Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide helps you get up and running quickly with SchoolMessenger Passport by providing you with some basic information. Links to more detailed information and instructions are included where appropriate. You may also open the User/Administrator Guide Table of Contents to browse a complete list of topics (opens in a new browser tab/window).
||Note: This page contains numerous links to articles in the User/Administrator Guide that contain detailed information and instructions. These links include the notation "opens a new article" and clicking them opens the specified content in a new browser tab/window. This page remains open in the same tab/window so you will not lose your place..|
At a very basic level, getting started with SchoolMessenger Passport involves the following five-step procedure:
- Signing In to SchoolMessenger Passport and accessing the Admin Console: See Signing In to SchoolMessenger Passport.
- Creating Organizations: Once you have accessed the Admin Console, you will be able to manage your Organization and create/manage sub-organizations. See Organizations.
- Creating User Accounts: In order to create user accounts, you need to populate Organizations with user account information. Each user will ordinarily be assigned to a Role and optionally a Group. See Users.
- Acquiring Resources (Catalog): The Catalog allows you to activate Resources (such as SSO and Provisioning connectors, online courses and web applications) that students and teachers will use as part of the educational process. See Catalog.
- Configuring and assigning Resources: Once purchased or activated, Resources need to be assigned to Organizations and/or users in order to make sure that the correct people can access and use those Resources. See Resources.
Step 1: Signing In to SchoolMessenger Passport
To sign in to SchoolMessenger Passport and the Admin Console:
- Open a web browser and navigate to https://passport.schoolmessenger.com.
- Enter your username and password in the appropriate fields and then click Sign In. If another Organization in the same hierarchy has another use with the same username, you will need to select the correct Organization using the pull-down menu that appears.
After signing in, you can access the Admin Console by clicking the Admin Console link in the Toolbar.
To sign out of SchoolMessenger Passport or the Admin Console, click the Sign Out button in the Toolbar. See Signing In and Out (opens a new article) for more information.
Step 2: Organizations
As described in Definitions (opens a new article), an Organization is an accredited educational or corporate institution that is configured to access SchoolMessenger Passport. Each Organization forms part of a hierarchical arrangement of parent and child Organizations. For example, a state Department of Education may be configured as a parent Organization with school districts configured as child Organizations. In this example, individual schools would then be child Organizations under their respective school districts. Please see Architecture (opens a new article) for more information about Organization hierarchies.
This section contains basic instructions for adding and editing an Organization using the built-in web functions. Additional links open User/Administrator Guide articles containing additional instructions.
- Adding an Organization (Web Form)
- Adding Organizations (CSV Upload) (opens a new article)
- Editing an Organization
- Managing Administrators (opens a new article)
- Deleting an Organization (opens a new article)
- Creation of Super Admins by SchoolMessenger Admins (opens a new article)
Adding an Organization (Web Form)
By default, at least one Organization will appear in the Admin Console My Organizations screen. There are two ways to add additional Organization(s):
- In bulk by uploading a (CSV) file, as described in CSV Upload (opens a new article). This method is usually best if you need to add multiple Organizations at once.
- Individually, using the web form. This method is usually best if you only need to add one or a few Organizations.
To add an Organization using the web form:
- Select Org Admin>Manage Organizations, and then click the Add Organization icon (plus sign) to open the Add Organization screen.
- Enter the appropriate information in each field, including:
- Name and address
- Parent Organization
- Username and password requirements.
- Whether you want SchoolMessenger Passport to send out notifications with credentials to access the system to your end users or not. SchoolMessenger Passport will not include username / password in notification emails if you synchronize with an external authentication system, such as Microsoft AD, SIS, or an LMS.
- Whether you want users to be able to reset their own passwords.
- Click the green Add Organization button to finish adding the new Organization.
- Select an Administrator for the Organization as described in Managing Administrators (opens a new article).
