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SaaS ISV for Retail POS applications boosts performance and saves 65% over AWS by deploying MySQL HeatWave on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Introduction & Background

GaP Solutions is a leading provider of retail technology solutions in Australia, with point-of-sale (POS) systems in over 1,000 stores across the country. The company offers a comprehensive suite of products and services, including cloud-based integrated retail software, weighing and labelling equipment, forecourt retail solutions, and commercial food and bakery equipment.

Founded in 1992, GaP Solutions has continuously innovated to meet the evolving needs of a range of businesses across the retail sector, and has remained owner-operated, fostering deep roots within the industry. GaP Solutions invests in skills, technical superiority, and progressive application of its technology to advance its industry-leading role. It has recently expanded into international markets and has operations in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

Business Challenges & Goals

GaP Solutions has undergone a significant evolution in its IT infrastructure over the years, particularly in the development of its mission-critical retail enterprise POS software. After beginning on the MySQL Community version, the company’s expansion necessitated a move to the cloud, leading GaP Solutions to adopt AWS and MariaDB for backend operations.

However, this setup presented challenges for the SaaS vendor’s multi-tenant application, notably in terms of sub-optimal performance during concurrent database transactions—leading to delays in query response times for retail clients.

Database stability was also a growing concern, with downtime occurring due to corrupt indexes and memory issues which affected production workloads. In addition to the higher operational costs of AWS, GaP Solutions also experienced scalability issues, while technical support was expensive due to AWS’ support plans.

The company needed a more robust, responsive, and reliable database system capable of meeting dynamic customer needs in the fast-paced Australian and international retail markets.

Business Results & Metrics

GaP Solutions deployed MySQL HeatWave on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to boost competitiveness by increasing the performance, stability, and scalability of its cloud-based integrated retail software, while also achieving extensive savings in IT operational costs.

With MySQL HeatWave on OCI, GaP Solutions provides better performing and more reliable software systems to its retail customers than with AWS RDS/MariaDB—particularly with regard to concurrent transactions, where host processing times have been reduced by approximately 50%.

“Due to the multi-tenant nature of our SaaS product, the ability of our database management system to handle more transactions concurrently is paramount, especially when scaling out,” Goodacre said.

Patches for master product updates and new price releases are now applied in half the previous time, enhancing product and inventory management processes.

By implementing MySQL HeatWave on OCI, GaP Solutions achieved cost savings of approximately 65% compared to AWS RDS/MariaDB, while additionally saving on network fees and related database service costs.

GaP Solutions also improved storage I/O performance, enabling more efficient management of transactional data for its core-product offerings. This has facilitated faster reporting and better insights into customer behavior and market trends for its retail clients, improving decision making. It has also enabled the company to more easily tailor its product offerings to address customer pain points in the retail space.

The MySQL HeatWave implementation increased the stability of databases underpinning GaP Solutions’ production workloads, minimizing downtime and providing a more seamless experience for retail clients.

“So far, MySQL HeatWave has not failed us when it comes to stability in the cloud. Problematic queries that crashed our previous MariaDB servers are running smoothly in MySQL HeatWave,” commented Goodacre.

With a more streamlined database infrastructure, GaP Solutions has enhanced its business agility, and can rapidly deploy customer solutions within minutes by spinning up a new tenant on its servers. This has enabled the company to increase its competitiveness by rapidly responding to urgent setup requests from new and existing retail clients.

“We are often faced with unexpected clients turning up at the last minute, and we need to move quickly to secure those deals. MySQL HeatWave on OCI infrastructure enables us to do this,” said Goodacre.

GaP Solutions ensured a smooth and rapid migration to MySQL HeatWave by leveraging expert guidance from MySQL and Oracle Support teams, which continue to provide prompt, specialized support for the company’s operational needs.

“With AWS, there were cumbersome support tiers, with upfront fees just to be able to seek help for a problem with a particular server. But with Oracle we just contact the representative directly and receive on-the-spot assistance,” said Isara Arunanondchai, DevOps Engineer, GaP Solutions.

Why MySQL HeatWave?

Critical selection criteria for GaP Solutions included database speed, efficiency, reliability, and cost. The company evaluated platforms from several providers, and chose MySQL HeatWave based on internal tests which demonstrated measurable and significant quantitative and qualitative performance gains over AWS RDS/MariaDB.

“OCI continues to offer more cost-effective MySQL solutions compared to other cloud service providers, while driving innovation and enhancing performance through software updates and allowing us to use new hardware architecture as it becomes available through Oracle’s hardware partners,” John Goodacre said.


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