About Visual Software

Visual Software, founded in 1995 and located in historic Newtown, Pennsylvania is a leading provider of products based on the Schools Interoperability Framework.

Our interoperability products enable schools, school systems, state departments of education and software suppliers to rapidly implement highly-scalable and reliable SIF infrastructures without the ongoing worry of maintaining standards compliance and complicated code interface maintenance and the synchronization between the two.

Over the past several years, Visual Software has been providing agent software and technical support to dozens of makers of educational software and K-12 SIF-certified services to thousands of schools and companies in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa and Australia.

Visual Software has close working relationships with Microsoft, Oracle and many regional systems integrators throughout the US, the UK and Australia. Visual Software has been a Microsoft Certified Partner since 2003.

EU-US Safe Harbor Self Certified

About the Safe Harbor Program

The European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection went into effect in October 1998, and would prohibit the transfer of personal data to non-European Union nations that do not meet the European "adequacy" standard for privacy protection. While the United States and the European Union share the goal of enhancing privacy protection for their citizens, the United States takes a different approach to privacy from that taken by the European Union.

The United States uses a sectoral approach that relies on a mix of legislation, regulation, and self-regulation. The European Union, however, relies on comprehensive legislation that, for example, requires creation of government data protection agencies, registration of databases with those agencies, and in some instances prior approval before personal data processing may begin. As a result of these different privacy approaches, the Directive could have significantly hampered the ability of U.S. companies to engage in many trans-Atlantic transactions.

In order to bridge these different privacy approaches and provide a streamlined means for U.S. organizations to comply with the Directive, the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission developed a "safe harbor" framework.

The safe harbor -- approved by the EU in 2000 -- is an important way for U.S. companies to avoid experiencing interruptions in their business dealings with the EU or facing prosecution by European authorities under European privacy laws. Certifying to the safe harbor will assure that EU organizations know that your company provides "adequate" privacy protection, as defined by the Directive.

Visual Software is the only SIF product supplier to be US-EU Safe Harbor self-certified. For complete information about Visual Software's certification click here.

Backgrounds.com Logo

In the US, it is customary for companies to perform background checks for employees when they are first hired.

As our personnel work with customers, we naturally come in contact with their learner, staff and parent personal information. So, as an added precaution, and because of the added requirements of working with customers in the European Union, we use the services of Backgrounds Online to perform the same type of background check that teachers would receive in our local school system if they were teaching elementary school children. Additionally, we have these checks renewed each year.

These checks are considerably more stringent than those that would normally be done for IT employees working for software companies.

SIFA MemberVisual Software has been implementing SIF solutions since SIF’s first release and is an active participant in the SIF organization.

Visual Software’s president is a past member of the SIF technical board and has taught sessions at SIF conferences over the past several years. Most employees are members of at least one working group within the SIFA organization and Visual Software has sponsored several virtual Connect-A-Thons.

Many of the currently certified SIF agents available on the market today use our ZIAgent configurable SIF agent.

VSI_MS_LogoSince 2003, Visual Software has been a Microsoft Certified Partner.

Visual Software's products are based on the Microsoft Windows Server platform and use the Microsoft SQL Server database to manage its internal and auditing information. We chose the Microsoft platform because of its ability to scale, its high-availability features, its reliability and the robust programming interface that allows us to implement the features that our customers require.