A newer version of the Ed-Fi ODS / API is now available. See the Ed-Fi Technology Version Index for a link to the latest version.

Using the Sandbox Administration Portal

Before you integrate with a production Ed-Fi ODS / API platform, it's useful to test your client application against a non-production instance containing test data. This ensures that your application can correctly exchange data with the API. This kind of sandbox testing environment is typically isolated from production data, which ensures that your testing doesn't impact the integrity of the information in the production system.

The Ed-Fi ODS / API comes with a Sandbox Administration Portal. Most platform hosts expose this portal to client developers. The Admin Portal allows users to create and manage testing environments that are completely isolated from production data.

Creating New Users

Typically, creating new users is performed by platform administrators on live systems. It’s included here as a reference for developers and those interested in how the platform is administered.

By logging into the Sandbox Administration Portal using an Admin account, platform hosts can provision access to vendors to manage their sandboxes. 

Figure 1. Creating new users using Administration Portal

Upon completion of "Create Account" form, the Sandbox Administration Portal will create and deliver an account activation e-mail. The e-mail settings are located in the appsettings.json (appsettings.development.json in case of development environment) file of the EdFi.Ods.SandboxAdmin website. By default, the e-mails are placed in the C:\Temp\AdminConsole\Artifacts\Emails directory on the computer where the Admin site is running. The default setting is:

  "MailSettings": {
        "Smtp": {
            "UserName": "Bingo",
            "From": "noreply@ed-fi.org",
            "SpecifiedPickupDirectory": {
                "PickupDirectoryLocation": "C:\\Temp\\AdminConsole\\Artifacts\\Emails"
            "DeliveryMethod": "SpecifiedPickupDirectory",
            "Password": "Tingo"

SMTP e-mail settings may be used to configure the settings to use an SMTP relay. See here for more details.

Obtaining Access and Setting Up Sandboxes

Access to the Sandbox Administration Portal is by invite only. In the invitation e-mail, a link will be provided that will direct you to set a password for the account. Upon logging in, you will see the existing sandboxes associated with your login along with the application key and secret.

Figure 2. Sandbox Administration Portal with configured sandboxes

The Add Sandbox button allows you to create a new sandbox environment with or without sample data. A sandbox with sample data includes standard lookup data (e.g., grade level types, attendance event types) as well as anonymized sample data (e.g., students, schools, grades, assessments scores). A sandbox created without sample data will still include the lookup data.

Figure 3. Adding a sandbox via the Administration Portal

Clicking the Gear icon brings up features like Delete and the ability to change the assigned application Secret. One useful feature included in that menu is Get Token, which performs the OAuth authentication steps using the selected application's credentials and returns an access token. This access token code can be used, for example, in the Swagger documentation or to make sample calls to the ODS / API sandbox as shown in the Authentication section of this documentation. 

Figure 4. Getting an access token using an application's credentials

Access to Production

Generally speaking, platform hosts will use a sandbox environment to verify that a client application can integrate successfully with their instance of the ODS / API platform. Once integration testing is completed and verified, contact the platform host for instructions on connecting to production data. Since the data in a production platform is sensitive, platform hosts generally use a secure means of communication (e.g., encrypted e-mail, telephone call, secure site), to supply connection information for production data systems.1

1 The ODS / API Admin App is the tool provided with the ODS / API platform code for configuring access to production.