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Working with schemas

A schema is a set of tables in a database that are grouped together based on similar attributes. Each schema associates metadata (that is, information about the data) with its set of tables to describe their functions and interactions. cTools enables a District Administrator to create new schemas that extend out from the core schemas in PowerSchool SMS [Figure 187]. The administrator adds pages [Figure 188], panels [Figure 189], and fields [Figure 190] to these custom schemas in order to enhance features and functions and collect data that is specific to a school district.

There are three categories of schema: A Main schema is always "built-in", meaning it comes predefined with PowerSchool SMS. The administrator can use cTools to edit fields in a Main schema [>>], but cannot add new pages or fields. Adding pages, fields, and functions to PowerSchool SMS requires the creation of either an Extension schema or a Child schema [>>]. An Extension schema’s fields display as regular fields on a page, whereas the fields in a Child schema appear as a grid.

Custom schemas extend out from the Main schema and inherit the auditing properties [>>] and calendar settings [>>] from the Main schema; the administrator can choose to keep these settings or change them in the custom schema. Custom schemas can be locked from changes [>>].

There are some Extension and Child schemas that are built into PowerSchool SMS. Built-in Extension and Child schemas cannot be changed. The administrator can add a custom Extension or Child schema to a Main schema and to a built-in Child schema, but not to a built-in Extension schema. All PowerSchool SMS Main schemas and built-in Extension and Child schemas are locked [>>] to prevent changes; however, some panels and pages in these schemas are not locked [see PowerSchool SMS Optional package >>].

For the Student Demographic feature area [>>], the administrator can make a custom schema available at the district-level or at the school-level. Opting to have the schema available at the district-level means the schema can be viewed by users logged on to PowerSchool SMS with district user permissions or with school user permissions. On the other hand, only users logged on with school user permissions can gain access to a school level schema - the control bar link does not appear in the associated feature area for users logged on with district user permissions.

When you create a custom schema in the District Setup feature area, unlike customizations created for other schemas, which typically show a link in a control bar, custom pages created for the District Setup feature area are accessible via a link under District on the District Setup page.

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