UK Banking Leader RBS Turns To Neo4j to Boost Developer Productivity

The Challenge

RBS has an established reputation in the marketplace as a secure and reliable partner for all of its customers. To make that reputation even stronger, the firm has a stated mission of always striving to build a “stronger, simpler” business – an aim in which the best use of leading-edge technology is key.

Tasked with leading that charge is its City of London-based IT resource. Technology looked after by this core team includes Agile Markets, the firm’s investment bank trading platform, set up to support traders in currencies, FX and a wide range of other financial instruments.

Hundreds of RBS developers help to support and extend this mission-critical trading platform. To make their lives easier, RBS IT leadership has been increasingly conscious of the problem of application change management, especially the issue of the ripple effect of a small change that can impact many other programmers’ work.

“As we are a bank, we have a regulatory requirement to know what is deployed where, by whom and when; everything has to be vetted and everything has to be checked,” he confirms. “And when there’s a code change, you can see a ‘butterfly effect’ sometimes, where a seemingly innocent change in Development or QA or even Production can break in places you have never even thought of.”

The Solution

“We knew we needed to store a lot of information. By no means at Big Data levels, but in terms of underlying, inherent complexity, we needed a database management system that could cope properly with that.”

Plainly, such requirements ruled out traditional relational databases, as their rigid definitional requirements and fixed schema would be too restrictive. The other attraction of using a graph solution was the availability of the increasingly-popular query language, Cypher.

And as graphs come in to their own when it comes to storing and expressing data relationships, avoiding the SQL strain suffered by relational databases from JOINs between tables to cater for data connectedness, graphs clearly were the best way forward. But which graph technology?

The answer’s simple – Neo Technology’s market-leading Neo4j. “Neo4j was selected because it is built ground-up as graph, so is a true native structure, self-contained and with no external dependencies,” says Gerogiannakis.

Download Case Study