Published on 21-Jun-2011
Validated on 27 Feb 2013
"For a small company, the cost of hardware is always a factor, and Informix has always provided outstanding performance and enabled us to work with a moderate suite of hardware and still meet all of our business requirements." - Gary ben Israel, CIO, National Institute for Testing and Evaluation
National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE)
Educational non-profit company enhances testing services with IBM Informix
NITE was bogged down with paper-based tasks for client interaction, and needed a way to handle more complex data and perform sophisticated data analysis.
IBM Informix database software computerized all processes for faster, more informed business decisions, and provided online transaction processing to replace paper-based processes.
• Provides 100 percent uptime, offering 24x7 service to web customers • Delivers fast performance, enabling organization to meet work schedules under tight timeframes while using a moderate suite of hardware • Enables DBA to focus on more strategic tasks, such as adding new application features and supporting developers
The National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE) was established by the University Presidents Committee in Israel to centralize the development and administration of admissions and placement tests. Its system of exams assesses academic aptitude in order to facilitate admissions and placement of prospective students in higher education institutes in Israel.
NITE brings together leading professionals in psychometrics and measurement to enhance the quality and efficiency of university and college admissions testing on a national scale. Upwards of 100,000 prospective students turn to NITE for academic testing and test score submissions to universities and colleges. NITE depends on its database system for critical decision-making across all facets of its organization, including the statistical and psychometric calculations so critical to its professional process. Unfortunately, its outdated proprietary file system was limited to the storage and retrieval of data. As the organization grew, more than two million records pushed the limits of its existing solution, and NITE needed the ability to store, sort and retrieve more complex data, such as images, and perform more sophisticated data analysis. The organization also wanted to reach out and interact with its clients via the web, as it was handling the cumbersome and detail-oriented tasks of scheduling testing sites and providing test results by regular mail. NITE needed an updated database solution that was very cost-effective while enabling it to provide its customers with the very best service levels and response times.
NITE conducted thorough testing and benchmarking and chose IBM® Informix® as the best technical solution for its organization. By going with Informix database software, NITE was finally able to computerize all of its business processes, including complex mathematical algorithms and analysis, and look ahead to better serving its clients. As NITE’s needs grew, the evolving Informix product family continued to meet those needs. Today, NITE is upgrading from IBM Informix 11.5 to Informix 11.7 for its online transaction processing (OLTP) capabilities, and appreciates the increased performance, reliability scalability and manageability across all facets of its business.
As a non-profit organization supplying a service to the public, NITE can finally meet its client demand for web access with IBM Informix. Today, NITE customers go through an easy and efficient online registration process, and the system takes care of assigning testing sites and changing the testing day and site if needed. Clients can access their test results and have those results delivered to specified universities and colleges. Since all of these tasks were previously handled on paper through the mail, this saves the staff an enormous amount of time, cuts down on errors, provides improved data security and is a major step in NITE’s mission to become a paperless organization.
The cost of hardware is always a factor for a small, non-profit company. Informix has consistently delivered outstanding performance at NITE, while enabling it to work with a moderate suite of hardware and still meet all of its business requirements. Its low maintenance cost not only saves money, but enables better utilization of NITE’s technical staff. In fact, one staff database administrator (DBA) now spends just one-third of overall work time on database administration, and can focus the rest of the time on system management and development tasks more strategic to the business.
Additionally, NITE is finally free from those cumbersome manual files. Integrating Informix into its business process has enabled NITE to improve its processes across the board. These include new systems in place for security, and the ability to enable specific staff members to perform certain tasks, monitor and perform audits, and generate reports. This integration, in turn, is driving the organization toward new capabilities as it makes faster, more informed business decisions. It now adapts easily to vastly changing business requirements and different types of data. And as NITE grows and has new needs, IBM and Informix will be there to meet them.
• Provides 100 percent uptime, offering 24x7 service to web customers
• Delivers fast performance, enabling organization to meet work schedules under tight timeframes while using a moderate suite of hardware
• Enables DBA to focus on more strategic tasks, such as adding new application features and supporting developers
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Informix Servers, Informix Dynamic Server
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