The IRS online user community is the largest in the federal government. When building systems for the IRS, engineers must account for peak performance demands from millions of users. Often, commercially available solutions require reengineering to support both strict federal regulatory requirements and large transaction capacities.


IRS database and directory services that support online applications are among the most used datastores in the federal government. Datastores that are not architected and tuned to support high volumes of transactions present bottlenecks that make business applications unusable. The eAuthentication directory that supports the authentication and authorization of hundreds of millions of transactions, is among the most utilized datastores in the IRS. The transactions volumes were so great that the commercial-off-the-shelf product, which was used in large commercial implementations throughout the world was unable to support the demand. STP’s directory experts would need to develop a solution.

The Solution

Having experience partitioning large database systems, STP’s experts designed the directory to use a series of service agents to access specific areas of the directory, greatly reducing the time needed to search for data. According to the vendor, this was the first known implementation of partitioning their directory product. STP’s solution proved to be an effective approach for many years. As with any growing system, constant attention is needed to ensure it is running at peak performance. Working on an IBM contract, STP’s directory experts made further performance improvements. They reduced the size of the directory to 20% of its previous size, decreased execution times to a fraction of previous times, and shortened system start up by 90%.