are accessible at Comments on the specifications may be e-mailed directly to

Source: The Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA),

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