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Oracle Database 10g powers paperless mortgage firm

DPS is using Oracle 10g software to power its paperless mortgage processing system.

Anyone who's ever bought a house knows how much red tape there can be. But one suburban Detroit-based company is using Oracle 10g software -- including Oracle Database 10g, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, says its hosted product is designed to let lenders, document custodians, title companies, settlement agents, notaries and borrowers avoid problems associated with traditional paper-based mortgage processing, including misplaced documents, missing signatures and improper document sequencing.

"From the ground up, we recognized there was a need for great security and the ability to run a lot of transactions," DPS president Paul Rakowicz said. "We started to gravitate toward Oracle and implemented Oracle as part of our product [about a year] ago."

Before going with Oracle, DPS evaluated two other database management systems: Microsoft SQL Server and open source PostgreSQL. At one point during the evaluation process, Rackowicz said, his firm had all three systems running at once in order to "tool around" and test them out.

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The IT team at DPS had previous experience with PostgreSQL and was familiar with SQL Server, but they had very little Oracle background. Despite the IT team's prediction that there would be a significant learning curve to tackle, DPS decided that Oracle was best suited to its needs.

"Overall, the history and performance of Oracle on large-scale processing helped gear us toward that direction, as well as our comfort level with the support that Oracle provides," said John King, IT Director for DPS. He added that his team wasn't as comfortable with the level of support for PostgreSQL and SQL Server.

King said the addition of Data Guard helps ensure that customer data and the eMortgage Studio application itself are protected in case of a data center failure. Data Guard lets users maintain and monitor standby copies of the production database.

Enterprise Manager, among other things, helped DPS lessen the Oracle Database learning curve by reducing the amount of user interaction needed in managing backups and other operations.

"The Enterprise Manager allows us to keep better track of updates and changes we make to the system, in case we run into a problem," King said. "We can apply schema changes easier, keep track of those schema changes, and it allows us to roll back in case of an issue."

DPS will eventually upgrade to Database 11g after it's released later this year, King said, but not until the firm has had plenty of time to test it out and early adopters have ironed out any potential kinks.

Looking ahead, King says that anything Oracle can do to improve the usability of its grid structure, and continued improvements to the way the Oracle Database handles

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