WSO2 Middleware Ensures Alfa-Bank a Promising
Future in SOA
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 issues.
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 installation."
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 them.
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 licensing costs."
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.