Linking Loans and Claims
Linda Woods found herself up against a serious roadblock when the end-of-day batch processes she needed to run exceeded the overnight window allowed for it. IT Director at the United Kingdom’s Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), Woods knew that the process had to complete before the following business day.
The ECGD is the United Kingdom’s official export credit agency — a government department reporting to the country’s Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. It supports UK exporters and investors by providing insurance facilities and help in arranging finance packages. Important business transactions ride on the proper and efficient operation of ECGD’s IT systems during business hours.
ODBC drivers provide the critical link between ECGD’s Oracle database and the department’s loans and claims platform. Such drivers played a crucial role in a project undertaken to streamline ECGD’s business processes. A complex IT project representing a considerable investment, the implementation involved the consolidation of three custom-built applications responsible for underwriting, claims, and debt recovery transactions.
Native DBMS ODBC Drivers Not up to the Task
In the middle of the project, it turned out that the Oracle drivers ECGD
planned to use failed to offer the speed the system needed to successfully support a batch processing environment, exceeding the inflexible overnight timeframe window demanded by the department.
“The time taken to run the end-of-day procedures was unacceptable to us,” Woods puts it simply.
What ECGD had discovered was that, while basic data connectivity components may be included with a database, those often lack adequate performance, functionality, reliability, and security to meet the demands of an exacting environment. The challenge faced by ECGD underscored the importance of third-party connectivity components, particularly in business-critical environments such as those found in financial services. ECGD had to learn this the hard way; however, they quickly realized the advantages of implementing DataDirect Connect for ODBC.
Out of the box, DataDirect Connect for ODBC was able to cut ECGD batch system run times in half, to complete the overnight jobs in the required window, and to achieve an acceptable service level overall. Because it is based on a clientless wire protocol design, DataDirect Connect for ODBC eliminates the need for client libraries, resulting in maximum performance and reduced maintenance costs.
“Use of DataDirect drivers was a key component in achieving a successful implementation of the project,” Woods reports. “When the DataDirect drivers were installed we were able to achieve the timescale we were looking for.”