Integrated Loan, Mortgage and Lease Management Software That Supports a Service Oriented Architecture Methodology.
Using SOA Methodology, ARMnet Creates a Business Agile Enterprise (B-AE) Within Any Financial Institution.
The “text book definition” of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a software architecture where functionality is grouped around business processes and packaged as interoperable services. Service Oriented Architecture also describes IT infrastructure which allows different applications to exchange data with one another as they participate in business processes. The aim is a loose coupling of services with operating systems, programming languages and other technologies which underlie applications.
- Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) separates functions into distinct units, or services.
- These are made accessible over a network in order that they can be combined and reused in the production of business applications.
- These services communicate with each other by passing data from one service to another, or by coordinating an activity between two or more services.
- SOA concepts are often seen as built upon and evolving from older concepts of distributed computing and modular programming.
Distributed computing in reference to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) deals with hardware and software systems containing:
- More than one processing element or storage element.
- Running concurrent processes,
- Or multiple programs, running under a loosely or tightly controlled regime.
In distributed computing a program is split up into parts that run simultaneously on multiple computers communicating over a network. Distributed computing is a form of parallel computing, but parallel computing is most commonly used to describe program parts running simultaneously on multiple processors in the same computer. Both types of processing require dividing a program into parts that can run simultaneously, but distributed programs often must deal with heterogeneous environments, network links of varying latencies, and unpredictable failures in the network or the computers.
The key processing module in ARMnet Integrated Financial Product Management Solution is the End-of-Day (EOD) processing for interest accrual and processing. The ARMnet EOD processing module implements a grid processing system. EOD processing involves processing ARMnet Tasks and Transactions. ARMnet has a separate Task Processor service and a separate Transaction Processor service.
ARMnet Integrated Banking Software allows the system administrator to setup multiple Task and Transaction Processors to cater for increased processing volumes.
When EOD is invoked, ARMnet Integrated Banking Software tasks queued for processing for that day are passed to the Service Grid Processing service.
This service routes the queued tasks and transactions to the Task and Transaction processors. When multiple processors are invoked, the Service Grid Processor will load balance across the multiple processors. There is always only one instance of the Service Grid Processor running.
The ARMnet Integrated Financial Product Management Solution architecture enables these Task and Transaction processors to be deployed onto separate servers and separate processors.
For example, a cluster of three servers can be configured with each server running one Task Processor and one Transaction. The Service Grid Processor will load balance the EOD processing across these three servers. This would allow one server’s processors as an example to generate interest rate calculations, one to generate statements and a third to generate reports.
As volumes grow, the system is scaled by adding more servers to the processing grid. This eliminates the typical linear approach of most applications and truly optimizes the processing power on the grid. In testing conducted in house on bottom end scale processing servers we validated the increase in performance is at least 25% - 30%. In migrating to a cloud based server environment as we have established at Agilis Networks Data Centre using the latest Nutanix Server technology that performance improvement obviously increases even further.
In developing the Service Grid Processing structure within ARMnet we sought to position the solution well ahead of other financial product management solution providers in respect to fulfilling the objectives of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Recent moves by Microsoft™ and SAP™ to form Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) in Europe along with several large financial institutions validates this approach. The objective of BIAN is to create solutions focused on SOA for banks and related financial institutions. ARMnet already meets the core requirements here on many levels. In the mid 1990’s Axcess Consulting in Australia was a "founding father" of the Lending Institute XML Initiative a not-for-profit body designed to bring all software developers in the Australasia region together to establish common interfacing standards so that banks and mortgage originators could effectively collaborate. The standards LIXI created helped ARMnet position itself well for Service Oriented Architecture designs long before the financial management software industry even recognized the need for SOA on a collective global basis. Further to this in respect to scalability in any institution please note the following:
In effect the segmentation of processes within ARMnet helps us achieve this effectively. In reviewing the solution we then add other key elements to the equation including:
- ARMnet is developed on .NET Framework which makes ease of integration with virtually any solution a reality.
- CRM foundation insures a truly customer centric environment. One set of contact data populates and manages all workflows for deposit, wealth management, and lending products within an institution.
