TSDS Validation Tool
What is the Validation Tool?
The TSDS Validation Tool is a an application that users download to their local systems (#1 in the diagram below) to validate their data before loading it to the ODS.
It performs the validations for ALL of the XSD files using validations from Texas Education Data Standards (TEDS) Section 3 and SOME of the TEDS Section 5 (primary key check) validations.
The Validation Tool contains all of the validations that are practical to run at the local level on submissions that may be either partial or complete.
Further validations will be run by the TSDS system itself on the data as it is loaded to the ODS (#2 above), when it is loaded to PEIMS (#3), and when an LEA or ESC marks their PEIMS collection as complete (#4). Some of these validations include cross-category validations that can only be run on full PEIMS submissions; others are specific to the different subcategories and categories of the collection.
All validations used in TSDS are listed in the Texas Education Data Standards in Sections 3 and 5.
To which TSDS software does it apply?
At time of writing, the Validation Tool only applies to PEIMS and the studentGPS™ Dashboards.
What are the benefits of the Validation Tool?
The Validation Tool includes more validations than any previous PEIMS validation software (like the XML Checker). It doesn’t just check XML formatting and field specifications; it also checks PEIMS business rules and some referential integrity.
This means that LEAs can catch errors earlier in the process so they don’t have to repeatedly load to TEA to identify problems—issues can be identified and fixed locally. In addition, the tool will allow users to work on their collections well in advance of the submission deadline, which will reduce the burden on some LEAs.
Finally, by reducing the traffic and storage for erroneous data, the Validation Tool will reduce unnecessary wear and tear and congestion on the TSDS system.
How will it work?
- Users create a TEDS-compliant extract from their local information system and save it locally.
- Then they open the Validation Tool and point it to the extract. Users can validate multiple files for the same school year and collection at the same time.
- The Validation Tool checks the selected extracts for all errors and creates a report that identifies the issues with the data in the extract. Users can print the on-screen report, filter it by error type, or download the complete report as a CSV file.
- Then users fix the data in their local information systems and repeat the process as often as needed.
How can a user install the Validation Tool?
The Validation Tool will be posted for download under the UTILITIES tab in the TSDS Portal. It will be available to all authorized TSDS users with a TEAL login and password and Download Validation Tool permissions.
Minimum system requirements
- Windows XP or higher (32 and 64 bit versions of Windows)
- 1.6 GHZ processor speed
- 3 GB of computer memory
The Validation Tool can be loaded onto individual users' computers and or onto a server as desired. It does not need to be saved in the same place as the LEA's TSDS Staging Area.
When will the Validation Tool be available?
The Validation Tool will be posted for download in 2013.
While only limited production release LEAs or early adopter LEAs will be able to load to TSDS in the 2013-14 school year, other LEAs may wish to download the Validation Tool as well, and use it to test their local information systems’ ability to create TEDS-compliant extracts.
Once installed, the Validation Tool will automatically check for updates whenever it is launched and will inform the user if there is a newer version available in the TSDS system for download; users can choose whether or not to update the tool. It also provides a manual version check that the user can perform at any time. If user chooses not to update the tool, an icon will display in the interface, reminding the user that their tool is not up to date. Although users have no obligation to update the Validation Tool, doing so is strongly recommended for the validations to be accurate, and TEA will only support the latest version of the tool.
The Validation Tool itself is not required for campuses, LEAs, and ESCs, though it is strongly recommended to save users time and effort and to minimize system traffic.