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BNP Paribas Securities Services

“Both Sybase ASE and Sybase IQ have proven to require very little system maintenance. They practically run on their own.”

Marc Guillard
BNP Paribas Securities Services

BNP Paribas Securities Services is a division of BNP Paribas Group, a leading securities services bank based in Europe with a significant presence in both Asia and the United States. With a focus on institutional clients including investment banks, broker-dealers, institutional investors and issuers, BNP Paribas Securities Services seeks to strengthen existing positions, enter new markets and achieve additional growth via strategic partnerships with other securities providers. The division’s staff consists of more than 4,500 employees headquartered in France, and in 2006 the company executed 32.2 million transactions while maintaining € 3,614 billion assets under custody.

Business Advantage

  • By improving the robustness of its online reporting system, BNP Paribas can compile larger amounts of data and anticipate growth in its customer base by proactively providing real-time data.

Key Benefits

  • Allows online customers to generate twice as many ad hoc queries
  • Provides customized financial portfolio reports
  • Speeds report generation by 3X
  • Frees OLTP database resources to accelerate online transactions
  • Reduces stress on the system architecture by pushing rather than polling reports

Sybase Technology


  • Financial Services

Download the full success story in PDF format.

Customers Create Their Own Custom Reports Online
BNP Paribas Securities Services initially deployed Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) to execute online transactions for its financial customers. But the firm eventually expanded the role of the database to also support a web-based Business Objects reporting application that financial customers could use to review the performance of their portfolios. To create the reports, BNP Paribas uploaded data to Sybase ASE from various source systems and used IBM DataStage TX tool for EAI. After compiling the data, Sybase ASE then uploaded the information to Business Objects for customer viewing.

As more investment customers came to rely on the reports, the online demand increased dramatically and report generation performance suffered. BNP Paribas then decided to improve the level of service of its online reporting by internally developing a separate reporting application. “We wanted to keep Sybase ASE focused on handling the online transactions, which is what it is designed for,” says BNP Paribas Securities Services DBA, Marc Guillard. “We also wanted to add more flexibility to the reporting service so that we could give our customers the ability to organize report information according to their needs, and so they can create a greater variety of reports.”

This business need required an online reporting system with the ability for end-users to customize reports along any axis of analysis they desired. Customers also needed the ability to design report layouts according to how they wanted to view the information. Additionally, BNP Paribas wanted to improve the robustness of the system in compiling larger amounts of data,  anticipating growth in the customer base and meeting the goal of delivering real-time data proactively to customers.

Proof-of-Concept Cements Sybase IQ Capabilities
When BNP Paribas realized that developing an application internally to support the reporting mechanism would not generate reports fast enough, the firm looked towards the leading business intelligence vendors for a proof-of-concept test. “We decided to test Sybase as well as various database engines,” Guillard says.

Sybase provided the optimal schema for the POC configuration and supported the effort with the necessary server hardware. BNP Paribas put Sybase IQ through extensive testing of ad hoc queries and as a result, created a model for handling large amounts of data that can be queried via the Business Objects on the front end.

The testing proved that Sybase IQ would provide the fastest and most flexible reporting connection between Sybase ASE and Business Objects. The Sybase IQ performance surpassed the speed the other vendors.  “Sybase IQ also surpassed the speed of our internal custom application by two or three times,” Guillard said. “And it worked so well we established Sybase IQ as a business intelligence architecture standard that the rest of the company can now consider.”

For the deployment of Sybase IQ, BNP Paribas used Sybase Replication Server Messaging Edition to replicate data from Sybase ASE into Sybase IQ. The process also leveraged the Sybase PowerDesigner’s Information Liquidity Model to design the replication process – the model automatically generated 90 percent of the scripts needed for the deployment.

Using Best-of-Breed Databases Leads to Doubling of Ad Hoc Queries
BNP Paribas customers have found the custom reports and filters that they can now create are much more informative than the static reports. As an example, customers can now view their portfolios in new ways, although this functionality is also used in a number of different applications. “We are also much more efficient with our information architecture by using  best-of-breed databases optimized for their functions,” Guillard adds. “Sybase ASE now performs what it is primarily designed to do – OLTP, but we still rely on it for some of our historical reports. Because Sybase IQ is ideal for turning data into customizable reports, it makes sense to have separate, but integrated database environments for transactions and reporting.”

The online reporting system is now providing reports for close to 10,000 external customers and internal employees who access approximately 200,000 reports per month. “Since adding Sybase IQ, the demand for reports has risen dramatically as users realize just how much more helpful the information is that we can now provide,” Guillard says. “We receive requests for 10-20,000 more reports per month, and ad hoc queries have grown from 5,000 to 10,000 per month.”

The Sybase ASE-Sybase IQ combination has also helped BNP Paribas proactively deliver reports with Replication Server Messaging Edition. “Rather than having users poll for information, it’s much more efficient for our system to push data out,” Guillard says. “The Real-time Events component sends messages to our application server to run specific processes depending on the data that comes in to Sybase IQ via Sybase Replication and the reports affected by the data. This method causes much less stress on our system compared to users polling the database to find out what has changed.”

Some customers have defined specific reports they want to receive when the data arrives. Real-time Events lets BNP Paribas deliver the reports within 15 minutes from Sybase ASE to Sybase IQ and then to the Business Objects reports. Each time new data is replicated from ASE to Sybase IQ, the real-time functionality of Replication Server Messaging Edition sends notifications to the Business Objects reporting application. End user customers and internal staff now see near real-time data in all reports and queries.

Plenty of Room to Grow With Systems That Run on Their Own
Because of the ease of working with Sybase technologies, BNP Paribas deployed this innovative system in less than four months. “Sybase’s responsiveness to any issue we had during the deployment also helped speed things up,” Guillard says. “We now have two integrated systems capable of handling large amounts of transactions and report requests. We also have plenty of room to grow in the amount of data we can process and the historical information we can store.”

The Sybase ASE system now houses three months of data for short-term reporting, but BNP Paribas may eventually reduce this to one month of data to further streamline the OLTP system – and accelerate performance. And with the 50 percent data compression offered by Sybase IQ, BNP Paribas can now keep up to 10 years of data online for trend reporting and advanced analytics.

A critical and seemingly complex system may appear to require a great deal of attention and tuning. But looks can be deceiving, as Guillard explains, “Both Sybase ASE and Sybase IQ have proven to require very little system maintenance,” Guillard said, “They practically run on their own.”


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