National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Actian Ingres Database Helps NCMEC Find and Recover Endangered Children Worldwide
When the safety of a child is at stake, there’s no such thing as acceptable downtime. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) relies on Ingres Database, a leading open source database for business-critical applications, and Ingres Premium Service to power 24 x 7 x 365 information access and distribution organization-wide and around the world. The solution has helped NCMEC and its partners rescue nearly 99,500 children to date – and remains at the ready for the next case.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is dedicated to solving cases of child abduction and child sexual exploitation. From case records to tips from the public, timely information is vital to the organization’s work, as its workers collaborate internally and with partner agencies around the globe to find and recover children at risk.
When NCMEC began the implementation of its first database, it wanted to make sure its technology worked as hard – and as tirelessly – as its personnel. To help agencies and organizations around the world work together, the solution had to be able to support Web-based applications and websites in multiple languages and character sets serving diverse user communities. With time a critical factor in every case, the system also had to deliver maximum availability under any conditions.
NCMEC relies on Ingres database technology to make information available when and where it matters most. Having started as a simple, single-user database, the organization’s Ingres platform now encompasses a powerful open source Ingres Database implementation that runs both internal and external systems, delivering critical information around the world via Web-based applications written in Java. Ingres Premium Service completes the solution, with expert support standing by around the clock to ensure uninterrupted availability.
Ingres continues to play an important ongoing role in NCMEC’s work. Says Peg Flick, CIO of NCMEC, “Technology empowers us to achieve our goal-finding missing children and helping to prevent child sexual exploitation. The reliability and support of the Ingres database product are vitally important to our success. Together with the coordinated efforts of government agencies and our own Ingres-driven technology, we have assisted in the recovery of nearly 99,500 children.”
Today, Ingres Database serves several user communities across NCMEC and its international partner, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. A secure intranet offers access to over 200 employees as well as federal agencies and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). The system houses critical case records accessed via various NCMEC Web-based applications distributed throughout the organization, and to a global network of International Centre websites. An Ingres-based call center and online reporting resource, staffed 24 x 7, processes leads regarding missing and exploited children. Ingres also provides public access to NCMEC’s websites, MissingKids.com and CyberTipLine.com, which receive 2.8 million hits per day and are available 24 x 7 x 365 to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of critical information.
By providing native support for NCMEC’s multi-user, multi-language environment, Ingres allows workers and concerned citizens in any location to contribute to the group’s efforts without barriers to understanding and productivity. “Each country configures its own website according to its own specifications and its native character sets,” says Flick.
The high availability and reliability of Ingres technology is complemented by the company’s human expertise. “The support I receive from Ingres Premium Service has been crucial to the success of our efforts at NCMEC. A team of senior engineers is at the ready to make sure the system is always running smoothly,” says Flick.
As NCMEC continues to expand its technological infrastructure, Ingres open source provides ample flexibility for new capabilities. Current plans include using the Ruby on Rails open source framework to create data-driven websites, all running in the Ingres Database server.
By its nature, NCMEC’s work will always be fraught with worry and sleepless nights. But with Ingres on the job, the organization can rest assured that their database and the information it contains will always be there when they need it.