Alfa-Bank (Ukraine), part of the international Alfa Group Consortium,
enjoys a solid reputation for reliable, high-quality financial services.
In an attempt to offer performance improvements of the banking
services along with unprecedented service quality to the bank's
customers, Alfa-Bank recently introduced to its banking infrastructure a
Temenos T24 core banking system, one of the most technically
advanced banking systems available today. With the new introduction,
the bank encountered several integration difficulties and concerns,
which were successfully addressed by the WSO2 Application Server and
the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus, thereby marking the first step of the
bank's full SOA implementation plan.
The Core System Integration Challenge
Before the introduction of the T24 core banking system, Alfa-Bank's business was handled by a single
core banking system, which includes several subsystems such as payroll management, contracts,
customer information, etc. In addition, they also connect with several third party transactional systems
providing credit and loan management services and ATMs.
Each of these systems were integrated as a classical enterprise system integration, with large amounts of
dedicated point-to-point connections between systems. When Alfa-Bank wanted to introduce a new,
high-end T24 system to this existing infrastructure, a lot of integration issues surfaced. The existing
system integration had very little flexibility to change, was highly dependent on the business logic implemented in the relational databases, and system integration
was limited and slow.
There was lack of visibility and documentation
for the existing third party and legacy systems. The T24 system is
complex and identifies messages in OFS (open financial service)
protocol which was new to the bank's IT team.
Web services - the best
technique available today
for system integration
With these system integration issues weighing down the bank’s IT team, they decided to consider the
best practices available today for such integration issues, namely, Web services.
The Solution From WSO2
Exposing business functionality as platform independent Web services is the widely received solution for
systems consisting of hard-to-change legacy applications, and thoroughly glued system integrations.
Rather than fiddling with complex technologies and protocols or adding onto the existing integration
chaos, Alfa-Bank decided to expose each application’s functionality as Web services through the WSO2
Application Server, thereby allowing systems to collaborate and integrate through Web services.
"The WSO2 Application Server
appeared the easiest and
fastest way to expose the
Web services just after
Head of - Integration Solutions,
"Before Web services we had only offline (scheduled) data integration. Now the functionality of the T24
system is available for all other banking systems. We even can publish currency exchange services over
the Internet directly from T24 system," says Dmitry Lukyanov, the head of the Integration Solutions
Department of Alfa-Bank (Ukraine).
The WSO2 Application server offers a lean, simple and an interoperable platform for the development,
deployment and management of Web services, so that all the
systems in the bank have a homogenous communication mode,
irrespective of the internal logic and protocols used by each
system. Further, the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus enables
effective collaboration, management, interfacing, security and
mediation of Web services with end points for external third
party application integration.
Alfa-Bank selected the WSO2 Application Server for their solution after undergoing a period of product
evaluation, where they analyzed the capabilities of most of the existing vendors in the market today. The
WSO2 Application Server appealed to them as the most attractive solution.
"In short, when I was selecting a tool/technology, my primary targets were open-source, less development
and more configuration, simple administration. The WSO2 Application Server appeared the easiest and
fastest way to expose the Web services just after installation," says Dmitry.
He further added that "WSO2 products give us
possibility to move to our target - SOA with zero
licensing costs" highlighting the fact that WSO2 open
source products incur absolutely zero licensing costs on
the users, who can freely download, install and use
WSO2’s products are easy to acquire and deploy, provide high performance and innovative technological
benefits, easy to configure and maintain and also easy on the budget.
"WSO2 products give us possibility to
move to our target - SOA with zero
Head of - Integration Solutions,
The Next Step
In the long term, Alfa-Bank plans to grow the current solution up to a full SOA implementation, using the
rest of the products in the powerful WSO2 middleware stack, thereby improving the overall quality of the
bank's services. With the new implementations, Alfa-Bank will realize promising benefits to its large and
satisfied customer base.
The bank has also requested help and support from the WSO2 middleware experts on the current and
future middleware solutions. The WSO2 support services are provided by the same engineers and
architects who have been involved with the solution development, thus high quality and efficiency of
support services are guaranteed.
WSO2 ensures seamless
integration of the Temenos T24
system to Alfa-Bank (Ukraine).
Reflecting on this fact, Dmitry added: "We'd like to have
reliable product support, with more attention and fast bug
fix so we can spend less time in source code digging."
As for any other customer, for Alfa Bank, WSO2 will continue to be a trusted advisor and an innovative
technology provider that regards the customer’s best interests as utmost priority. Because, at WSO2, client
satisfaction and integrity are in the company's DNA.