Database glitch halts visa availability

Posted by Justin Hesser on August 8, 2014

One certainty of technology is that at some point it will fail. Computers and mobile devices are machines that run complicated software solutions that require updating. Eventually that hardware will start to break down and a software upgrade will have a glitch that causes it to start acting screwy. In most instances they can be easily fixed and the impact is minimal, however, that is not always the case.

A recent article from RT covered a press briefing that was given by U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf. She spoke about the problems that the U.S. Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) at the State Bureau of Consular Affairs have had that caused consulates across the world to lose the ability to issue visas.

According to Harf, the problem was born out of a system update. For several months the database had been experiencing technical issues but remained functional. On July 20, 2014, a software update was issued to fix the problems but had the opposite effect. For the next three days, the database was completely offline and was only partially brought online.

"We believe the root cause of the problem was a combination of software optimization and hardware compatibility issues," Harf said. "We believe there was no malicious intent. It's hardware and a software issue that we are working to fix."

During this downtime, over 200 U.S. consulates from around the world were unable to issue visas. This impacted businesses, personal travel, vacations and much more.

It is critical for companies to find and deploy the right custom database software. With the help of a solution provider that can design and maintain the system, any company gains a hand to avoid potential glitches.