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Using the Validation Tool for the First Time

This section provides a step-by-step guide to using the Ed-Fi Validation Tool. The steps can be summarized as:

Each step is outlined in detail below.

Step 1: Register an Account 

In order to begin using the validation tool you need to register with the site:


 Registering an Account

  • Enter the information requested in the form and click on the Register button. 
  • This action will send an message to the e-mail address you provided on the form with a link to activate your account. Open the e-mail and click on the provided link to activate your registration. 

  • Your account should now be activated and you can navigate to the Validation Tool dashboard to begin testing. 

Step 2: Create and Run a Test 

Creating and running a validation test consists of selecting the appropriate Ed-Fi schema version and a validation use case, uploading one or more XML test data files, and executing the test. The steps are detailed below.

Initial Setup

First, you will perform the initial test setup:

  • Select the Create New Test button. 
  • Each time you create a test you will be presented with a data privacy agreement page that you need to acknowledge before uploading data.[1]

  • Review the agreement and select Continue to proceed.

Next, follow the instructions in the 3-step New Test wizard. The steps are outlined below.


Wizard Step 1 - Test Details

Step 1 of the wizard allows you to set basic information about the test.


  • Provide the information requested for the test:
    • Give your test a name (it doesn't have to be unique)
    • Select a version of the Ed-Fi Data Standard against which you intend to validate
    • Select a validation use case
  • Once you have selected the Ed-Fi schema version and a validation use case, information regarding what is being validated is displayed:
    • Validation Use Case Description: Provides a description of the validation use case.
    • Interchange Schemas: Identifies the Ed-Fi interchange schemas that are expected to be included in the set of test data files to be uploaded.
    • Validation Rules: Displays a list of validation rules that are applied to the validation use case in addition to schema validation.
  • Click on the Continue button to proceed.

Wizard Step 2 - Upload Files

Step 2 of the wizard allows you to specify the files to be tested.

  • Click on the Add Files button to upload XML test files.
  • You can upload one or more files. The validation tool places restrictions on the size of individual files and number of files that can be uploaded for each test.[2] At a minimum, you must upload at least one XML file for each interchange schema listed in the validation use case. 
  • When you have uploaded all the test files, click on the Continue button to proceed to the next step. You can also click the Back button at any time if you want to change information entered in Step 1.

Wizard Step 3 - Review and Confirm

Step 3 of the wizard allows you to review your test parameters and run your test.

  • Confirm that you have uploaded all the files you want to include in this test. You can click on the Back button if you want to add or remove data files. 
  • When you are ready to run the test, click on the Start Test button.

The test will start running and you can view the status of the test in the dashboard view. Once a validation test run has been completed, the test results are logged while the data files are deleted from the server.  


Step 3: Review Test Results

The status of previous tests that have been run, and the status of a test currently being run, is displayed in the Status column of the test listing on the dashboard view:

Viewing Test Status

The status of a test is reported by the following indicators:

  • Grey (running): indicates that the test is still running.
  • Green (passed): indicates that the test successfully passed all the validation tests.
  • Red (failed): indicates that one or more validation tests failed. Click on Test Name for the relevant test to review the detailed results.

Viewing Test Results

Selecting a test that has run to completion provides a detailed view of the validation tests that were executed and a Pass or Fail result for each. You can select a specific validation test to get details on a failed test.


Examples of validation failure messages:
  •  The figure below shows an example of a validation rule error, where the test did not include one or more data files that reference the interchange schema called "InterchangeAssessmentMetadata." 

  • The figure below shows an example of a XML data file with a schema validation error, where the XML data file includes an element that is not defined in the referenced Ed-Fi schema.

For more information about what to do if your test data is failing one or more validation tests, please ask questions online at or join the Ed-Fi Data Standard discussion at


[1] This step is necessary to ensure that no personally identifiable information protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or other personal information is uploaded to the Ed-Fi Validation Tool. While the Validation Tool connects securely to transfer files and does not store data files, users of the system should nevertheless use every precaution to ensure the privacy of student data.

The first release of the validation tool restricts the size of individual test files to 150MB each and the total number of files per test to 20. These restrictions may be adjusted in future releases of the tool. 


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