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How it Works

SIF Zones

The PowerSchool Agent supports both school-based and district-based zones. A zone is a logical grouping of data objects and administrative applications that can share objects with one another. The PowerSchool Agent supports multiple zones, which means it can connect to more than one zone at a time much like an e-mail program can send and receive messages from more than one e-mail server.

In addition, the Agent supports the concept of “aggregate zones.” Aggregate zones let you combine one or more zones into a single zone for scalable zone management.

SIF Request & Response

When applications request data from PowerSchool through the SIF infrastructure, the Agent queries the PowerSchool database for records, converts the results to one or more SIF Data Objects, and then returns the results to the Zone Integration Server. The server securely and reliably forwards the responses to each of the requesting applications. You can prevent certain applications from requesting specific types of data by using the Access Control features of the Zone Integration Server.

Note: Refer to the PowerSchool SIF Agent Mappings Guide for a detailed description of the SIF Data objects and elements that are provided by the Agent.

SIF Event Reporting

When changes are made to a record in PowerSchool, details of the change are recorded in the database in the table AppEventsQueue. The Agent periodically reads from this table to report changes to the Zone Integration Server (ZIS). When a SIF Event is reported, it is sent to the zone associated with the data. Event reporting occurs every 60 seconds by default. You can increase or decrease this frequency, or turn off Event Reporting altogether, from the Agent’s Settings dialog box.

SIF Subscription

The PowerSchool SIF Agent has the ability to subscribe to events on many different SIF Objects. Refer to the Write Back section for more information on configuring subscriptions.

How Do I Run the Agent?

The PowerSchool SIF Agent is designed for unattended operation. It is installed as a Windows Service on all Windows platforms. As a service, the Agent runs whenever the server is running, regardless of whether or not a user has logged in to that computer. You can stop, start, or restart the service from the Windows Services Manager.

The Agent can also be run as a standalone application by choosing the PowerSchool Agent - Run Standalone command from the program group on the Windows Start Menu, or by running the PowerSchoolSIFAgent.exe file from the Agent directory.

Note: Only one instance of the Agent can be running on a given computer. If you start the Agent as a standalone application when it is already running as a Windows Service, the Agent will prevent itself from running a second time.

How do I configure and manage the Agent?

The Agent features a graphical console from which configuration and management tasks are performed. Refer to SIF Console for more information on accessing the console.

Current Adapter Version

To run the PowerSchool SIF Agent, you will need to install the latest version of the SIF Agent adapter jar. (The latest adapter jar can be found in a directory called “adapter”, in the location where you installed the Agent.) When you open and run the Agent, if your adapter version needs to be updated, you will see a pop-up warning to update the adapter to the current version.

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