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ZuluDesk Informational Series:
Apple implemented the concept of Locations in Apple School Manager (ASM) which allows educational institutions to easily expand the use of Apple School Manager throughout their organizations. Although Locations typically designates different physical locations, it can also be used to logically group programmatic groups such as Special Education.
Locations in ASM
This allows educational institutions to logically divide up users, devices, classes, and app purchasing
When a Student Information Management System (SIS) is integrated into Apple School Manager (ASM), locations will automatically be created during the synchronization process. In larger deployments, having separate locations is critical since they subdivide your organization into buildings or logical units that exist in your SIS, thus making it easier to locate and organize individuals.
Each school or building that exists in the SIS will show up as a different location inside of Apple School Manager.
The tight integration of ZuluDesk Management System (ZMS) and ASM means that all locations, students, classes, and instructors that exist in ASM will be created automatically within ZMS by simply synchronizing ZMS and ASM.
How To: ASM/ZMS setup and settings
The most important thing in keeping your deployment organized is to make sure there is only one “source of truth” for your user accounts, classes, and locations. The source of truth will be the one source that is kept current and is used to populate data out to all other systems. Typically, that source of truth will be your SIS. Since your SIS populates all the information into your ASM instance and then in turn populates your ZMS instance, it is critical to correctly set up your synchronization between ZMS and ASM.
Apple School Manager: If supported (Apple Support Article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207409), the preferred way to sync the SIS/ASM is to directly integrate the SIS into ASM. This way any updates done in the SIS will update automatically (i.e. student schedule changes, students changing schools, etc.). Alternatively, if your SIS is not supported with direct integration, you can export the information and import it into your ASM instance via SFTP. Whichever method you decide to use, make sure to stick with it since it can have a big impact on whether the data remains consistent.
Direct integration is the best way to make sure everyone stays up to date. Doing an SFTP export from the SIS to import into ASM also works when direct integration is not possible. In this case, it is important to set a schedule for updating ASM so that all interested parties know when updates should be expected.
ZuluDesk: Since ZuluDesk gets all of its information about locations from the SIS via ASM, it is important to understand the ASM sync settings inside of the ZMS. These settings can be found in ZMS under Organization → Settings → Apple School Manager. The sync settings found in ZMS will dictate how locations are mapped from Apple School Manager to ZMS.
Classes and Locations
Keep in mind that location information is only mapped from ASM to ZMS with relation to classes. In order to have students, instructors, and classes map correctly from ASM to ZMS, you will need to make sure every student and instructor that you want to show up in ZMS is in a class in ASM.
Synchronizing all locations: If you would like to replicate all the location mappings inside of ZSM exactly as they appear in ASM, make sure to check “Synchronize all locations.”
Synchronizing some of your locations: By unchecking the "Synchronize all locations" box, you will have access to change the way locations are mapped from ASM into ZMS. For example, if you have integrated your SIS into ASM but only need to deploy Apple devices to a subset of locations, you can choose not to map locations from ASM into ZuluDesk. This can be accomplished by going to the location that you want to exclude and choosing "Do not synchronize" from the drop down menu beside that location’s name. This will cause any instructors, classes, or students associated with this location to not be synchronized with ZMS.
In addition to excluding locations from being mapped, you can also map any or all ASM locations to one location in ZMS. Simply choose the same location from each locations drop down.
Mapping non-teaching staff to a location: If there are individuals that are not directly associated with a class that you would like to synchronize to ZMS, you can synchronize all those accounts at one time by picking a location from the drop down menu labeled "Location to use for syncing staff personnel." Most of the time these accounts will be associated to the top level location since that is typically the administration building.
Keep in mind that any account not associated with a class in ASM will be considered staff personnel within ZMS.