Insider Technologies
Insider Technologies

How RTLX Reactor enabled comprehensive, compliant, optimised querying and reporting for thousands of tape archived transaction logs in less than 30 days.

This case study is an executive summary of a successful project for businesses seeking to move their wealth of archived card transaction files (numbering 1000’s) from old tape technology to a partitioned, normalised SQL database which includes transaction records and their associated tokens.
Determined to differentiate their customer service as well as meet regulatory conditions, Al-Rajhi Bank were keen to provide the speediest turnaround of customer enquiries relating to debit and credit card transactions dating back several months, sometimes more than six years.

The world’s largest Islamic bank, with assets of SR 221 billion (US$ 59 bn), a paid up capital of US$4 billion and an employee base of over 8,400 associates, also has the largest network of ATMs and Point of Sale machines available across Saudi Arabia.

In order to reduce the costs of relatively expensive authorisation system disk space, the transaction log files for both Point-of-Sale (POS) and Cash Dispenser (ATM) transactions older than six months, are typically archived to tape for mass storage by the bank, reducing sizeable disk space requirements, but considerably increasing the amount of time needed to access the information, an amount of time unacceptable to Al-Rajhi.

To meet their requirements, the bank needed to find a solution that enabled the turnaround of card queries in minutes rather than days using modern, optimised database access techniques and partitioning. This would then provide secure querying of terabytes of transaction data, which could then also be archived using the latest technology.

Al-Rajhi Bank selected RTLX Reactor from Insider Technologies as the only product to offer secure, browser-based, user-friendly, field level querying of ATM and POS transactions along with the viewing of both standard and customised token data.

The result is a fast and secure browser interface for card transaction querying of ATM and POS records, reporting and archiving in line with increasing PCI DSS, compliance and audit directives.

The product also offers real-time monitoring of transaction data should the bank wish to make use of this feature at a later date.

Project Implementation

The first phase of the project involved a Proof-of-Concept (PoC). With this, the RTLX product was installed on a 32-bit Windows Server, extraction agent objects were deployed from the RTLX process console on the Windows Server to the bank’s live authorisation system.

The extraction agents read and relay (across TCP/IP) all transaction data records from the ATM and POS entry-sequenced log files. This data relay is optimised and card transaction data then populates a Microsoft SQL RTLX normalised database on the Windows Server. The database is populated using efficient, multithreaded RTLX processes with best-approach disk I/O methods.

The PoC was a success and was subsequently presented to a number of departments within the bank – they were quick to move to the implementation stage of the card transaction-querying project.

After RTLX integration testing, the software was installed on two 64-bit, quad core Windows Servers. This approach further optimised performance of the RTLX solution by separating the fast parsing of transaction records and token data fields from the database read/write processes.

Next multiple ATM and POS log extraction agents were deployed, the RTLX MS SQL database was partitioned by month and records inserted in line with the entry log timestamp of the original transaction. A number of single terabyte hard drives were made available by the bank and were connected to the Windows Server to receive the transaction data to the appropriate MS SQL file group partition.

Splitting out card data into monthly partitions enables MS SQL Server to provide fast look-up transaction querying rows by pre-checking the partition schema for data row location based on the transaction timestamp.

Batch download speeds for the ATM and POS transaction logs now enable the bank to relay and parse weeks of card data in hours for subsequent querying by various bank departments.

The RTLX Reactor solution provides the bank with secure, browser-based access to terabytes of normalised ATM and POS transaction and token data which has been partitioned across a number of hard drives.