The right information, in the right place, at the right time


Data stewardship roles in education vary as much as the data managed. 

The goal is to standardize and simplify whatever “hat” you wear – marketplace provider or end user.  A critical component of this stewardship is streamlining both the privacy and security of the data but also the “sharing” of the data between the thousands of applications in learning institutions.

Focused on the mantra of “enter once and use many times”, the SIF Specifications have been the technical blueprints of choice for this needed interoperability.

No other organization has more usage experience and successes than the A4L Community!!

To find out more about the privacy work being undertaken by the Community, please click here.

SIF Specifications

Every SIF Specification – a freely available technical blueprint – consists of two major components:


The ‘HOW’

Defines the transport and messaging functionality over the “wire” where payloads are securely exchanged.

In use globally

Completely independent of the data model, can carry any data model

Incorporates marketplace utilized REST technology

Middleware Broker is optional, not required

Increased scalability


The ‘WHAT’

A set of XML and JSON schemas that define the payload format of “objects” as they are exchanged between SIF-compliant applications.

Locale (country) specific Data Model(s)

Built on 25 years of successfully implemented Specification

Standardizes APIs

Addresses more educational data exchanges than ANY other data model

(IEPs, Rostering, HR, Transportation, Reporting etc.)

The ONLY technical blueprint addressing privacy AND interoperability

SIF has been use-case driven for over 20 years and has constantly evolved through that time. The newest version is a proven model over a modern and straightforward API.

Mike Reynolds, CedarLabs

From a technical standpoint, SIF is outstanding! We’ve had good vendors who have helped us to use it, as well as the ecosystem of those who have used it. Everyone is really thrilled! It’s dynamic, and that’s why we’ve stuck with it.

Roger Petersen, Iowa Department of Education 

The spec is very, very good. It’s all encompassing and it’s also quick to implement in terms of interoperability. For instance, if you have a SIF agent, you could implement interoperability in only days or weeks vs. months or even years! We do it all the time.

Michelle Elia, CPSI Ltd.

Come Join Us…

PESC-A4L Summit 2024

April 30 – May 2, 2024