Pinwheel DME

SwiftData’s Pinwheel DME (Data Management Engine) is a custom-tailored data management solution for higher education and enterprise organizations of any size. Pinwheel DME eliminates the need for manual updates or “one size fits all” data importers to manage your disparate campus auxiliary systems. Using a DME like Pinwheel reduces the workload of your system admins and eliminates costly human errors. Plus your institution can better leverage the investments made in your third-party systems.

Pinwheel DME consists of three major components: the Pinwheel DME Database; the Pinwheel Client Program; the Vendor Plug-In.

The Pinwheel DME Database is a large data warehouse that stores all incoming data and updates the data on a continuous schedule. Pinwheel DME processes and manipulates the data based on your custom requirements. The DME then sends the manipulated data to the appropriate third-party systems in their respective required formats.

Most third-party system databases have a single purpose like transaction processing or door access. SwiftData built Pinwheel DME as a standalone database with over a hundred various fields and flags to handle any data and multiple simultaneous third-party connections.

The DME database encrypts all non-numeric fields. No third-party systems connected to the DME can read or access your data.

The Pinwheel Client Program (CP) acts as the “brains” of the Pinwheel DME; where all of your custom business rule logic lives. The CP can accept a raw data feed from as many authoritative data sources as needed to meet your desired outcomes. Running on a schedule, the CP sends updates from the systems of record to the DME database. The most common systems of record include the client’s SIS or ERP systems, badging systems and housing systems.

A Vendor Plug-In (VPI) in Pinwheel DME is a program that pushes the processed data from the DME database to the third-party system in the correct format for that system.

There are two types of VPIs, our Certified Plug-In and standard Third-Party Plug-In. Both Plug-Ins are Windows-based programs that run on the third-party system.

The Certified Plug-In is used with SwiftData Authorized Partners that have provided SwiftData full access to the necessary components of their system. Using a partner with a Certified Plug-In allows for a single point of contact for troubleshooting and the ability for quicker and more flexible integration capabilities.

If your campus vendor is not currently a SwiftData Authorized Partner or hasn’t provided database access they can still use our standard Third-Party Plug-In. Use of the Third-Party Plug-In requires cooperation from the vendor and can use the vendor’s API or other methods for passing data to their system.

You can connect as many VPIs to the Pinwheel DME as you wish, even systems of the same type. For example, an institution might have an academic campus and an associated hospital but with different door access systems at those locations. The institution can use Pinwheel DME with two different VPIs to automate the management of the different access systems without extra work for their staff.


SwiftData brings tremendous value to the implementation of our door access system through the automation of data feeds from our HR, Student Records, and Active Directory systems. This allows us to directly base user access off employment records, enrollment data and dynamically updated security roles without any user involvement. We are also in the process of integrating our Event Scheduling system with door access, which will automatically alter door locking schedules based on calendaring data. This will eliminate tedious scheduling changes.Steven Blankenship, Acting Director of IT Applications & Architecture – Salisbury University

Ready to take the next step?

Tell us about your campus systems and the current processes you have in place to pass data between them.

We can also put you in touch with other satisfied SwiftData customers to find out how they use Pinwheel DME.