The most popular request at the 2018 Ed-Fi Summit’s tech town hall was for an option to run the Ed-Fi ODS / API on an open source database solution. Historically, the Operational Data Store (ODS) database has been developed on Microsoft SQL Server, matching the preference of educational agencies that rely on heavily discounted licensing terms for on-premises operation of SQL Server. The advent of cloud-based hosting has changed that dynamic, especially since Microsoft ended the “bring your own license” (BYOL) practice.
One implication of that change is that educational agencies wishing to use SQL Server may need to pay full price when using non-Azure managed services for SQL Server; however, even with BYOL, managed services with SQL Server does cost more than other database platforms. So, with the help of an Ed-Fi Special Interest Group, we narrowed the field to one alternative database platform (for now…).
Enter Project Roadrunner
Enter Project Roadrunner: refactoring the Ed-Fi tech stack to support the increasingly popular PostgreSQL open source relational database management system.
The final version number and product name for PostgreSQL support are yet to be determined, hence the use of a codename. The initial release will support Data Standard v3.1. Coding has just begun; to follow the development progress in Tracker, see the version reports:
Implementing on PostgreSQL will be a new adventure for most of the development team. The Alliance has already received offers of assistance in reviewing and tuning the databases from AWS and Learning Tapestry. Others who are interested in previewing and/or beta testing should reach out to email@example.com.
We love Microsoft SQL Server and the Ed-Fi Tech Team will continue to rely on it on a daily basis. At the same time, we’re thrilled to bring a second database platform option to the community, providing cost and platform flexibility to enable more districts to seamlessly and securely connect their educational data systems.
For more information on the project scope and application design, please see Project Roadrunner: PostgreSQL Support for the Ed-Fi ODS / API in Tech Docs.
Roadrunner photo © Chris Evers, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Modified from the original.