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This section provides an overview of the new features in v3.4 of the Ed-Fi ODS / API. A comprehensive list of all changes is in the Release Notes section. 

The changes include:

Table of Contents

Detail about each change follows.

Improvements & Enhancements

This section briefly describes the new features and enhancements built into the ODS / API v3.4 and provides links to additional documentation.

Data Model Changes

ODS / API v3.4 implements Ed-Fi Data Standard v3.2bThere are no breaking API or JSON model changes accompanying this release. However, platform hosts should be aware that there are some breaking database changes. Refer to How To: View API and Database changes in the latest ODS / API Release to see the full set of API and database changes in this implementation. 

The data model changes introduced in Data Standard v3.2b can also be reviewed in the context of API specification updates:

MetaEd IDE v2.2

Implementing Extensions extensions in ODS / API v3.4 requires implementers to update to MetaEd IDE v2.2.

PostgreSQL Backed ODS / API

In December 2019, Ed-Fi issued a release candidate binary-release of the Ed-Fi ODS / API, targeting PostgreSQL. This release was provided as a separate offering (code named Roadrunner) apart from the core ODS / API release. ODS / API v3.4 brings PostgreSQL support into the core platform. It is still targeted primarily at local education agencies, with the following scope of features:

  • Core API
  • Swagger UI
  • Enrollment Composite
  • Change Query

With the above set of features, this release takes ODS / API PostgreSQL support to parity with Ed-Fi ODS / API cloud offering. Other significant additions are:

  • MetaEd-generated PostgreSQL database scripts via PostgreSQL plugin.
  • Development environment setup scripts and Deployment scripts for PostgreSQL.
  • PostgreSQL versions of Populated and Minimal Templates.

The following features are not supported or tested for PostgreSQL:

  • Server-side bulk load
  • Sandboxing
  • Extensions
  • Profiles
  • Unique ID System Integration
  • Code Generation (a local SQL server instance is required for code-generation in this release)

See Getting Started - Installation Steps for details on setting up a PostgreSQL-backed ODS / API. 

District Segmentation 

The ODS / API allows several partitioning strategies. A "Sandbox" strategy can be used for non-production use cases where separate ODS is configured for each key/secret. A "Shared Instance" strategy can be used where these is no partitioning. A "Year Specific" strategy can be used where data for each school year is kept in a separate ODS. See Extensibility & Customization for different partitioning strategies.

With this release, the ODS / API will also allow a "By District" partitioning strategy to support district collaboratives that would like to keep each district's data in separate ODS. See District-Specific ODS Configuration for details. Runtime configuration of the API and ODS deployment options have been added for these partitioning strategies.

Database Deployment and Upgrade

In previous ODS / API releases, there was some overlap of functionality between the Database Deploy Tool and the Migration Utility. Specifically, the Database Deploy Tool could be used to upgrade the ODS / API in certain nonbreaking model change scenarios. However this caused confusion in tooling support and also delayed ODS / API alignment with upcoming standard changes due to the need for manual generation of upgrade scripts.

From this release forward, the Database Deploy Tool will support fresh deployments and extensions, and feature deployments for the latest version of the ODS. The Migration Utility, which is released independently from ODS / API, will support upgrading an existing ODS instance to latest version. 

Bulk Load Client and Deprecation of Server-Side Bulk Load 

With ODS / API v3.3 release, the Alliance  announced deprecation of  server-side bulk loading of XML files. While the functionality is still supported in the ODS / API v3.4 release, we intend to remove support for Bulk Load Services and the Console Bulk Loader in a future release. Therefore, implementers who depend on either of these components should plan on switching to the Bulk Load Client utility. The Bulk Load Client has been enhanced in preparation of  removal of server-side bulk loading. 

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