The National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NCRCCUA) connects institutions of higher learning their prospective customers, graduating high school students. Although the company sports a .org domain extension, make no mistake, the company is very much for profit. Colleges and trade schools are in the business of selling their post-secondary educational products and services to high school students. NRCCUA compiles lists of these and markets them to educational institutions as targeted prospect lists.

Sharp Apex came aboard in 2007, around the time NRCCUA’s list business started to pick up in earnest. The majority of the company’s challenges centered around extract, transform, and load (ETL) functions for the many millions of records in their SQL Server databases. With one million more students entering the company’s data stores every year, it wasn’t long before their current ETL processes could no longer carry the load.

CIO, Earl Yoder, needed new ETL functions that would not only scale, but also be easy to maintain and adapt to each individual university/school contact. Sharp Apex created these services using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) with accompanying Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services to data into and out of their very large databases (VLDBs). Eric Lynch designed the services in a data-driven way; adding new clients became as easy as adding a row to a SQL Server table. The company still uses easily-portable and extensible packages today, and are very happy with the results.