After five years of development, SunGard's common services architecture framework for its technology portfolio, known as Infinity, has begun active testing with a number of unnamed banks.
Version 1.0 will include over 20 current SunGard services with more core banking applications being added in the next six months, and is expected to go live some time in the second quarter of 2008.
The project, which will deploy service-oriented architecture (SOA), is aiming to make SunGard's extensive yet disparate software portfolio more easily available to customers, allowing them to dip into a central registry and select component-based services on a consumption basis.
According to Clare Porter, managing director, Global Business Intelligence, SunGard, the approach adopted for Infinity represents the future of software development. Porter drew particular attention to SunGard's development of a registry within Infinity that will act as a library containing all the available components.
"We want to be able to put within Infinity components that can be developed by users at one end and also complete solutions for customers at the other end. The challenge is in creating a registry that can be indexed rather than just a big bucket.
"We often hear of customers saying that SOA is great and application reuse is great but that they just end up having access to a collection of software that is hard to navigate and where they do not know what is there.
"With our registry customers will be able to model their problem, create a way to solve it and allow us to deliver that solution," said Porter.
Porter also says that, in time, SunGard will be able to migrate its current customers onto the Infinity framework, thereby reducing their software 'footprint' and reducing any duplication. "Infinity has the Carnot tool (SunGard's BPM platform) embedded within it to help us to transfer clients from a product-focus to a component-focus," said Porter.
In addition to the proof-of-concept, SunGard has created an advisory board involving many of its larger customers that will meet twice a year to discuss the development of the service.