Relevant Documentation

Be familiar with the following documentation:

Best Practices Foreword

Although SMS2 is very robust and in use by many school districts, it is important to use best practices whenever you introduce a new piece of large software into an organization. It is especially important to do this when you are not familiar with the tools in use, such as Docker. This means that you should perform a test installation before any live installation and budget appropriate time for this well before your live release date.

You should create your test installation using non-public virtual machines for both SMS2 and a new installation of Moodle. After your testing is complete, you can destroy both the Moodle and SMS2 installations and restart from scratch for a live installation.

This is the best way to avoid an error-prone launch because it ensures that you know how to perform a bug-free setup, therefore the actual live installation is much more likely to be quick and predictable. It also ensures that staff/teacher users have had a chance to test all features and perform any training without concern about affecting real student data.

Moodle Configuration

You will need to have a Moodle instance setup and running to use SMS. Please see the Moodle website for details on installing and setting up Moodle if you don't already have a functioning instance. Once you have Moodle installed, follow the instructions below to setup SMS integration.

  1. Login to your Moodle installation as a site-wide admin

  1. Go to Site administration -> Plugins -> Authentication -> Manual accounts in the side menu. Change the "Email address" field to "Locked" and save. This disallows users to change their own email and is required for proper SMS account syncing, so do not skip this step.

Note: If you use additional authentication mechanisms, such as Email-based self-registration, you must also ensure the email address is "Locked" in that mechanism's settings as well. In the case of a read-only authorization mechanism, such as LDAP, you must externally guarantee user emails will not change.

  1. Go to Site administration -> Plugins -> Web Services -> Overview in the side menu. This provides a general overview of the steps required to integrate Moodle with an SMS installation.