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RM Unify Group Sync for Microsoft 365 education classes
Published Date : 05 Feb 2021   Last Updated : 08 Jun 2021   Content Ref: TEC7627933  





Symptoms

RM Cloud Service Delivery can assist you with your MIS Sync installation and Microsoft® 365™ federation. For further information, please speak to your Sales representative on 0845 070 0300 or email networks@rm.com, quoting this article.



Procedure

As an establishment with RM Unify MIS Sync enabled, it is possible to sync your teaching groups, year groups and registration groups from your MIS with Microsoft 365 to create education classes. These classes can then used to create teams in Microsoft Teams.

The huge benefit of using classes (as opposed to Microsoft 365 Groups) to provision your teams is that the class and team membership is automatically kept in sync with your MIS via RM Unify Group Sync. This type of sync does not happen automatically with Microsoft 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams.

After syncing the MIS group to Microsoft 365, RM Unify will set the education class up as follows:

Group type in RM Unify

Microsoft 365 class owners*
(These are the admins, with management rights for the Class.)

Microsoft 365 class members

Year group RM Unify admin(s) selected on the Group Sync Settings page. Students in the year.
Registration group** RM Unify admin(s) selected on the Group Sync Settings page. Students in the registration group as per the MIS.
Teaching group† RM Unify admin(s) selected on the Group Sync Settings page, plus the registered Teaching Staff*** on record in the MIS. Students in the teaching group as per the MIS.

* If the class is created by clicking the Action button in the Management Console, the logged on RM Unify user will also be set as a class owner.
** Might be known as 'Tutor group' in your MIS.
*** Except for Glow schools using 'SEEMiS' (where all Staff group members will be made class owners), this will be a single Staff user/owner. Additional class owners can be added via the M365 Admin centre.
† Teaching groups are not extracted for the ScholarPack MIS.

Note: The RM Unify Management Console displays student membership of MIS groups. It does not display teacher membership of MIS groups.


How RM Unify Group Sync works

RM Unify Group Sync for Microsoft 365 Classes works by syncing MIS group and membership data into M365. If members of a group change in your MIS and RM Unify, e.g. a student moves in or out of a group, an overnight schedule automatically syncs those changes to M365. You can resync a class's membership at any time from the RM Unify Management Console by clicking Actions, 'Resync Microsoft 365 members'. Similarly, if you want to remove the class from M365, click the 'Delete Class from Microsoft 365' option from Actions in the RM Unify Management Console.

If you wish to sync your school's year groups, registration groups and teaching groups from your MIS to Microsoft 365, you must first sync your MIS with RM Unify. To set this up:

  1. Log on to RM Unify as an RM Unify administrator.
  2. Click Management Console, MIS Sync Settings.
  3. Follow the steps to install Create mode or Link mode. For more information, refer to TEC5427652 in the Other Useful Articles section below.

To automatically create classes in Microsoft 365
  1. Log on to RM Unify as an RM Unify administrator.
  2. Click Management Console, Groups.
  3. At the top of the page, click Settings, 'Set up groups sync to apps'.
  4. On the 'Automatically sync MIS groups into Apps' page, select the MIS group types that you want to automatically create in Microsoft 365.

    If the groups are not selectable and you see a highlighted message (as per the screenshot below), you need to first enable the Microsoft 365 APIs to allow automatic group syncing:
    1. On the current window, click the 'Enable this in the Support Info section of App Details' link to be taken to a Microsoft 365 tile in the App Library.
    2. Under the Support Info section, in the ACTION REQUIRED box, click 'Click here'.
    3. Click Enable Microsoft 365 APIs.
    4. Log on to Microsoft 365 as a global administrator, if prompted.
    5. On the 'RM Unify needs permission to' window, click Accept.
  5. Enter a group 'name identifier' if required, to include in the class names in Microsoft 365 (the default will be your school's DfE code).
  6. Select which RM Unify admin users you want to additionally set as a group owner of new classes. Teaching staff members of teaching groups are automatically set as class owners.
  7. Click Save.

Each night, new MIS groups of the selected type(s) will be automatically created in Microsoft 365.

