The ABCFinances Web Service - XML

ABCFinances is a New York-based financial services organization. The internal business processes of the organization are fully automated. However, the process of automation was not performed on a company-wide scale. Instead, automation was done differently for different departments. This has resulted in a heterogeneous system. For example, some of the departments of ABCFinances are on mainframes, some are on Java-based systems, and the rest are on Microsoft technologies. As a result, the organization is facing problems with integration and interoperability of the systems. In addition, the company is not able to maintain the integrity of the data because there is a lot of duplication of data.

As a solution to the organization's problem, the MIS head plans to shift the entire business logic to some system that is interoperable with various types of clients that use these systems. Currently, the organization has several client applications that are developed on various platforms and by using different software technologies. To develop a system that is interoperable across platforms, Web services would be an ideal solution. However, converting the entire system to a Web service architecture base would require a huge amount of resources and effort. Therefore, the MIS head has decided to start a pilot project on one system. If the results of the pilot project are satisfactory, the development team will use the Web services architecture to integrate all applications as much as possible.

One of the most frequently used data on most of the systems at ABCFinances is the exchange rate for various countries compared to the US Dollar. This data is stored in databases of ABC-Finances and is accessed by various middle tier components, which supply the business logic for various functions. This data is updated on a daily basis. After updating, this data needs to be replicated on various databases so that the data is accessible from a wide range of applications.

Because the problem faced by ABCFinances is to replicate the data across various databases, Web services can be an ideal solution. As a result, the development team at ABCFinances decides to create a Web service that makes the data accessible to applications created on diverse platforms. This would enable the organization to verify the interoperability and robustness of a Web service-based solution.

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