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Re: [seul-edu] SIF's Zone Integration Server(

> > which manages messages and requests to and from the various
> > SIF-compatible clients attached to it (gradebooks, rosters, report card
> > programs, etc.)
> > 
> So it's some sort of central XML database?  Or a front end to MSSQL or Access
> or something?

Here is some info, based on my handwritten notes from a presentation given
by some of the SIF people last year, including one of the beta
sites).  This info is probably old and may be wrong now.

The ZIS is where all of the real work is done to integrate the data
between the various programs.  It is basically a message queing server to
pass XML "messages" from app to another (doesn't have to be real time --
good old batch processing!).  It has rulesets that it checks for rules on
which programs can access each others data tables, and what sort of access
(RW, read only, etc.).

Messages between apps can/should be authenticated with X.509 V3
certificates.  My notes say "Computer Associates (CA) application" here,
so that might be what they are using.

A ZIS is supposed to cover a school district, or perhaps a single large
school building -- it is supposed to handle the interaction of all 3rd
party programs that deal with the same common datasets (i.e. students).

There is mention of ZIS to ZIS syncronizations (school to distict, or
district to state), but I don't know how that all works.

> > but I'm wondering how hard it would be to port this to a Linux/MySQL
> > environment - that'd be a heck of a press release for the SEUL-Edu
> > group.
> > 
> I'll try to take a look at it and see if Stephen Quam (one of our members who's
> pretty good at database work) would like to consider the challenge.  It'd
> certainly twist Micros~1's nose if we did it!

yes -- it seems to me that this could be a major strategic asset for
Microsoft if they were the only ones with a ZIS server in a year or two
when this stuff really gets going in the field.  We can't allow that.

<digging around on websites>
wow, MS actually has the code for their ZIS available.  Here is what they
say about it:

"The server component of the software is based on Windows DNA and has been
tested on Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0. It uses a SQL Server 7.0
database to store the publisher/subscriber information and MSMQ as the
queuing service. It also supports socket level TCP/IP as the communication
mechanism with the agents. The software has been written using Visual C++,
with sample code written in Visual C++ and Visual Basic. 

The client component is available on Windows 2000, Window NT 4.0 and
Windows 98. The agents interact with this API using COM. 

System Requirements 

Windows NT Server 4.0 (SP3 or greater) or Windows 2000 Server

SQL Server 7.0

MSMQ (installed as a Primary Enterprise Controller or Primary Site

Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 (Visual C++, Visual Basic)"

here is the URL to download the source:


James Troutman, Troutman & Associates - telecommunications consulting
93 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901 - 207-861-7067