LISS is an interoperability standard designed for K-12 schools, to connect Timetable applications to and potentially other applications to Student Information Systems / School Admin Systems. It is a web-based protocol based on XmlRpc. The goal is that the combined system should act semantically as if it was a single system, i.e. with changes propagated in near-realtime, even if there are different look and feels in use.
An excellent overview article on LISS / SIF has been published by Education Technology Solutions, issue 42. or p1, p2, p3.
The original SIF (Schools Interoperability Framework) did not address the needs of timetabling applications as used in Australian and European schools. SIF-AU is an additional protocol designed in Australia to include timetabling concepts. LISS has the same aims as SIF-AU but aims to be much easier to implement and therefore can be used where the overhead of the SIF framework is not required.
We consider that SIF is so complex that it constitutes a barrier to entry to many software companies. Whereas SIF requires a ZIS (Zone Integration Server) to be the hub of all communication between software systems, a LISS installation has the SIS (Student Information System) as the hub and other software (timetabling software, behaviour management, parent-teacher night schedulers etc.) are envisaged as spokes, connecting directly to the SIS. This eliminates the need for the complexity of "SIF-agents" running alongside applications to talk to the ZIS, and allows non-web-based software and software which does not run 24x7 to be used without any extra "agents".
For the past 2 decades, many timetabling software applications have been happily interoperating with SIS's using .csv files. LISS is not very different to the idea of putting these .csv files into a web service.
Click here for the latest version.
Also of interest is the "LISS Development toolkit" - a simple Windows .exe program which acts as a LISS client, whereby RPC calls can be triggered at will using a sample dataset. We don't have a LISS test server yet available to the public. <?>
There is no formal process for achieving compliance. In order to advertise "LISS Compliance" you must implement the basic features, or whatever subset of them your customers will expect from you. There is a bit more info on what is expected of you in section 1.4 of the specifications.
LISS is managed by an informal group of Australian software vendors and stakeholders. The LISS process began in 2010, but building on experience gained over the previous 3+ years (web services) and 10+ years (flat-file interoperability). We welcome any input from stakeholders - send an email to any of the contacts below.
The current members of the LISS association are: