Username Generation and SIS Integration - how to begin?
We're a rather low-tech district that's rather quickly getting into more and more technology. We have netbook carts, thin clients via RDP, etc etc. all coming in at a very fast pace in the last year or so.
We've never offered our students Active Directory accounts, and the Google Apps setup at the High School was a straight import from our SIS system with no active data links of any kind. Our SIS is hosted by X2 Development, now owned by Follett, I believe, and that is in the cloud, so we don't have a direct link to their data center (i.e. no ODBC, but an FTP file drop might be an option)
I'm looking into the best methods of automating username and password generation for student users. I'd rather make this as automated as possible, since we don't always have a lot of manpower to handle data entry of this type. My initial thought was to have the SIS automatically generate a username field on their end (and password, possibly based on one of the student IDs or Lunch codes) and integrate that into the UI for teachers and staff to be able to know students' login information very easily. Then, the data would somehow be linked to our Active Directory, possibly via some manual interaction with FTP uploads or a 3rd party sync app, creating new students automatically and possibly disabling those who have left us. Google Apps Directory Sync, which we already use for our staff GApps accounts, would do the Google part, which would be simple if the passwords are also stored plaintext in one of the AD fields, which shouldn't be an issue.
Does this make sense, or are there other methods that some of you use that are simpler or more complete? I'd like to do these accounts correctly, as this will either be all Middle School and High School students, or every single one of our students.
Thanks in advance!