BACKGROUND: PHH Vehicle Management Services is a leader in vehicle leasing, management and card payment solutions for corporate, government and utility fleets. PHH serves organizations with fleets ranging from 15 vehicles to thousands of vehicles.
PLATFORMS: Sybase Adaptive Server runs on two Sun Enterprise 5000s and Solaris 2.5.1.
PROBLEM SOLVED: PHH wanted to provide integrated, enterprise-wide information to our clients via the Web. The data needed to be as current as possible. The amount of data was large and varied. Our Sybase data warehouse and data mart were sourced from numerous systems and technologies. Clients needed to be able to drill down from summary to detail, view history, as well as navigate across data from the various source systems. As an interface to our clients, availability, performance and scalability have been important objectives. Our resultant data warehouse is over 500 gigabytes and will grow to a terabyte in 1999. A subset data mart is designed to house data required by the Internet, providing redundancy and a protected environment for client connectivity.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: All capabilities of Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise have been used to ensure performance during data load/update, real-time inquiry, reporting, data mining, backup and recovery. Sybase offers typical database management systems capabilities to ensure a robust 7-day, 24-hour on-line environment. Sybase Replication Server is used to keep our data warehouse current with our operational transaction applications running on Sybase. It is also used to keep our data mart continuously current with the warehouse. Adaptive Server IQ has been tested and is being implemented in part of the warehouse. The Component Integrated Software (CIS) features will be used to permit access to both Adaptive Server Enterprise and Adaptive Server IQ as well as other database servers. Stored procedures are used extensively.
STRENGTHS: Sybase has been outstanding in performance and reliability. Performance of the warehouse and data mart has been excellent, beginning with our first release at 40 gigabytes, continuing to our current release at over 500 gigabytes. We see no barriers to scalability. Sybase Replication Server has been reliable. PHH has not experienced any loss of data in any of our Sybase databases. Downtime attributed to Sybase errors is less than one percent. Sybase IQ has demonstrated a 4:1 reduction in database size, coupled with faster performance in all aspects.
WEAKNESSES: The query optimizer in Adaptive Server Enterprise 11.5 does not always handle large tables correctly (this is solved in version 11.9). The dump and load features are not integrated into the operating system, creating the need for third-party software for large databases.
DELIVERABLES: The data warehouse has 99 databases, over 450 tables, over 600,000,000 rows and over 7,500 columns. The data mart is approximately 30 percent of the warehouse. PHH InterActive application, built with ColdFusion and Java, runs on an NT server with IIS. Other Sybase applications at PHH include a similar Internet-based application for the PHH Cendant Business Services Corporate Card and two internal call center applications (PowerBuilder front end), Vehicle Maintenance Assistance and Accident Management.
DOCUMENTATION: Overall documentation has improved. Sybooks on CD allowing internal on-line access is a step in the right direction. The ability to quickly access technical info from the Web is a big plus.
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