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This documentation covers the changes made for the Ed-Fi Unifying Data Model v3.0. This version is designed to be evolutionary from the v2.0 model. Many changes in the Ed-Fi Unifying Data Model v3.0 are additive and optional, or affect places in the model not widely used. There are a few impactful, "breaking" changes, but these were generally only made when the impact to the ecosystem would be more severe by not introducing a change.

Enhancements have come via feedback from Ed-Fi community based on real-world implementations. Detailed analysis was performed to ensure style consistency, increase options for extensibility, and to facilitate use of the Ed-Fi Unifying Data Model using alternative loading and data exchange methods.

The sections that follow provide a high-level overview of the changes and enhancements, best practices for implementation, and a list of impactful and substantial data model changes. Type and element changes are shown, along with a rationale for the change and links to additional detail.

Note on Data Standard 2.1

Note that the Alliance released Data Standard v2.1 in 2017, but this data model was never incorporated into API or bulk standards and was not operationalized in the Ed-Fi technology. As a result, no field usage of v2.1 occurred.

For simplicity, this What's New section includes both v2.1 and v3.0 changes in its descriptions and does not distinguish between those in the narrative. The exact version where a change was introduced can be viewed by consulting the Ed-Fi Tracker tickets referenced in this section.


The audience for this documentation are technical professionals and decision makers who have adopted previous versions of the Ed-Fi Unifying Data Model. Those considering adoption of Ed-Fi Data Standards aligned with the Unifying Data Model v3.0 may find this information useful as well.


To gain the most benefit from this information, you should already be familiar with the following knowledge areas:

  • Ed-Fi Alliance, see here
  • Ed-Fi technology, see here
  • Representational state transfer (REST) services, see Chapter 5 here
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML), see here
  • XML Schema (XSD), see here 


Find out more about what's new in v3.0:

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