National Informatics Centre Consolidates 432 Databases, Improving System Response, Data Security, and Availability
 
 

National Informatics Centre Consolidates 432 Databases, Improving System Response, Data Security, and Availability

The Indian Government’s National Informatics Centre (NIC) supplies technology services to government agencies and departments. It steers e-governance implementations at national, state, and district levels, improving government services by implementing online solutions, such as websites and electronic information systems.

NIC has provided extensive technology services to Andhra Pradesh’s Registration and Stamps Department. The department manages land, marriages, and social services and associated documentation across 38 districts. NIC’s computer-aided Administration of Registration Department (CARD) project, which began in 1997, has centralized all of the department’s information, including land and duty rates and stamp vendors’ details onto a three-tier architecture, based on a central application server in the Hyderabad head office. CARD is among the most successful e-governance projects in India.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from National Informatics Centre

  • “Oracle Database provides a highly available, scalable, and secure database platform that centralizes our computer-aided Administration of Registration Department system across 38 districts. We have improved response time, enhanced data security, and reduced costs, enabling the Registration and Stamps Department to provide a better service to its 84 million customers.” – KLN Rao, Deputy Director General, NIC

  • Consolidate and upgrade 432 databases from 38 registration districts across the state of Andhra Pradesh onto Oracle Database to ensure high availability, scalability, and security for information pertaining land rates, marriage documentation, and more
  • Minimize system downtime and performance degradation in subregistrars’ offices to improve query performance, and simplify system management tasks
  • Implement a disaster recovery site to ensure business continuity for vital citizen services
  • Develop a unified look and feel for interfaces and reports generated by the CARD application to accelerate user adoption and proficiency

Solutions

  • Minimized risk of single point of failure across 38 registration districts by upgrading 432 databases onto one Oracle Database
  • Gained flexibility to scale database workload by adding nodes to Oracle Real Application Clusters as data volumes grow, ensuring scanned documents, such as photos and citizen thumbprints, are available for viewing or reference
  • Ensured high availability for CARD application in the event of a server failure at the subregistrar offices, thanks to Oracle Real Applications Clusters’ failover capabilities
  • Enabled faster response to user queries by using Oracle Partitioning to divide large information sets, such as marriage records, into partitioned data
  • Maintained existing user interface and minimized user training by seamlessly migrating 150 legacy forms to Oracle Forms and 100 legacy reports to Oracle Reports within three months—eight months faster than planned—thanks to Oracle WebLogic Suite
  • Guaranteed data security for the 432 databases upgraded across 38 districts by using Oracle Active Data Guard’s backup and recovery features, enabling real-time data protection and availability
  • Increased department’s annual revenue from US$110 million in 1998 to US$811 million in 2013, in part due to growth in the number of registrations facilitated by having a web-based, centralized architecture

Why Oracle

Following a detailed evaluation of database product offerings from multiple vendors, NIC selected Oracle as its preferred supplier for its ability to consolidate multiple databases, improve security and system response, and reduce costs.

“After looking at other vendors and products, we determined that Oracle provided the only creditable relational database, supported by Oracle Forms and Reports, to manage this complex and comprehensive project and improve the services we provide to over 84 million customers,” said KLN Rao, deputy director general, NIC.

Implementation Process

The CARD project to computerize the department’s services began at two test sites in 1997. Internal change management was one of the key challenges, and it was critical to initiate the project in a decentralized manner. Having achieved initial computerization, the department expanded the project, making the CARD application web-based and extending its reach to additional internal and external stakeholders. The implementation strategy was aimed to address the functional, technical, and change management challenges in line with users’ adoption pace.

The subregistrar offices in the district of Hyderabad went live with the new centralized architecture in August 2012. A phased migration of all 432 databases in subregistrar offices across 38 districts took place between December 2012 and May 2013, and it involved transferring large volumes of legacy data to a central server. The implementation was completed on time and within budget.