Editing an Organization
To edit an existing Organization:
- Select Org Admin>Manage Organizations and then click the name of the Organization you want to edit to open the Update Organization screen.
- Modify the Organization as needed, and then click the Update Organization button to save your changes and return to the previous screen.
Please see Editing an Organization (opens a new article) for more information.
Step 3: Users
Users are all of the people who utilize SchoolMessenger Passport at all levels, including Administrators, teachers, non-teaching staff, students, or parents. Teachers, staff, students and parents are also sometimes referred to as end users, because they utilize all of the educational tools available on SchoolMessenger Passport without necessarily having Administrator privileges.
This section contains basic instructions for adding and editing Roles, Groups, and users. Additional links open User/Administrator Guide articles containing detailed instructions:
- Creating Roles and Groups
- Adding Users (Web Form)
- Viewing/Editing a User
- CSV Upload
- The Active Directory Synchronization Screen (opens a new article)
- API Sync (opens a new article)
- SFTP (opens a new article)
- G Suite (opens a new article)
Creating Roles and Groups
The Admin Console allows you to assign and configure resources on both a Role and Group level. Roles and Groups allow you to sort users in a way that makes sense for your Organization(s). For example, you could create a Role called Teachers and then create Groups for Math, Language, Arts, Science, etc. Alternatively, you could create a Role called Algebra 1 Teachers and then create groups called Washington High School, Lincoln High School, etc. Creating Roles and Groups is an essential step because that is how you assign Resources to users, thereby allowing them to access and use those Resources. For example, you could assign a mathematics course to the Math Group in the first example or to the Algebra 1 Role in the second example.
To add a Role (Premium subscription only):
- Select Resources and then click the Add Role button to open the New Role popup.
- Select the Organization to which the Role belongs, enter a unique name for the Role in the Role Name field, and then click OK to close the popup and return to the Passport Configuration screen.
See Creating Roles (opens a new article).
To add a Group:
- Select the Organization to which the Group belongs, select Users>Groups and then click the Add Group icon to open the New Group screen.
- Enter the name and description for the new Group and then click Add Group to return to the Groups screen.
See Creating Groups (opens a new article).
You must add users in the Admin Console before assigning Resources for use. There are three ways to do this:
- In bulk, by uploading a CSV file. See The CSV Upload Screen (opens a new article).
- Synchronizing with an AD server. See The Active Directory Synchronization Screen (opens a new article).
- Individually, using the Add User screen.
To add an individual user using the Admin Console Add User screen:
- Select Users>Users to open the Users screen, and then click the Single icon (person) in the Add User(s) section of the screen to open the New User screen.
- Enter the user's information in this screen, being sure to assign the new user to the correct Organization, Role, and/or Group. See Definitions and Architecture (links open new articles). If you leave the Username and Password fields blank, then SchoolMessenger Passport will automatically generate these based on the algorithm assigned to the Organization within which you are adding that user (see Adding an Organization (Web Form); link opens a new article).
- Click Submit to finish adding the new user and return to the Users screen.
See Adding Users (Web Form) for more information about adding individual users via the Admin Console web interface (link opens a new article).
Viewing/Editing a User
You may edit a user's information by clicking the their name in the Users screen to open the Update User screen for that user with their current information displayed. Edit their information as necessary and then click Submit to save your changes. See Viewing/Editing a User (opens a new article).
The CSV Upload screen allows the bulk creation of students, teachers, groups, and enrollments via CSV file uploads. To add students, non-students, groups, and enrolments via CSV file upload using the Admin Console Manage Data screen:
- Select CSV Upload>Download templates and the open the downloaded files and enter the required information in the corresponding fields.
- Either click Add files to upload files in bulk or select corresponding section of the file uploading tool (e.g. Students for Student.csv file upload) to upload the CSV file(s).
- Click Validate and Upload to test if files being uploaded are correctly formatted.
- Click Verify Changes to review the impact of the file upload.
