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How does SMS-LMS Interoperability work?

SMS-LMS Interoperability is the process whereby specific student data passes from the SMS to the LMS.

When received by the LMS, the data in the first instance is used to provision user accounts and class/group memberships. At a later point in time when the school is ready to start providing information to parents the parent portal will be established.

Data transferred through the interoperability process moves in one direction only, from the SMS to the LMS as follows:

  1. The SMS runs an export process to generate a set of XML messages containing the selected data and drops these into the SMS Upload folder.

  2. The LMS transport service polls this folder so as to detect the arrival of data and transfers the messages through to the LMS for processing and display.

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What data is transferred?

The current interoperability schema allows for nine sets of data to be transferred through SMS-LMS Interoperability. Four of these data sets are mandatory and five are optional. Not all SMS systems support all of the optional messages.   

Mandatory

School Configuration Data; Student Synchronisation List; Student Membership; Student Demographics

Optional

Student Assessment; Student Attendance; Student Photo; Student Timetable; Student Progress Report

When your Ultranet website is commissioned for the first time, only the first stage of the data transfer is activated. This involves moving only the four mandatory sets of data to the LMS so that user accounts and online workspaces/classrooms can be automatically created.

The optional data sets will not be transferred until a later point in time when the LMS is in active use and the school is ready to establish parent portal functionality.

What does installation involve?

Setting up SMS-LMS Interoperability is a 4-step process in which step 3 is optional.

 1.      Preparing the SMS Server

The SMS server must be prepared in readiness for the installation of the SMS and LMS interoperability software i.e. Windows, .NET 3.5, Java runtime (version 6 or later) all installed. This is the responsibility of the school and/or their network support provider.

2.      Installing the SMS transfer software

Installation of the SMS transfer software is undertaken by the school or by their network support provider following the instructions provided by the SMS vendor. The software is installed on the SMS server and the installer needs administration level access to this server.

Prior to installing the software, schools must ensure:

  • They are running the latest version of the SMS application.

  • That the NSN for each student is entered into the SMS. This is a mandatory field for interoperability - if the NSN is not present in the SMS then the student data will not be transferred to the LMS.

The SMS transfer software must be configured as per the vendor’s instructions and the upload scheduled to run automatically. The optional data sets should not be activated at this stage.

3.      Configuring the email system to allow SMTP mail relay from the SMS server (Optional step)

Configuring mail relay from the SMS server will enable the Ultranet transport service to send error notifications to assist with diagnosis in the event of any disruption to the service.

4.      Installing the LMS Component

The final step is to advise the Ultranet service desk of the details needed for remote access to the network so that an Edtech engineer can install the Ultranet transport service and activate the initial upload.

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