Scalable and Flexible Platform

Focus School Software licenses systems to provide school districts with a scalable and flexible solution that meets not only the information demands of today, but also the future. Our clients range in size from a few hundred students to over one hundred thousand (100,000) students all running on a SQL relational database on either customer owned servers or remote Focus servers.

With an open architecture platform, Focus School Software provides our customers with a system that can meet the ever-changing demands of student information reporting and analysis. In addition, the district can share in the developments of other Focus users.

Application Architecture

Focus Systems are built on a 3-tier architecture using industry-standard technologies and security at each level. This 3-tier architecture was designed in this century, and mimics platforms used by technology companies around the world to power million user websites.

Tier 1: Database

  • Best-of-class enterprise database support. Focus supports the most scalable and secure databases in the industry, and runs on the most secure setup recommended by the database vendor.
  • The database stores the access permissions of each user.
  • PostgreSQL
  • LDAP or Active Directory is used for authentication.

Tier 2: Business Logic

  • PHP-driven application. The PHP application runs on industry-standard webserver applications.
  • An SSL certificate is installed on this tier.
  • The PHP application on the webserver connects to the database on the first tier to store and retrieve data. The PHP application processes the data to be stored in the database or displayed to the user.
  • Focus uses the industry-standard techniques to protect the webserver. These are the methods used by banks, Yahoo, and Google to run their websites.
  • Focus uses technologies (e.g. Memcached) built by other PHP companies such as Facebook and Google to make Focus Solutions the most scalable systems on the market.

Tier 3: Presentation

  • Standards-based HTML and CSS are used to present the data to the end-user. Data is pulled from the database by the PHP application, processed, and transformed into HTML and CSS pages. JavaScript is used to enhance the performance of the pages, and Flash is incorporated in several chart reports. Any browser following industry standards for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can access these pages.
  • Reports are also transformed to XLS, CSV, tab-delimited, and PDF based on user-input and downloaded through the web-browser.
  • The end-user’s browser connects to the webserver securely, downloading data encrypted by the SSL certificate installed on the webserver. All data passed to the presentation layer is 128-bit encrypted, the same level of protection used by banks to secure your financial data on their websites.


Focus School Software offers hosting services at a minimal cost to the district. We contract with Softlayer and HiVelocity. Allowing Focus to host your system alleviates the district’s cost and burden of maintaining network and servers hardware.

Focus has a disaster recovery plan to restore the application online within a maximum of 24 hours with no data loss. We keep nightly backups for one month and monthly backups for a year. These backups are copied to an out-of-state datacenter in case of a disaster.

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