OFX consortium releases OFX 2.0.2 XML schema


The Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Consortium today announced the public availability of the OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema. This release enables financial institutions and their technology providers to build state-of-the-art OFX systems faster and more cost-effectively using the many off-the-shelf XML development systems that are currently available.

The new OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema is compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Schema Recommendation, 2 May 2001. It complements the existing OFX 2.0.2 specification and DTD (Document Type Definition) to enable software developers to utilize the latest in XML technology. Additionally, the new OFX XML Schema provides a clear expansion path to allow OFX to support other important XML technologies such as SOAP and WSDL. It also expands OFX to support account aggregation in a manner that conforms to the latest BITS Phase II Aggregation guidelines.

"OFX is fast becoming the industry standard and the preferred method of downloading data by Quicken and QuickBooks customers," said Gil Clark, OFX program manager, Intuit. "Because it enables an easier, faster and more accurate download experience for our customers, Intuit is focusing all future development of online banking solutions on OFX. The new schema serves users who are upgrading their systems to new XML technology as well as those who are using OFX for new functionality such as account aggregation equally well."

"Microsoft is committed to simplifying connectivity for financial institutions that want to make it easier for their customers to access their account information electronically," said Greg Martin, financial products connectivity evangelist at Microsoft Corp. "The OFX XML schema enables financial institutions to utilize existing XML systems to easily and quickly implement cost-effective OFX solutions."

As well as enabling financial institutions to connect to their customers, OFX can support connectivity within the systems of the financial institutions themselves. The OFX XML schema allows intra-enterprise-oriented tools to be developed using the latest XML technology that, while dedicated to internal purposes, also adheres to a recognized industry standard. This helps assure interoperability with other internal and external systems.

"The XML schema definition for OFX 2.0.2 will allow financial institutions and vendors the opportunity to leverage modern development tools to develop solutions that use OFX. Citigroup was pleased to participate in this effort to produce a XML schema for OFX, and supports and encourages the use of open standards," said Michael Grandcolas, chief architect, Citibanking Technology Solutions Group.

The OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema was developed by the OFX Web services working group chaired by Business Logic. Other key contributors were Intuit, Microsoft and Citigroup.

"Business Logic has been working for over a year to help develop the new OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema," said Jon Hagen, CTO, Business Logic. "We believe this extensible, Web services-based version of OFX will be much easier for financial institutions and application providers to implement and extend than previous versions, and we look forward to working with the industry to standardize new extensions of the schema."

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