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Ed-Fi Integration

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Overview

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) WISEdata project aims to improve the collection of required state and federal data. The WISEdata Ed-Fi Integration project replaces individual legacy collection systems (ISES, CWCS, SAFR, etc.) with a cohesive interoperability collection framework. DPI has chosen the Ed-Fi interoperability framework to facilitate collecting local education agency (LEA) information. This framework needs to be implemented (if it is not already) by the LEA’s student information system (SIS), financial data system, and other technology providers. The vendor's system will push data to DPI via an application programming interface (API) defined by the Ed-Fi framework.

Getting Started

Working with Wisconsin's DPI to begin integrating your system with the WI DPI Ed-Fi REST API isn't difficult. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible to minimize development costs and to decrease time to market.

Certified Vendor List

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction would like to set vendors up as a certified vendor to enable school districts, charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental Choice program to submit data to DPI.  DPI works one-on-one with vendors to prepare for certification of their respective systems.

New Vendor Application

If you wish to make us aware of your product that is used by Wisconsin schools/districts, please fill out the New Vendor Application. Our staff is more than willing to help you through the process of becoming a vendor by answering questions or providing technical assistance you may need. Use our Contact Us form to send your request and questions.

How to Become a Vendor

At DPI, we value our vendor relationships and endeavor to make onboarding as straightforward as possible. Please carefully read the process below.

Vendor Onboarding Process

If you are a new vendor, please review our process for onboarding new vendors:

  1. New Vendors must complete the New Vendor Application between July 1st and October 31st to be considered for the next school year.
  2. Vendor follow up and interview meetings must be completed by December 1st.
  3. Vendor selections are made by January 10th.
  4. Vendor integration testing planning and requirement training meetings are conducted by February 28th.
  5. Vendor integration testing is performed between April - July.
  6. Certified vendors are announced and available in the Ed-Fi Credential application by July 31st.

Additionally, the following prerequisites should be met prior to contacting Wisconsin's DPI:

  • Review Ed-Fi technical documentation to understand the foundation of this project.
  • Obtain an Ed-Fi license. This is not required, but it is highly recommended.
  • Ensure programmers are familiar with RESTful services and basic HTTP authentication.

Once prerequisites are met, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Contact Wisconsin's DPI to onboard.
  2. Obtain a UAT 'Sandbox' WAMS ID and provide the user ID to the individual at WI DPI responsible for your onboard process. This will be used to provide access to the Ed-Fi credential application. This application is required to obtain credentials to connect to the API UAT 'Sandbox' and use Swagger.
  3. Download and review the 'Development Resources' and other documentation available below.
  4. Develop your application code using the use cases provided in the 'Development Resources', execute unit testing and system testing, and resolve errors that are easier to detect before proceeding with integration testing.
  5. Schedule a certification session with Wisconsin's DPI.
    • For more information about certification and integration testing, see the Testing and Certification Resources listed below.
  6. Once vendors are Wisconsin's DPI certified, they will be eligible to receive production credentials after an LEA adds them as an authorized vendor.

Resources for You

Development Resources

The development documentation provides essential information for programmers regarding the process of sending and receiving data using the Ed-Fi REST client against the Ed-Fi API hosted by DPI (WISEdata). Please note that the development documentation are updated for major releases.

WISEdata Ed-Fi Version 2.x

WISEdata Ed-Fi Version 3.x

Testing Resources

Vendors integrating with the Wisconsin's DPI Ed-Fi WISEdata portal are required to perform integration testing. Once integration tests are passed, the vendor will be granted access to the production environment.

In order to test, you will need a REST client that can authenticate via OAuth 2. There are many free and paid REST clients that you can use for testing. The two clients we use are listed below. Both are free.

  1. SoapUI (version 4.6.4): Besides supporting SOAP requests, it also has a REST client. //www.soapui.org/
  2. RestClient 2: This is a FireFox extension. According to the developer, they also have an extension for Safari and for Chrome. Developer website: restclient.net/

You will likely need a web traffic tracer/debugger. There are a number of web debuggers out there. The REST clients above (SoapUI or RestClient2) will show web traffic when you make a request. The web debuggers can be handy when creating requests via the DPI-provided WISEdata Ed-Fi REST SDK or a proprietary Ed-Fi REST client.

  1. Fiddler is free and one of the more popular web debuggers //www.telerik.com/fiddler
  2. Wireshark https://www.wireshark.org/
Certification Resources

The certification process ensures interoperability between vendors' products used by Wisconsin's school districts, charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental Choice program and WISEdata Ed-Fi applications. Certification applies to vendors that send data to WISEdata whenever there is a requirement change. This certification process is intended to test that the data submitted from the vendor's system is delivered as expected.

  1. After you review the requirement specifications with Wisconsin's DPI, and complete development and internal testing:
    • Re-review Wisconsin's DPI use cases (see Development Resources above) for the specific collection you will be certifying on. Make sure you have covered all the use cases in development and testing.
    • Contact Wisconsin's DPI to schedule a session to work through State-specific use case testing.
  2. When integration testing and certification is complete, Wisconsin's DPI will issue production credentials to allow the certified vendor to send data for that collection on behalf of the LEA.
  3. Wisconsin's DPI highly recommends conducting beta testing with one or two LEAs in production. During beta testing, Wisconsin's DPI will review the data submitted and monitor API logs for errors.
  4. Wisconsin's DPI encourages vendors and LEAs to review the validation messages and the data, using the Ed-Fi Credential application and the WISEdata Portal to verify that the data sent is what was received in WISEdata and to design input validations on the vendor's product to prevent erroneous data as applicable.
  5. Once Wisconsin's DPI, the vendor and LEA agree that the steps in #3 and #4 did not identify any critical issues, the vendor can open up the new collections to additional LEAs. 

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