A4L Community Newsletter - June 2016 June 2016 - Page 2

NEWSLETTER | Issue 32 2

Global Community News

SIF Infrastructure Specification 3.2 ( global ) released by John Lovell , Technology Director

Certification News by John Lovell , Technology Director

A Shift in Scope …

( Continued from page 1 )
After a year of hard work the international Access 4 Learning community is pleased to have released the SIF Infrastructure ( Global ) Implementation Specification 3.2 ! In this release we have striven to make things simpler for the Consumer while minimizing the impacts on the Provider . We hope you can see how the additional features fit our Simple , Secure , Scalable , and Standard mantra .
� Query By Example : Enables intuitive queries in both XML and JSON .
� Named XQuery Parameters :
Now you do not need an XQuery when one is a bad fit .
� Changes Since :
Get just the data that has changed since the last time it was read .
� HEAD : Get just the headers when they contain everything you need .
� Media Types Support Generalized : Move data that is neither XML nor JSON in the standard way .
� Functional Services : Infrastructure flushed out to be readily usable .
Also don ’ t miss out on the new payload documentation generated directly from the XML schemas .

Open Source Direction

As we gear up for xPress Roster Certification ( see page 6 ) we haven ’ t held back bug fixes and other improvements that immediately benefit the SIF Data Model Implementation Specification ( NA ) 3.1 Test Suite . Whether you are gearing up for xPress or ready to test your software you will find a much-matured experience , including :
� Test Session link added for better support .
� CSQ Editor updated to handle larger objects .
� Settings changed to support larger ( CSQ ) files ( up to 2 MB ).
� Scope of testing Spring Beans updated to support more than one object type .
� Testing order reworked to reflect feedback from users .
It only gets better from here ! If you would like your software to benefit from the shared quality assurance of the SIF 3 Test Harness , please consider having your organization become a member of the A4L Community .
If you are interested in participating in global discussions relating to the open source direction for the A4L Community , please get in touch . These discussions will focus on providing strategic positioning and recommendations for all A4L Community open source developments moving forward , and will cover all locales . they can once provided .
I have written here before about us collectively adding to the “ non-core competency ” responsibilities to education agencies and this is now going to add to that list . On top of this is the fact that it is not clear IF additional dollars will be allocated to the local learning institution to provide these additional roles - more with less is a huge worry !
Two years ago a group of A4L Community Leaders held strategic meetings on the direction of the technical work to better support learning at the local level . While we all acknowledged the work of interoperability has not been solved since all the standards groups began in 1997 – it is time for us to “ get back to the basics ”.
I am proud the Leaders have us on this path now by focusing on the local needs , making the technical work of the Community easier to work with via SIF 3x , API developments like xPress and even the Community support being provided through the Privacy Consortium and Policy work underway .
I hope the content of this newsletter lays out that plan – and tells us all we have even MORE work to do to support learning at the local level !