- Integrated reporting capabilities that can report on any field in a text or graphical nature take data mining to the next level.
- Workflow tools that allow mapping and/or adjusting of business processes without any programmer intervention.
- Dynamically integrated web client that allows you to manage content and collaborate with your clients effectively.
When this is all taken into account the structure meets and in many ways exceeds much of what SOA implementations attempt to achieve. Further to this Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is significantly reduced when ARMnet is implemented because:
- ARMnet eliminates the need for significant system integration at implementation. The system manages any financial product workflow whether deposit or wealth management, loan origination or servicing in nature in a retail, commercial or agricultural environments. One ARMnet database manages all client information. This also allows security permissions within workflows to be more effectively structured versus a multiple application structure.
- ARMnet manages, creates and maintains all documents associated with client data. This eliminates the need to integrate with an external document/cheque imaging and storage solution.
- ARMnet’s ASP.NET web client is a simple extension of the core system. Any workflow created in the system’s SQL database can be easily deployed to the web dramatically improving time to market on product changes or the launch of new products or services.
- ARMnet was built on a CRM foundation so by default it is customer centric. Due to the fact any product can be created and managed in the customer space the system also eliminates rekeying redundant contact data in multiple client areas. This is also a key SOA requirement.
- Our ASP hosting environment using IBM™ Blade Server clusters allows us to scale at minimal costs. As additional drive space is needed we simply slide another Blade into the rack. We also get to optimize the load by utilizing the processing power of each Blade added to its fullest potential.
- Robust reporting capabilities allow us to track and manage anything in the system from log files of changes on any field to fraud tracking, commissions, to simple statement generation without the need for a third party reporting tool.
In respect to ARMnet, one area where Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has been gaining ground is in its power as a mechanism for defining business services and operating models. An example of this is a Business-Agile Enterprise (B-AE). A Business-Agile Enterprise (B-AE) is a new Business Architecture that maximizes asset reuse and horizontal integration across lines of business. A B-AE is a company that has mastered the interrelationships between business and Information Technology (IT) of resiliency, agility and innovation, and understands that these interdependencies are today's best way to attain competitive advantage, industry leadership and improved financial results.
More definitively, a Business-Agile Enterprise is a company whose business leaders;
- Wholeheartedly & enthusiastically embrace business agility doctrine.
- Have totally converged (i.e., mega-alignment) business & IT.
- Have defined simple and clear Information technology governance
- Encourage and reward asset reuse across lines of business
- Recognize the power and necessity of a sophisticated IT infrastructure
As an analogy, think of the Internet. It was created to make national defense communications within the military resilient. Yet it now allows organizations to be flexible and agile to effectively seize upon opportunities. It has also been the enabler of endless innovation in business models, processes and global collaboration, and thus provides a structure for IT to deliver against the actual business requirements and adapt in a similar way to the business.
The purpose of using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as a business mapping tool is to ensure that the services created properly represent the business view and are not just what technologists think the business services should be. At the heart of SOA planning is the process of defining architectures for the use of information in support of the business, and the plan for implementing those architectures. The flexibility of ARMnet’s workflow automation toolset in helping the institution meet and adapt to those needs without any programmer intervention cannot be overstated. Enterprise Business Architecture should always represent the highest and most dominant architecture. Every service should be created with the intent to bring value to the business in some way and must be traceable back to the business architecture.
Since IBM™ first publicly announced Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)-related methodology in 2004, efforts have been made to move towards greater standardization and the involvement of business objectives. All of these approaches take a fundamentally structured approach to SOA, focusing more on the Services and Architecture elements and leaving implementation to the more technically focused standards. Another pertinent example is SAP™ Enterprise Services Architecture, which is focused on a strict governance process and the use of semantics to improve the usefulness of services in business process innovation. ARMnet™ provides elements of both in the system and the flexibility to adapt all product lines as the institution evolves.
For further information on Axcess Canada, the ARMnet Integrated Financial Product Management Software or to arrange a demonstration of the solution please contact us via email at ARMnet Sales or by telephone at 1-888-883-2852 Extension 401.
ARMnet Financial Product Management Solutions –
“Tomorrow’s Financial Product Management Solutions, Here Today.”