School Data Sync – Changes to Class Teams Provisioning

30 March, 2020

School Data Sync – Changes to Class Teams Provisioning

Changes to Class Teams Provisioning

Update: We have an update at

Following the closure of Schools worldwide due the Coronavirus – there has been a large uptake in Teams for Education.  With this unprecedented volume of new Team creation, Microsoft are changing the way in which School Data Sync (SDS) works.


As background, a Microsoft Team consists of an Office 365 group, which then has a Team built from it. Although from the user interface they look like the same thing, the Team is actually a separate object in Office 365 The implementation has been that the Team is synchronised from the Office 365 group for any updates.

Prior to the change, the Salamander Integration Suite or Free SDS Utility would create the CSV files needed for SDS and upload them into the Sync Profile. SDS would then use these to create an Office 365 Group for each Class, add the Teacher as the Group Owner, and Students as the Group Members. Then SDS created a Class Team, linked to the Office 365 Group. Any updates from SDS for the class flowed from SDS to the O365 Group then to the Team. 

From 26th March 2020 – SDS will still create the Office 365 Group and add the teacher and students. However, the Microsoft SDS process will no longer create Teams. Teachers will need to manually create their Class Teams and add Students. These can be done by searching for and selecting the Class Office 365 Group, during the class team setup process. You will not need to add students one by one. 

Secondly, the Group will only assist Teachers during the initial setup of their Class Teams. All class changes will need to be maintained within Teams, by the Teacher, from that point forward. Class membership will no longer sync from the Group to Teams.

This change will affect all new SDS implementations, and all new sync profiles created by existing SDS customers. If you have an active sync profile already configured, this change will not impact those sync profiles.

Further details can be found here:

Those customers already using SDS should also be aware that Teachers need to “Activate” the team. Teachers will be added to the Team immediately, allowing them to access and setup the class ahead of the students gaining entry. Once activated, all students will then be converted from pending users within the team to full team members, and the Class Team will then appear and be accessible to students. Further details can be found here:

Richard Willis

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