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SOA On Wall Street: .NET 3.0 February 16, 2007

Posted by newyorkscot in SOA / Virtualization.
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This presentation was given by Mike DeSanti of Eikos Partners (a partner of Lab49) — he was supposed to do this with a Microsoft guy, but as Mike said “the guy from Microsoft had a virus and could not make it”. Very drole.

Mike ran through some standard Microsoft slides on the .NET 3.0 framework covering:

  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)  – increases productivity and promotes service-orientated development through  support of standards, message-orientated programming, attribute-based development, configuration-based communication, etc.
  • Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) – lots of cool UI tools and components, supports declarative programming that includes XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language)
  • Windows Workflow Framework (WWF)  – supports transparent declarative model-driven software,  implementation of long-running or stateful processes as well as flexible control flow (sequential, state machine, rules-driven)
  • Cardspace

Mike did a good job of pointing out where the various elements of the software stack can be applied to SOA. Our friend DLG was there to help out as well on some of the more detailed questions from the audience. But I thought Mike’s own slides on the trends in Financial Services were more interesting and indicative of what is actually going on in financial services. Key points:

Sell Side Trends & Issues

  • SOAs tend to be islands of implementations and specific web services tend to be organized along specific business or organizational units.
  • There is quite a bit of refactoring going on of (legacy) applications, and in some cases messaging buses are being used for pre-web standard applications to communicate into the architecture.
  • There is a general lack of co-ordination around SOA development
  • Business Process Layers are NOT being used to orchestrate Services. This is an issue given the complexity and the statefulness of some of these processes.

Buy-Side SOA Trends & Issues

  • Little investment in SOA and where they are trying to implement SOA, there tends to be a loose conformity to SOA standards/guidelines.
  • Business services tend to service multiple asset classes
  • Buy-side firms tend not to model their business process very well and tend to standardize on a single SOA solution stack (such as Microsoft!)
  • The services infrastructure is generally lighter as it does not need to handle as large volumes and in many cases does not need to support the complexities the sell-side firms experience.
  • There is has been a lack of broker-dealer standardization, so it is tough to reconcile services and data.
  • But they are beginning to use SOA technology and workflow models to integrate legacy applications and to buildreconciliation systems to manage multiple broker-dealers.

Overall, it would seem that Microsoft technologies are already being used to address many of the issues in Financial Services and that .NET 3.0 will prove to be a great enabler going forward. Compared to the IBM stack, the new Microsoft software felt much more in-tune with defining and developing compelling service-driven applications that support business workflow processes and very rich performant front-ends.

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