Your step by step guide to get your MIS school data into SchoolsBuddy
To sync most of your student body data from iSAMS we will use Batch API keys with an overnight data sync. If you would also like to sync attendance register information to SchoolsBuddy you can also provide rest API keys. See our attendance guide Absentee Alerts / MIS Absence for more information on how we use attendance information in SchoolsBuddy.
- 24 hour updates - iSAMS Batch API Key Settings
- How to create a Batch API Key
- ISAMS Support
- Optional Attendance Updates - REST API Key
- Submit Batch API Keys, Access URL (& REST API key) to SchoolsBuddy team
- SchoolsBuddy Configuration
24 hour updates - ISAMS Batch API Key Settings
Your iSAMS administrator must set up 7 separate API Keys within the iSAMS Admin Control Panel / API Keys Section. These must be created individually, check only the specified settings below for each key. We will request these via an online form (see step 3 for link).
Why do we need these?
This enables us to call for different elements of the data independently, which helps with load and sequencing of the import (update) processes within SchoolsBuddy.
Each API key will require different 'methods' to access, which are individual calls to modules for data. These are listed against each key below. Batch API keys offer a high level of access control.
Please Note - If you are only using SchoolsBuddy for some, not all school years/grades, it is possible to filter the Contacts for just the pupils from specific years for account activation.
How to create a Batch API Key
To setup Batch API Keys, follow the steps below:
- Log in to iSAMS
- Select Administration mode (Generally located bottom left)
- In the iSAMS Control Panel Module, select the API Services Manager applet.
- Select Manage Batch API Keys from the right hand menu. The Manage Batch API Keys screen is displayed. An example is shown below:
- Click Create Batch API Key. A popup window is displayed. An example is shown below:
- Select the Key Properties tab. An API Key code is automatically generated. Each API Key code is unique. Right click and select refresh if you want to generate a different code.
- Complete the fields displayed:
- API Key name - For example, the name of the third party who is using the API key e.g. SchoolsBuddy Groups, SchoolsBuddy staff...etc.
- Description - optional
- API Key State - active
- API Key Mode - Development/Production
- API Key Cache Enquiry - This minimises impact on ISAMS performance by caching information from the database. We recommend selecting less than the default “24 hours” as SchoolsBuddy will only query ISAMS once every 24 hours, during the night in your timezone. 2 or 3 hours is a better setting.
- Remember to save and close
For assistance with keys - please contact iSAMS support from within your iSAMS portal. SchoolsBuddy has no direct access to iSAMS. You can contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Optional Attendance Updates - REST API Key
We will only need this if you would like SchoolsBuddy to reference attendance marks from ISAMS on the registers for activities in SchoolsBuddy. For example, for the after school activity leader to see if a student was already absent from their homeroom that afternoon. You can set this up at a later date if you would like to.
Attendance information is synced twice daily before lunchtime and after school activities. See our attendance guide Absentee Alerts / MIS Absence for more information on how we use attendance information in SchoolsBuddy.
You will need to request access to the REST API on SchoolsBuddy's behalf to the iSAMS support team and provide us with the Client ID and Client Secret. We will also need to know the ID of the register(s) you would like us to use for AM and PM registration. If you are not sure what these are we can check what registers are available.
Submit Batch API Keys, Access URL (& REST API key) to SchoolsBuddy team
After the API Keys have been created, please complete this online form with the keys and your iSAMS access URL (e.g. yourschool.isams.cloud). Optionally include the REST API Client ID and Client Secret if you would like attendance updates.
Once we have the API keys and your School has been setup on SchoolsBuddy, we will begin syncing your data in overnight.
After the initial import we will examine the data and confirm with you that the data has come into SchoolsBuddy successfully.
Q: What if we need to update any student /parent/ staff details?
A: Update the details in iSAMS as usual. These will sync to SchoolsBuddy each night, however sometimes ISAMS can take a little bit longer to update their API feed and we have noticed student records may appear before student email addresses. We recommend waiting 48 hours for all new student details to update. If you need to make urgent changes you can also edit details directly within the Reception > Users section of SchoolsBuddy.
Q: Will students be automatically removed when they leave?
A: Yes, as long as they are marked as a leaver/ alumni in iSAMS.
Q: Will parents automatically be removed when their student leaves?
A: Parents' accounts will be deactivated unless the student has a sibling at the school who still has a SchoolsBuddy account.
Q: Will Staff be automatically removed when they leave?
A: No, all staff internal and external, will still have a SchoolsBuddy account until they are deleted. An Organisation Super Admin user will need to delete their account manually in SchoolsBuddy. (This is due to a limitation of the ISAMS API)
A: Can SchoolsBuddy import ISAMS 'off-school' attendance each day? Yes, we will need your REST API Client ID and Secret to do this. We will also need the calendar ID that you would like us to use. The Attendance mark will be displayed in SchoolsBuddy registers for teachers to reference when they are taking attendance for activities. This is not set up as standard so if you would like this please make a request to email@example.com.
Q: Can SchoolsBuddy import Medical information?
A: Yes, if you provide us with the Medical Batch Method API key we will be able to import medical conditions for your students.
Q: Will teacher's classes be imported directly to SchoolsBuddy?
A: Teacher's classes will be imported for the purpose of creating Parent Teacher Conferences or Communications.
Q: Can you add boarding houses to SchoolsBuddy?
A: Our integration currently supports Academic houses only but a few schools have enquired about using Boarding house on students records. Please visit our Product Portal to vote for this development.
Q: Can you sync student photos to SchoolsBuddy?
A: It is not currently possible to sync student photos from the ISAMS API but please contact the Support Team if you are interested in this and we may be able to offer an alternative workflow.