Published on 29-Sep-2010
Validated on 11 Oct 2012
"We went from a combination of Java, Sun and Oracle to a combination of Ruby, IBM BladeCenter servers and DB2. A major result was that we realized a great cost reduction." - Arito Murase, Operations Division, mypoint.com
Database Management, Business Continuity, Service Management
mypoint.com realizes a tremendous performance improvement in calculating point publication records when it replaces its Oracle database with IBM DB2.
In upgrading its point royalty service website, mypoint.com found that its existing database platform from Oracle didn’t provide the flexibility needed to add new services. Specifically, the Oracle relational database had problems with regard to the flexibility of adding an attribute when a member had a new interest genre.
mypoint.com transitioned from a combination of Java™, Sun and Oracle to a combination of Ruby, IBM® BladeCenter® servers and IBM DB2® to gain the flexibility it needed for adding new attributes and functions. The fact that DB2 can integrate relational data with XML data led the company to estimate that this development would go faster than in the past.
-- Reduced time to calculate point publication records from10 seconds to process 12 months of data to one second for 18 months of data -- Considerable cost savings -- Increased flexibility when adding services
mypoint.com Co., Inc. is part of the Dainippon Printing Co., Inc. (DNP) group, providing a membership-based service that allows participants to collect points while surfing the Internet. To further improve the quality of its member services, mypoint.com has completely upgraded its site from MyPoint 2.0 to MyPoint 3.0. The company investigated the use of a new system for obtaining member data, including the database, and it chose IBM® DB2®.
Flexibility for adding services
The previous MyPoint 2.0 started in January 2004. MyPoint 2.0 was the transfer and localization to Japan of an ASP (application service provider) service system named MyPoints that had been commercially developed in England. Since then it had grown in new directions based on changes in activities worldwide and changes in member interests. For mypoint.com, it was necessary to reflect such changes in its database and, of course, the company desired flexibility. MyPoint 2.0 used a relational database. However, various types of problems arose for the usual type of relational database, says Arito Murase of the company’s Operations Division that played a central role in the construction of MyPoint 3.0. “Up to 2.0, we had constructed a system that was a combination of Sun and Oracle,” says Mr. Murase. “However, the Oracle relational database had problems with regard to the flexibility of adding an attribute when a member had a new interest genre. An important point for this upgrade was how to balance flexibility and cost.”
Using open source
mypoint.com used DB2 as the database to solve this problem. Previously, mypoint.com had a prejudice for open source. It had already used the open source development language Ruby to construct a subsystem for mail distribution. “For a system to always have stable operation, if an emergency occurs it is important that the developers should quickly be able to solve it themselves,” says Mr. Murase. “So it is more convenient to have open source where the source code can be understood, rather than being a black box.”
There was similarly a desire to use open source to build MyPoint 3.0. “One of the reasons for the choice was IBM’s attitude toward open source,” says Yasuo Ishizuki, general manager, mypoint.com. “Only IBM formally supported Ruby, and we began our investigation because it had extremely good affinity with DB2.”
According to Mr. Ishizuki, DB2 also received a good recommendation from IBM Business Partner IVEX Inc., which in the past had worked on mypoint.com subsystems and was also involved in this system development. With regard to the flexibility question, the fact that DB2 can integrate relational data with XML data led to the estimate that this development would go faster than in the past, and the company started the site update planning.
The update project began in April 2008, with development starting in July. The program was completed in November and then tested for a month. The new site opened on January 23, 2009. “This new system was able to do what was impossible with the old system,” says Mr. Murase. “Development proceeded extremely smoothly, and we are grateful to IVEX and IBM.”
The partnership between mypoint.com and IVEX goes back to 2003 when the system from MyPoints Co. of England was used as the ASP. “IVEX was famous for its skill with Ruby development, and they quickly responded to our desire to use open source,” says Mr. Ishizuki. “For the present site update development, IVEX again worked very hard at the IVEX Technical Center in Koriyama, and they were very important for the project’s success.”
During that time, one way IBM provided support was a visit to Japan by the person responsible for the DB2 project at the IBM Toronto Research Center. That person gave a presentation and demonstration on DB2 and XML to help the project advance.
Improving performance and decreasing costs
The flexibility was much better for adding new attributes and functions. “When it was necessary to change the services to be more flexible, it would have been difficult for the old system, but the new functions could be added smoothly,” says Yuto Hanamura of the Ubiquitous Media Laboratory of the DNP Data Communication Research and Development Center.
Performance was greatly improved. In the calculations of point publication records, MyPoint 2.0 took 10 seconds to do the calculations for 12 months of data. MyPoint 3.0 was able to do the processing for 18 months of data in one second. In a DNP performance test before the site opened it was possible to verify the great performance improvement.
“We went from a combination of Java™, Sun and Oracle to a combination of Ruby, IBM BladeCenter® servers and DB2,” says Mr. Murase. “A major result was that we realized a great cost reduction.”
Further improvements in service quality and differentiation
mypoint.com aims to improve not only the quantity but also the quality of service. “It is not just a royalty program based on points, but rather the plan is for services, and the construction of a system for that purpose,” says Mr. Ishizuki.
According to Mr. Ishizuki, the organization is developing meaningful services for the entire DNP group, seeking a synergistic effect with its parent company DNP. With this in mind, he had the following to say about their expectations for IBM: “I suppose DB2 will also have future versions with various new features, and I hope you tell us about that as soon as possible. Then we can quickly make plans to use them for differentiation. In that way too, I think we can exchange various kinds of confidential data.”
|IBM Business Partner|
For more information
To learn more about IBM DB2, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/data/db2
For more information on mypoint.com Co., visit: www.mypoint.com
For more information on IVEX Inc., visit: www.ivex.jp
Products and services used
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