Norwegian investment trust savings company Vital has begun limited live trials of a new online service linking customers and financial advisers to their accounts over the Web.
The system, which entailed Web design and development services from Vital parent company DnB Group, is to be rolled out to Vital's 600 agents and 20,000 customers throughout Norway over the coming year.
As part of the project, the DnB development team initially exploited Corba to access data stored on the incumbent Quasar system from ACT Financial. To achieve the connection to Quasar, the ACT team created a link to Quasar's Caché database through a Java class. The company defined a Caché class that was exported from Caché as a Java class. Vital's Corba server established a connection to the Java class, and each user request then created a new instance of the class and called the appropriate class method. All data passed to and returned from the methods was encoded in XML format.
"We'd been using Caché objects to interface from Visual Basic to the Quasar database, but we hadn't used them to link with third party XML based systems before," Simon Harwood, Quasar product manager says.
For later phases of the project the DnB front end is being re-engineered to an EJB architecture. Connections to the Quasar database will be achieved using JDBC. The class methods generated for the early phases have been re-coded as stored procedures.
Harwood comments: "Caché enabled us to cater for the change in front end architecture, without the need for a major developmental exercise."