Dear Companies House,

According to your website, Companies House holds information on over 2 million registered UK companies, and its on-line WebCHeck service is able to provide basic company details for free, including the name, number, address, date of incorporation, and nature of business.

Clearly in order for this on-line service to work the above information must be present in a computerised database.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please may I be sent:

(1) The name and version of the database software (eg Oracle, mySQL, etc) used to hold the above information for use by the WebCHeck system;

(2) The definitions of the tables in this database in terms of names, columns and datatypes;

(3) The total size of the database used by WebCHeck containing this information in terms of its memory on disk;

(4) How frequently this information is backed up and/or reloaded into the database, and how long this process takes.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

Alun Howells, Companies House

Dear Mr Todd

Your freedom of information request has been passed to the Information Rights Team as we deal with such requests for Companies House.

We are in the process of dealing with your request and a response will be sent as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Mr A Howells
Information Rights Team

show quoted sections

Jan Lumsden, Companies House

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd

With reference to your email dated 24 March 2010 where you have made
enquiries under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in respect of the
Companies House computerised database. Please accept my apologies for the
delay in responding.

I have answered your questions in the order they appear in your request

(1) The name and version of the database software (eg Oracle, mySQL, etc)
used to hold the above information for use by the WebCHeck system;

The name and version of the database software used is Oracle 10g.

(2) The definitions of the tables in this database in terms of names,
columns and datatypes;

Attached is a document showing the definitions of the tables in this
database and the information held under each table.

(3) The total size of the database used by WebCHeck containing this
information in terms of its memory on disk;

The size of the WebCheck databases are small as they simply
hold information on customer accounts (log in), the accounts
authorisation, an audit of web page progression etc. There are 2 databases
for this service one being 7GB in size (that is database size and not the
size of the actual data) and the second is 19GB. The service when actual
company data is requested is passed through to CHIPS and/or image
databases which are Companies House's core databases.

(4) How frequently this information is backed up and/or reloaded into the
database, and how long this process takes.

We have a nightly backup of these databases to disk and these backups are
also backed up to tape on completion and these tapes are duplicated and
securely stored. The process or the backups of WebCheck take less than 15
minutes for a full backup of the 19GB database and approx 7 minutes for
the smaller one.

I hope that the above information fully answers your Freedom of
Information enquiry, but if you have any queries about this email, please
contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our response,
you should write to me, within two calendar months of the date of this
email, and I will ensure that it is forwarded to a senior member of
Companies House who has had no previous involvement in this case and they
will undertake the review.

If you are then not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by us. The Information Commissioner can be contacted
at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J Lumsden

Information Rights Team

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