Financial messaging outfit Swift is looking to ease the burden of standards development and maintenance for banks and vendors with the release of a set of processable documentation components for automating the labour-intensive task of cross-referencing and maintaining multiple messaging standards.
Swift is releasing the first batch of software-based standards components at this year's Sibos in Hong Kong following extensive pilot trials with 30 vendors and banks, including Sungard and IBM on the supplier side, market infrastructure operators Clearstream and Euroclear, and Barclays Global Investors and Germany's LBBW in banking.
The SDK includes a machine-readable repository of message meta-data which can be consumed in a variety of forms.
At Clearstream the data has been accessed in the form of enriched XML schemas, to produce customised processable documentation for its own and its customers' use, and a custom message validation service that allows customers to test their implementations early in the development process.
It replaces a time-consuming and impossibly complex manual effort that involved the constant review and cross-referencing of hundreds of pages of standards documentation for downstream uptake by users. Clearstream reckons the combination of the Swift-supplied standards automation product and specialist XML coding tools resulted in a reduction of approximately 50% in effort over the traditional approach.
Among the vendor community, the SDK approach is expected to ease the burden of maintaining proprietary support for Swift MT definitions.
For banks running Swift-enabled products in multi-vendor environments, the wide-spread adoption of a common repository of machine-readable standards definitions is expected to significantly ease the integration burden, freeing up resources for more productive projects.
Adam Moulson, head of implementation, Swift Standards, comments: "It is clearly inefficient for the Swift community that large numbers of partners and customers independently develop and maintain incompatible implementations of Swift and ISO standards. Our aim with the SDK is to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership of Swift for the financial industry."
The Standards Developer Kit is updated and available for download with each Swift standards release, says Moulson. This typically means in any one year there would be one major release covering MT and MX maintenance, and up to three updates of new MX messages.
The product is available under license on an annual subscription basis starting at EUR3500 for three named users per organisation.