Alliance for Toll Interoperability (ATI) Interoperability HUB
The Alliance for Toll Interoperability (ATI) represents over 30 North American toll authorities. With advances like All-Electronic Tolling (AET) presenting new opportunities in the tolling industry, ATI launched the Interoperability Network Pilot Program (INPP) to develop and implement a Pilot HUB that would allow motorists to use different toll facilities with a single electronic device–a huge step toward nationwide interoperability.
ATI selected TollPlus and its partner Cofiroute USA to design and develop a ToP-CCH product that would support the INPP by allowing different tolling authorities to exchange account holder identification and license plate information.
The ToP-CCH product we developed is a cloud-based interoperability solution delivered as a subscription-based service. The product provides an automated Toll Facility Operator (TFO) the capability to process license plate transactions and a supplementary system when the TFO cannot associate a license plate, account, or violation history. Businesses pay for usage only, not hardware or software.
During the course of our work, we developed additional ways to facilitate interoperability, including customized interfaces for each tolling agency and customized solutions that helped several agencies plug into the HUB.
In November 2011, we successfully deployed our ToP-CCH product with no issues, making the ATI pilot project a success.
Using proven design patterns from the credit card and telecom industries, ToP-CCH provides high-volume transaction processing and 24x7x365 availability. At one point during the pilot program, it processed 1,439,024,013 plate records and 11,596,776 transactional records in just three days.
ToP-CCH features load balancers that distribute work across multiple web and application servers. This provides extra failover resilience in the event a single server failure occurs. Exception logging is handled using Logger Class provided by Log4net. Logs can later be analyzed, and issues can be proactively managed.
During the pilot program, a single instance of the transaction server was used. Since then we have added multiple instances to deliver higher throughput. This also results in zero outage installs of new code releases through the effective management of resources using load balance technologies
To increase the availability of the ATI solution, we incorporated multiple database servers along with effective data partitioning into the architectural design. Database partitioning can be used to keep distributed data on multiple database servers for increased processing power. This design also results in improved system scalability.
The ATI HUB is located at a Phoenix, AZ co-location data center, while a disaster recovery data center can be implemented anywhere in the U.S. We can use the servers at this alternate site to report from the main transaction processing systems. This allows for greater utilization of hardware and software resources.
As the system load increases, additional servers can be deployed, and load balancers can be used to distribute the load across multiple devices. The architecture can also incorporate additional processing systems to support expansion. ToP-CCH can be deployed on virtual servers by using virtualization technologies like VMware and by server clustering.
The ToP-CCH technical system is highly secure, with features such as:
- Single sign-on (SSO) for accessing the system and role-based access
- Sensitive data, such as passwords, are stored in encrypted format
- Passwords must have at least six characters, including at least one numeric
- Sensitive actions in the system are logged (this feature can be switched on and off depending on requirements)
Financial Reconciliation and Auditing
Financial reconciliation between individual agencies can be achieved inside or outside the ToP-CCH environment.