Rosetta Stone

One benefit of the State Department's FEDS/www system is its modular architecture.

That came in handy when the integrator that developed the system, Development

InfoStructure (deviS), had to swap a new communications layer into the application.

An earlier version of the system used the Common Object Request Broker

Architecture (CORBA) and the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol to exchange data

over the Internet, but some agency firewalls wouldn't let the CORBA script

through. To accommodate those agencies, deviS added support for Extensible

Markup Language (XML) at the communications layer.

"Normally, you would have to start over if you were replacing the middle

communication layer of a system," said Martin Hudson, deviS' vice president.

"But by isolating the client, the middle and the database into three pieces,

we simply swapped the CORBA piece and put in XML. XML makes the data independent

of the systems it's working on. It's the Rosetta stone of the Internet."


  • FCW Perspectives
    remote workers (elenabsl/

    Post-pandemic IT leadership

    The rush to maximum telework did more than showcase the importance of IT -- it also forced them to rethink their own operations.

  • Management
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    Where does the TMF Board go from here?

    With a $1 billion cash infusion, relaxed repayment guidelines and a surge in proposals from federal agencies, questions have been raised about whether the board overseeing the Technology Modernization Fund has been scaled to cope with its newfound popularity.

Stay Connected