The Software and Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) division has hired The Open Group to assist them with the development and delivery of the SIF Compliance Program.
SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 800 software and information companies. The Schools Interoperability Framework is an initiative driven by K-12 education technology providers and users to “revolutionize the management and accessibility of data within schools and school districts.”
The Open Group is a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium whose expertise spans test development, automated test generation technologies, formal testing for certification, test laboratory quality systems, and accreditation and operation of certification programs.
The SIF, which counts Apple as a member, is an initiative that unites over 120 software publishers, technology providers and integrators, schools and school districts. SIF is designed to enable diverse applications to interact and share data, regardless of the platform.
The SIF spec could be a major breakthrough for educators as it could have a major impact on the way information is stored, accessed, updated and transferred. As a blueprint for school interoperability and data access, it makes sure that software packages from different vendors (or at least participating vendors) can share data seamlessly. This could mean more cooperation between applications and lowered costs at the school, district and state levels.
The ultimate goal of the SIF Compliance Program is to certify software applications as “compliant” with the SIF Specification. SIF and The Open Group will work together to define the processes, procedures and scope of this program, said Tim Magner, director of The Schools Interoperability Framework. The program will give schools and school districts the assurance that the applications they are purchasing conform to the SIF Specification and have met external performance criteria, he added. SIF will begin certifying products as “SIF Compliant” in January.