Data & Program Management.

Gordon-Darby developed its first Vehicle Inspection Data (VID) in 1983 – 30 years ago. Since then, we have delivered more than 12 successful VID implementations or updates as part of new programs or enhancements to existing programs/systems.

Gordon-Darby’s state-of-the-art data system design incorporates:

  • Online analyzer-VID communications
  • A vehicle registration database interface
  • E-Cert issuance and tracking
  • Electronic station billings
  • Robust data warehousing
  • Associated browser-based drill-down reporting
We developed and implemented the first ever decentralized electronic transmission data collection network and VID in Ohio in 1988.

We are able to reduce needed development efforts / time and significantly increase the probability of implementation success by using our core technology that is proven for:

  • High availability
  • High adaptability
  • Intelligent design
  • Innovative best-of-breed administrative, management and enforcement solutions
  • Data warehousing with rich and extensive reporting elements
  • Strong security
For more than three decades, Gordon-Darby’s Data and Program Management services have supported our customers with systems designed to provide powerful management and oversight tools. These systems are dynamic tools that can be enhanced and tailored to the unique needs of each customer. They are built with pre-defined reporting capabilities per the customer’s requirements, while also incorporating powerful free-form (SQL) capabilities for enhanced data analysis. In the vehicle inspection industry, these systems are commonly referred to as a Vehicle Inspection Database (VID). We use a similar acronym in our licensing program, referring to these as a License Information Database (LID).

Gordon-Darby traditionally keeps all data accessible from the start of the contract cycle, with no offline archiving. Legacy data from prior contracts is typically incorporated as well, providing the agencies the ability to perform long term analysis of trends and to modify business rules that promote agency goals. Frequent upgrades to the servers and processes which manage the data ensures that performance is maintained at a high level throughout the contract term. These elements reflect an industry leading approach to supporting our customers’ data and program management needs. Specific Data and Program Management highlights include the:

Texas Vehicle Inspection Database (VID) System
Gordon-Darby hosts and maintains the Texas Vehicle Inspection Database (VID) processing over 18 million transactions a year, 24/7, 365 days, from 5,000 inspection stations located across the state.. This includes daily peak call volumes as high as 13,000 per hour with 80,000 database transactions. The project included the migration of about 66 million legacy vehicle inspection records. Approximately 140 million vehicle inspection records are currently stored online in the Texas VID system and available for reporting, querying and lookup purposes. In addition, another 60 million safety inspection records from areas of the state not subject to emissions testing are also stored online and available for lookup. The total of 200 million inspection records is one of the largest online I/M databases in existence.

Gordon-Darby also provides extensive data analysis, enforcement tools, and real-time reporting for the governing agencies. These agencies, as well as additional local law enforcement agencies, have access to a comprehensive suite of multidimensional reports, pre-defined and ad hoc queries, annual EPA reports, enforcement triggers and other related data reports, which they use to manage the decentralized AirCheckTexas program, and to identify and pursue follow-up action against station and inspector scofflaws. English and Spanish “smoking vehicle” reporting web pages were also built and deployed into production, as well as a public “MyTXCar” vehicle emissions inspection history lookup web page.

Texas License Information Database (LID) System
Gordon-Darby hosts and maintains the Texas License Information Database (LID), which processes over 3 million hunting and fishing licenses every year. These licenses are purchased from over 1,800 licensed agents and by customers using the public internet sales application. In addition to deploying and hosting the Texas LID, other implementation elements included design and development of retail, TPWD call center, internet, and Public Hunt (lottery) sales applications; an administrative application that includes agent admin, accounting, catalog, agent messaging, customer maintenance, ancillary data maintenance, law enforcement, system admin, and contact center; and migration of legacy data. The Texas LID is designed to provide optimal management and analysis of sales activities as well as allowing marketing analysts to identify opportunities for growth in license sales.

New Hampshire Vehicle Inspection Database (VID) System
The New Hampshire VID processes in excess of 1.5 million inspections each year, which are collected from about 1,800 private inspection stations throughout the state. The system enables 24×7 thin client access to a web portal with robust online data reporting capabilities, including pre-formatted reports with drill-down capability, predefined query reports, ad hoc Query Builder capability with SQL-like functionality, an additional free form SQL editor, real-time vehicle inspection history inquiry access, enforcement triggers, and annual U.S. EPA data reports.

Arizona Vehicle Inspection Database (VID) System
The Arizona VID compiles and stores data from vehicle inspections performed in centralized test facilities. Over 1.6 million inspections are performed annually at 18 inspection stations in the Phoenix area and 3 inspection stations in the Tucson area. The system stores in excess of 40 million legacy data records collected since the start of Gordon-Darby’s Arizona vehicle inspection contracts in 1989 along with vehicle registration data received from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. The data housed in the Arizona VID is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for analysis and review by our State customer, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and by Gordon-Darby employees who partner with ADEQ in program management and oversight. An online web portal provides authorized users with access to the data via pre-formatted multidimensional reports, pre-defined and ad hoc queries, and real-time history inquiries.

