The Department of Social Protection (DSP) provides the citizens of Ireland with a spectrum of social services and delivers payments to nearly 950,000 people a week.  DSP oversees annual expenditures of over €20 billion, and it makes payments to nearly 950,000 people each week, with more than 1.5 million people directly benefiting from those payments.

The Ireland Department of Social Protection (DSP) required a Public Service Identification (PSI) application to replace an older Oracle system that often took too long to process queries for citizens seeking their PSI number.  DSP employees across Ireland use a Public Service Identification (PSI) application when serving citizens who don’t know their DSP personal identification number.

According to Paul O’Meara, Chief Architect at the Department of Social Protection, “About 30 to 40 percent of people contacting DSP for services don’t know this number.  Some just forget, or it could be a mother seeking services for an adult son or a number of other situations.”  The database searches required to match the person with the correct number are difficult because of the numerous OR statements used in the queries to deal with ambiguities from typing errors, mistakes in spelling names or addresses, and other variables.

The IT team at DSP began working with SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise running on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. DSP was impressed by the integrated full-text search feature introduced with SQL Server 2008 R2 because it provides a seamless transition between full-text searches and relational data searches—exactly what PSI required.

Taking advantage of the integrated full-text search feature of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, DSP migrated to an innovative business-critical solution that reduced search times from minutes to less than a second.  

Developing the PSI application with Microsoft tools and deploying it on the Microsoft platform helped the Department of Social Protection create an innovative solution that boosts query performance, while enhancing interoperability and meeting its needs for mission-critical availability.

You can read the full customer story and why they chose a Microsoft SQL Server solution to replace their Oracle system here