- Click Commit to Production to confirm the CSV file upload.
See The CSV Upload Screen (opens a new article) for more information about adding individual users via CSV file upload.
Active Directory Sync
The Admin Console allows you to set up synchronization with Microsoft Active Directory. This allows you to create user accounts based on their memberships in Active Directory Organizational Units and/or Groups. To configure AD Sync and set up mappings among OUs/Groups and SSO Roles/Groups using the admin console:
- Select Users>Active Directory Sync to open the Active Directory Synchronization screen.
||Note: You need to have an established connection to at least one AD server. If you do not have AD servers configured and assigned by the administrator of your parent Organization, then you will need to configure AD server synchronization using the Add Server button. You can also use the Add Server button to configure synchronization with additional AD Servers.|
- Click the Add Server button and then complete the UI form to establish synchronization. The list of available servers appears once the connection is set up.
- Use the Server pull-down menu to select the server you want to use for authentication and then click the Add Mapping link.
- The mapping UI allows you to browse the structure of your AD server, select required OU(s) and Group(s), and map them to Roles, Groups and grades within the selected Organization(s).
- Once mapping is set up, users will be able to login into SchoolMessenger Passport using their AD credentials.
See Working with AD Servers (opens a new article) more information about setting up synchronization with Microsoft Active Directory.
Step 4: Catalog
The Catalog is where you search for and purchase (or activate) Resources for use by the users in the Organization(s) you administer (see Catalog; opens a list of articles). The Catalog screen lists the available Resources that can be activated for your Organization or sub-Organization, as follows:
- Organizations with a Standard subscription can activate up to five (5) non-free Resources and an unlimited number of free Resources. Once the Organization has five non-free Resources activated, the Add to Resources buttons for non-free Resources will change to Contact Sales. Sub-organizations will display a red barred circle if they already have five (5) non-free Resources activated.
- Organizations with a Premium subscription can activate as many Resources as they need.
To activate a Resource:
- Select Catalog to open the Catalog screen.
- Click the Add to Resources button for the Resource you want to activate. This opens the Product Details screen for the selected Resource with the Add to Resources tab selected.
- Click the Add Organization(s) button to open the My Organizations popup and check the Organization(s) for which you want to activate the Resource. Click Submit when you have finished making your selection(s).
- Check the checkbox to indicate that you have read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions for the selected Resource.
- Click the Add to Resources button.
Step 5: Resources
Resources must be assigned to users, Groups, and/or Roles before they may be used. This section contains basic instructions for adding and assigning Resources using the built-in web functions. Additional links open User/Administrator Guide articles containing additional instructions.
- Adding a Resource or Bookmark
- Configuring SSO and Provisioning Connectors (opens a new article)
- Editing a Resource/Bookmark (opens a new article)
- Assigning Resources/Bookmarks
- Bulk-Assigning Resources/Bookmarks (opens a new article)
- Removing Resources (opens a new article)
- Deleting Resources (opens a new article)
- Pre-Population of Connectors with third party service credentials
- Configuring Roster Data Integration
Management of Account Provisioning Connectors
Adding a Resource or Bookmark
Once you have added a Resource, you must then assign it to one or more user Role(s) and/or Group(s) in order to grant them access to that Resource. SSO and Provisioning Connectors require additional configuration. A Bookmark is a URL or other Resource that is publicly available as a hyperlink to a web page. The Admin Console allows you to add a Bookmark for folders, users, Roles, or Groups within an Organization.
To add or edit the configuration for an SSO or Provisioning Connector:
- In the Passport Configuration screen, locate the SSO or Provisioning Connector that you want to configure, check the checkbox at the top left of that Resource, and then click the Configure link at the top of the Services section to open the Properties screen for the selected SSO or Provisioning Connector.
- Configure the SSO or Provisioning Connector as described in the documentation included with that Resource.
- Click Save at the bottom of the Properties screen to save your changes and return to the Passport Configuration screen.