  • Substantial redundant availability and disaster preparedness. The network architectural design is fully redundant at likely points of failure, including self-healing fiber optic connections to primary/backup database sites.
  • Each fault tolerant database site includes UPS, dual power supplies, RAID 1 disk mirroring, fire suppression, etc. Functions at the primary site are fully mirrored to the backup site in real time, with auto failover in the event of any failure at the primary site. In addition to assuring a high level of system availability, this design is also the key to our proposed operational recovery plan.
  • Use of industry-standard systems, tools and procedures to assure the security and integrity of data, databases, and other systems. A robust operational recovery plan incorporates comprehensive backup and recovery activities as well as other key elements.
  • Primary database system location at the Gordon-Darby Data Center in Louisville, Kentucky, which is equipped with appropriate physical and electronic security. The backup database system is located in a geographically separated location, also in Louisville, at the world-class Peak 10 Data Center. Both sites include self-healing fiber network connections that are the preferred solution for transporting high data volumes and assuring continuous network availability.
  • Tertiary layer of disaster preparedness with a third “standby” data center for projects involving particularly high availability needs.
  • Multiple servers are dedicated to handle system and user performance, reliability and speed needs. While all servers are designed for high reliability, high availability and high speed, each is dedicated to certain functions and isolated from the functions assigned to other servers to preserve performance. This includes full separation of online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehouse and ad-hoc query functionality from the other functions.
  • Flexibility to provide client-host database communications via dial-in calls using existing dedicated phone lines, high speed access over the public Internet or any combination of the two. About one-third of New Hampshire vehicle inspection stations, which account for over 50% of all inspections, have opted for secure high-speed access due to the quicker transaction times. Dial-up calls automatically roll over to available lines at the backup site if the primary database lines are unavailable.
  • OLTP database servers use the Red Hat Linux operating system and Oracle Database enterprise software. Data storage disks are sized at initial implementation to handle projected data volumes, including legacy data migrated to the new system, for full contract periods.
  • Automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions, virtual certificate assignments and tracking, and integrated accounting and other related functions.
  • Rich and extensive reporting suite that provides very flexible, extremely fast and highly user-friendly online access to system data. Separate data warehouse and ad-hoc query database solutions deliver outstanding reporting, analysis and querying performance. This web browser-based thin client application, which can be used without impact to client-host database transaction performance, includes access to:
    • Current transactions (e.g., inspection records, allowing an auditor to observe a station’s activity while monitoring reported data from that station in real time).
    • Auxiliary data (covert audits, overt audits, waiver, exemptions, etc.) in real time.
    • Current auditor activity, including auditor physical location.
    • Historical data via the data warehouse. Summary reports can be viewed from multiple dimensions, and reports and raw data can be easily down loaded to the user’s desktop or laptop.
    • Query server with an historical database (current through end of last business day). Data are accessed via a convenient graphical user interface and point-and-click functionality (with no SQL understanding required) or using standard freeform SQL statements.
    • Possible enhanced business intelligence (BI) via available COTS solutions; e.g., CognosReportNet and Business Objects Crystal Decisions/Reports. These BI products would seamlessly integrate with our Oracle OLTP and OLAP solutions to provide additional enterprise graphical and other analysis/reporting capabilities.
  • Full suite of state-of-the-art quality assurance (QA) features, including OLTP transaction logging; combined Gordon-Darby VIN decoder and Sierra I/M Lookup Table use at the central database to verify vehicle information and test logic; triggers analysis of inspector, station and test equipment performance; and overt/covert audit applications for auditor use.
Our highly adaptable core technology and Agile development methodology provides the company with the means to rapidly deploy new database implementations.
Attributes shared by all Gordon-Darby programs with database designs include:

  • High availability
  • High adaptability
  • Intelligent design
  • Innovative best-of-breed administrative, management and enforcement solutions
  • Data warehousing with rich and extensive reporting elements
  • Strong security
  • On-time implementation

In 2007, we implemented the enhanced Texas Information Management System (TIMS+) within eight months of contract award, including the seamless transition of telecommunications with 4,000 emissions testing systems and the problem-free migration of 37 million legacy test records from previous vendor.

This was also demonstrated in a project for the District of Columbia that involved replacing their existing Vehicle Information Database (VID) with a new data system. Using our core database technology, we were able to deliver a fully functioning replacement system within two months—the fastest VID implementation on record—despite the need to adapt to existing ESP analyzer software, analyzer-database communications and vehicle registration database/communications functionality. The DC system design reflected a decision to keep analyzer-end adaptations to a minimum in order to meet the severe implementation schedule. Instead, database adaptations were quickly developed and implemented to match existing analyzer-VID communications functionality resident in the ESP analyzer software.