Learn About SIF


Enabling SIF Interoperability

Visual Software products and services have been helping academic organizations and makers of software applications turn SIF into a reality since SIF's first version. We continue to lead the market with a commitment to quality, responsive customer support and an innovative, scalable product line that remains unmatched in the marketplace.

Our products are for those who would rather stay focused on what they do best (teaching students, refining their own applications, etc.) without becoming SIF experts. Let us take care of the SIF details so you can take care of your business.

What's New

  • Microsoft Certified Partner

    Since 2003, Visual Software has been either a Silver or Gold-level Microsoft Certified Partner.  

    All of our applications support Microsoft SQL Server and are designed to work with Windows Server operating Systems.

  • Oracle Gold Partner

    Oracle Gold Level Partner

    Since 2014, Visual Software has been an Oracle Gold Partner. Having always supported Oracle and MySQL databases in SIF agent applications, we will also be supporting Oracle as a base database platform in addition to Microsoft SQL Server.

  • ZIAgent™ Configurable Application Connector

    After some changes in the SIFA Certification rules that now allow it to be certified as an independent application connector, ZIAgent is now
    SIF 2.* certified with the most complete profile of any US SIF agent available.

  • Ipseity™ (ip-SAY-i-ty) (Definition: selfhood; individual identity, individuality)

    Visual Software's newest SIF-enabled, SIF-certified application, Ipseity, manages identites and roles for users of applications and services in large organizations.

  • SIFA AU has published the scalability case study we prepared that illustrates how ZIServer can be used to support very large (state and national) implementations.

    See the overview and detailed results for more information.

  • ZIServer, the only Zone Integration Server designed and built from the ground up for scalability and high availability, has been certified for version 1.1 of the UK SIF specification.

    For more information, see ZIServer.

  • Visual Software has added local phone numbers in the UK and in AU to serve its customers better.

    Visual Software UK phone number

    Visual Software UK phone number

    In the UK, call us at
    +44 (0) 20 8816 8012

    In Australia, call us at
    +61 3 9018 5081

  • For those in the UK needing a robust and well-designed platform for SIF-based identity management, take a look at a system that meets those requirements at the same time as reducing the cost of the implementation and much more.

Making SIF a Reality

Data is the lifeblood of vision in K-12 Education. Not the stale data that IT and school administrators have had to settle for in the past, but rather data that is up to the minute and accurate ...data that lets educators monitor vital signs instead of post-mortem statistics ...data that empowers educators to help each child attain her or his best.

Visual Software makes this new world of real time integrated data possible through products that move SIF, the Schools Interoperability Framework, from an abstract idea to a working reality, and beyond.

The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) specification establishes rules for synchronizing student and staff information between software applications in school organizations. These applications typically support functional areas such as Registrar, Transportation, Media, and Nutrition.

Visual Software products turn the specification into robust SIF Zone deployments:

...products that route and guarantee delivery of data (ZIServer, our SIF Zone Integration Server)

...products that manage large deployments, making them more reliable and match records when learners attend more than one school. teachers teach at more than one school or parents have children at more than one school (Envoy, our Virtual Zone Manager)

...and products that unlock the value even in legacy and home-grown applications for which a SIF Agent is not available off-the-shelf (ZIAgent).

Automated, real time data sharing between existing applications is a new paradigm for educational IT; but, it’s not one you need to discover by trial and error. Visual Software will work with you, providing assistance where necessary, or can introduce you to one of the integration partners with whom we work who can provide local, experienced deployment help.


Click here to find more information about our resellers and integration partners.

Visual Software self certifies with the US-EU Safe Harbor Program. Click here to learn more about the program or on the logo to go to the US Department of Commerce Safe Harbor web site.
Visual Software has been an active member of the SIFA organization since 2001.

Commitment to our Customers

We at Visual Software are committed to making sure that you understand beforehand the benefits, the risks and the process.

We are committed to work with you to make sure you get a result that meets or exceeds your expectations. Metaphorically, we won't try to sell you a screwdriver if you really need a hammer (and all we have for sale are screwdrivers) - we will do our best to make sure your needs are met.