To add a Bookmark:
- In the Passport Configuration screen, select the Organization for which you want to add the Bookmark using the Organization pull-down menu and then click the Add Bookmark button in the Service table.
- Enter a name and the complete URL to the Bookmark in the appropriate fields, add an image (if desired), and then click OK to finish adding the Bookmark.
To assign one or more Resource(s) and/or Bookmark(s) to one specific user, Role, or Group within the Organization:
- Select the Organization for which you want to add the Resource(s) or Bookmark(s), and then select the user, Role, or Group to which you want to assign the Resource(s) or Bookmark(s).
- Locate the Resource(s) or Bookmark(s) that you want to add.
- To assign the selected Resource(s) or Bookmark(s) to a single user Role or Group, click the Assign link. To bulk-assign the Resource(s) or Bookmark(s) to multiple user Roles/Groups, see Bulk-Assigning Resources/Bookmarks (opens a new article).
- Select the folder in which you want to place the selected Resource(s). You may also have to enter some additional information, such as selecting the Role to which the Resource will be assigned.
Individual end users or end users who belong to the selected Role or Group will now be able to access and use the assigned Resource(s) when they log into SchoolMessenger Passport.
A large Organization or hierarchy of Organizations may find themselves with many different users, Roles, or Groups that each need access to the same Resources. Conversely, they may have Resources that need to be made accessible to numerous Groups and/or Roles. Syndication eliminates the need to repetitively enter the same configurations to achieve the needed results by allowing you to:
Create a single set of folders.
Assign a set of Resources to that folder.
Copy the folder and its contents (and the configuration settings for those contents) to numerous users, Groups, or Roles at once.
You may syndicate one or more folder(s) to selected users, Roles, or Groups, across your Organization or across the sub-Organizations underneath yours, if any (see Syndication). You may also syndicate Resources across one or more Organizations.
Remove a Resource when one or more of the user Groups and/or Roles no longer needs access to that Resource. The Resource remains activated; if it is a paid Resource and your Organization has a Standard subscription, then the Resource still counts toward your limit of five (5) paid Resources.
To remove a Resource:
Select Resources to open the Passport Configuration screen.
Use the Organization and User Roles & Groups pull-down menus to select the specific user Group/Role from which to remove the Resource.
In the Group/Role section, locate the Resource(s) that you want to remove, and then check the checkbox(es) at the top left of the Resource(s).
Click the Remove link.The Confirm popup appears.
Click OK to confirm the removal
Deleting one or more Resource(s) permanently removes the selected Resource(s) from the Passport Configuration screen. The affected Resource(s) can no longer be accessed by any users. This is a permanent action. If you deleted a Resource than you can activate it from catalog repeatedly.
To permanently delete one or more Resource(s):
Select Resources to open the Passport Configuration screen.
In the Group/Role section, locate the Resource(s) that you want to delete, and then check the checkbox(es) at the top left of the Resource(s).
Click the Delete link. The Confirm popup appears.
Click OK to confirm the deletion.
Pre-population of Connectors with third party service credentials
Third party service credentials can now be imported in bulk. An Org Admin can upload credentials in CSV file format using the "CSV Upload" tab and selecting the relevant data scheme.
Configuring Roster Data Integration
For educational Organizations, the Roster Data Integrations screen allows you to:
View Roster Data Integration services (activated from the Catalog, as described in Activating Resources and Adding a New Integration; links open new articles) for Partners or Ecosystem Partners that can access your roster information, using API calls.
Manage access permissions for each service.
View access history for each service.
Activate/deactivate service access to roster data
Clicking Manage Permissions for a service opens the Manage Permissions popup for that service.
Management of Account Provisioning Connectors
Selecting Integrations > Account Provisioning Connectors opens the Account Provisioning Connectors screen, which allows School Administrators to review the list of Provisioning Connectors activated for their organizations and sub organizations.