How do I connect my locally hosted PowerSchool instance with the Kimono SIF Platform?
Currently, the Canvas PowerSchool integration uses a SIF API to pass provisioning data from PowerSchool to Canvas and assignment and assignment score data from Canvas to PowerSchool. The SIF API, developed by Access 4 Learning (A4L), translates the unique learning and educational tool object and event agents into a common coding language that allows for the transfer of data between tools. Instructure supports SIF version 2 through our partnership with Kimono. Learn more about SIF and view an introduction to SIF video.
Kimono SIF Benefits
Kimono is a standards-based SIS platform that uses open education data standards (like SIF, OneRoster, CSV, etc.). The following benefits are associated with using the SIF API through the Kimono SIS platform:
- Integration into existing SIF or state reporting frameworks
- Access certain fields ("extended attributes") not normally available for use in an API integration
Note: In order to implement the Canvas PowerTeacher Pro integration, proprietary APIs dictate that you move to the new SIS Platform and use SIF for provisioning.
Identify Server Host
You must know where your PowerSchool server is hosted before connecting your PowerSchool instance to the Kimono platform.
If your PowerSchool URL ends with powerschool.com, then your instance is cloud hosted by PowerSchool. Otherwise, your powerschool instance is locally hosted either by your institution, your region, or your state.
View information about connecting your PowerSchool-hosted instance with the Kimono SIF Platform.
Necessary ZIS Information
To connect to the PowerSchool SIF Agent in Kimono, you need your ZIS connection information, including yoru ZIS URL and Zone ID. If you do not have your ZIS connection information, contact your Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM) or Implementation Consultant (IC).
Connect PowerSchool SIF to ZIS
Part of the SIF agent installation may have included connection to the ZIS. However, you may need to manually add the to an existing ZIS server.
You will need the following:
- ZIS URL
- Zone ID
- Mode:Pull (SIF Agent Console/Agent Settings/Registration/Messaging Mode). If the Mode is set to Push, the connection will fail.
Method:HTTP(SIF Agent Console/Agent Settings/Protocol)
- If this is your only ZIS connection, select the HTTP. The https:// in your ZIS URL will still connect your agent to the ZIS using HTTPS.
- If you must use the HTTPS method, add the Kimono certificate to your Java trusted certificates to avoid returning connection errors when you attempt to connect. The necessary SSL certificate is the same certificate used to secure Kimono's website.
Please review the steps above very carefully - if your mode or method are not correct, the connection will not work properly.
Modify agent.cfg Data Fields
To properly pull your information into Kimono, you must configure additional data fields. View information about the fields you need to modify in your agent.cfg. You can also add the listed mappings by installing the KIMONO_SMP to your PowerSchool SIF zone. The file to install the Kimono_SMP is in the same location where you download the PowerSchool SIF.
For these changes to take effect, restart your SIF agent.
After restart, review the agent.cfg to verify added mappings are still present. If changes do not remain, please try again, ensuring the agent.cfg has been properly saved.
Review SIF Agent Console Settings
Verify the following areas in the SIF Agent Console:
- School Year (SIF Agent Console/Agent Settings/Default Zone Settings/School Year): verify that the displayed school year reflects the appropriate school year.
- Plug-ins (SIF Agent Console/Agent Settings/Plugins/): PowerSchool must disable State Messaging Plugins for your SIF Agent specifically for the Canvas connections. If you are using SMP for state reporting, please work with PowerSchool to properly disable the Canvas connection only.
- Zone Status (SIF Agent Console/Zone Settings/Zone/General/): verify that zone displays as "ready".
- Schools (SIF Agent Console/Zone Settings/Zone/District): verify that any school that should not be included in the Canvas data sync are deselected.
If these settings are not verified, you may encounter connection and data flow issues.
Enable Enrollment and Instruction Date Options
Follow these steps to open the SIF Data Objects menu:
- Open your SIF agent console.
- Click on the Zone drop-down menu (top left corner).
- Select on the Zone Settings option.
- In the window, select SIF Data Objects option.
Next, enable the Enroll Status option:
- In the menu (on right), select the Student Section Enrollment option.
- Click on the Options tab.
- Locate the Include Enroll Status option and select Yes
Then, enable the Instruction Dates option:
- Return to the SIF Data Objects menu.
- Locate the Term Info option.
- Click on the Options tab.
- Locate the Include Instruction Dates option and select Yes.
Before moving any further, please restart your SIF to ensure all changes for mappings (agent.cfg), school year, school filtering, etc. remain in place.
Then, reach out to your IC or CSM to request a connection test.
SIF Agent Troubleshooting
Q: I'm being told that the mappings I added to the agent.cfg are not coming over properly when a sync runs in the Kimono SIS Platform - what can I do?
A: Try restarting your SIF Agent. In addition, verify that mappings remain in the agent.cfg file after the agent is restarted.
Q: Data from previous school years is coming over from PowerSchool to Canvas and I don't want it to.
A: Navigate to SIF Agent Console/Agent Settings/Default Zone Settings/School Year and verify that appropriate school year is provided. Additional settings for certain data objects allow you to select "future" or "current". Please talk to PowerSchool for more information.
Q: I am seeing data from schools I do not want shared with Canvas OR students from past years. How do I limit our sync to only schools I want to include?
A: This setting is on the PowerSchool SIF Agent. Work with PowerSchool or select/deselect these schools yourself at SIF Agent Console/ZoneSettings/Zone/District.
Q: I'm being told to disable SMP for Canvas. What do I do?
A: Work with PowerSchool or navigate to the SIF Agent Console/Agent Settings/Plugins/ to disable SMP. If you are using SIF for state reporting, please work with PowerSchool to get this properly disabled for just Canvas.