API permissions required for Group Sync

To manually create classes in Microsoft 365
  1. Log on to RM Unify as an administrator or teaching staff user.
  2. Click Management Console, Groups.
  3. Find the group* you wish to sync with Microsoft 365 and click Actions.
  4. Click 'Create Class in Microsoft 365'.
    Note: if the option to Create is greyed out, you will need to enable the Microsoft 365 APIs, as per the screenshot above.

    The Create menu option is also not available on role groups or non-MIS year groups as these are already automatically created in Microsoft 365.
  5. Edit the class name if required and add a description (these will be visible in Microsoft 365).
  6. Indicate the 'Required lifetime' of the class. This helps the Microsoft 365 administrators to know how the classes are being used. There is no automatic deletion of classes.
  7. Click OK.

It takes up to half an hour to send the group to Azure Active Directory and for it to appear within the Microsoft 365 apps to use.



Checks

Creating class teams in Microsoft Teams

Once the classes have been provisioned by Microsoft (which can take up to 30 minutes), they can be used to create class teams. Please see TEC7699072 in the 'Other Useful Articles' section below.



More Information

What is the class naming convention?

When RM Unify receives MIS group data, it creates classes using the following naming convention:

<MISGroupName>_Class <NameIdentifier> <MISAcademicYearStart>, where MISGroupName and MISAcademicYearStart come from your MIS and NameIdentifier is set in the RM Unify Management Console.

Here are some naming outcomes examples in RM Unify and Microsoft 365:

MIS
group type
MIS
group name
Name identifier

Academic
YearStart
in MIS

Default domain in Microsoft 365* RM Unify group name Microsoft 365 class name Microsoft 365 class email address
Year 13 1234567 01/09/19 school.onmicrosoft.com 13 13_Class [1234567][2019]  13.class.1234567.2019@school.onmicrosoft.com
Teaching 2S/DT1 1234567 01/09/19 school.onmicrosoft.com 2SDT1 2SDT1_Class [1234567][2019] 2SDT1.class.1234567.2019@school.onmicrosoft.com
Registration 5L 1234567 04/09/20 school.onmicrosoft.com 5L 5L_Class [1234567][2020] 5L.class.1234567.2020@school.onmicrosoft.com
Teaching Mon Ch 1234567 04/09/20 school.onmicrosoft.com Mon Ch
Mon-Ch_Class [1234567][2020] Mon-Ch.class.1234567.2020@school.onmicrosoft.com

* To view your default domain, sign into the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre as a global administrator and click Setup, Domains.


Can I change the Microsoft 365 class name and/or primary email address?
Yes, a class owner or administrator can change the class name and/or primary email address in Microsoft 365. However, there is no write-back feature, so the class will retain its original group name and email address when viewed in the RM Unify Management Console. Future membership and class changes will continue to sync from RM Unify to Microsoft 365 but none will revert the class name and/or email address to their original value. It is possible to change the 'Name identifier' attribute used to create new Microsoft 365 classes but this will not retrospectively update any classes that have already been created. As an RM Unify Super Admin, navigate to the RM Unify Management Console, Groups, 'Set up group sync to apps' and edit the 'Name identifier'.

Can I add additional owners and members directly to Microsoft 365 Classes?
  • New owners added directly to a Microsoft 365 class are retained, even on the next group sync or update from RM Unify.
  • New members added directly to a Microsoft 365 class will be removed on the next group sync or update from RM Unify.

  • Is it possible to add groups as members of an Microsoft 365 Class?
    Microsoft do not currently allow this (at time of writing). Only individual members can be added to Microsoft 365 classes. Driving group membership from the school's MIS via RM Unify, therefore, makes management of Microsoft 365 classes that much easier.


    Other Useful Articles

    RM Unify Group Sync for Microsoft 365 groups (TEC5285553)
    Using RM Unify provisioned Microsoft 365 Classes to create class teams (TEC7699072)
    RM Unify MIS Sync (TEC5427652)

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    Document Keywords: sync, o365, office365, msoffice365, synch, educlass, edu class, ms teams, teams, provisioning, provisioned, creating, created, TEC7627933, m365


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