The interoperability and integration landscape in the Australian education sector is changing. In the next 3-5 years the CIOs of all education jurisdictions see a significant shift in their role in the market. This shift will be for education jurisdictions to act as information hubs, exposing student, staff and school data to trusted third party developers, with the expectation that the market will provide products of value to schools that make use of that information. Where the market provides applications and services based on the information supplied by the hub, there will be an expectation that those applications and services are able to return information about user interactions to the hub.

A simple example would be an online system that provides assessment services. The system provider, once suitably authenticated, can use identity information from the hub to automatically provision user accounts in the assessment system for school users. Since the identity information has been provided from the hub, the users need only login to school systems once as their credentials will also grant them access to the online system. Students and teachers can then interact with the online assessment system. Information captured during that interaction, such as student test results, can be returned from the online system to the hub. From the hub jurisdictions can return data to schools, but can also aggregate information within business intelligence systems to create analytics at a regional or system level to support policy making.

The chosen interoperability framework to support this hub integration pattern is SIF 3. SIF has been endorsed for use by all jurisdictions, and support of SIF implementations is provided by NSIP. The HITS service is part of NSIPs commitment to helping all parties in the hub integration pattern to be confident and successful in their SIF 3 implementations.

What is HITS

The Hub Integration Testing Service is an NSIP provided facility that allows application vendors and jurisdictional teams to work with a reference model of an information hub based on SIF 3. The service is designed to model the interactions that jurisdictions and vendors will need for simple and complex integrations. The service will allow existing SIF developers and teams that have not yet worked with SIF to become familiar with the mechanics of SIF 3.

The set of interactions supported by the HITS service are developed in conjunction with jurisdictional stakeholders. This means that HITS acts as an assurance test harness for developers who wish to interact with jurisdictional hubs. If development teams can fulfil the use cases that HITS supports, then they can be confident that their products will work correctly when deployed into a jurisdiction’s production environment.

Get Integrated Faster

HITS allows jurisdiction and vendor teams to achieve a level of technical assurance that interoperability will succeed, without having to undertake this discovery process as part of a formal project. HITS itself is a hosted service that allows data interactions and which presents SIF and other suitable endpoints to allow developers to test their system interactions. HITS comes with sample client applications, full developer and administrator documentation and a rich set of credible synthetic school data  to make testing and development as meaningful as possible.

HITS will be fully supported by the NSIP team, and will be available under an open source license. 


HITS Interactions

Simple Data Pull: A simple authorised connection allows the client system retrieve data about a school.

Simple Data Push: Having acquired information from the hub, the client can update the data and send it back to the jurisdiction.

Automated Provisioning: Jurisdiction supplies hub with user identity information. A vendor application is approved for use in schools. The approved application is granted access to the user identity information, and uses this to create user accounts within its own system.

REST Integration: HITS supports integration of services that are not SIF-enabled. By converting seamlessly between SIF and REST/JSON, a huge range of online services can be integrated to the hub.

Online Assessment and Reporting: HITS is a testing and assurance suite for developers preparing their products and services to support national and local online assessments such as NAPLAN Online. HITS will provide a common approach to providing identity data and returning results,   simplifying   interoperability based on national standards.

Other Use Cases: HITS is driven by the needs of the education sector with new use cases being supported over time.

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