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IFX Forum members meeting ratifies version 1.5 of IFX standard

12 February 2004  |  452 views  |  0

At its recent members meeting in Dallas, the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum has announced, the organization reviewed and ratified the latest version of the IFX specification, Version 1.5.

The document is now available for download at no charge from www.ifxforum.org.

The group also reviewed the ATM/POS Implementation Guide that will be released later this year, heard the recommendations of its Web Services Working Group for future versions of IFX, and continued work on IFX Version 2.0. The IFX Forum is a not-for-profit standards-developing organization working to develop a robust framework for the electronic business-to-business exchange of data among financial service institutions around the world.

A larger number of prospective members than usual attended the Dallas IFX Forum meeting to become familiar with the group's activities before formally joining. Quarterly face-to-face meetings are an important platform for the Forum's working groups' accomplishments, though activity continues in between meetings by other means. The next members meeting is scheduled to take place in London, April 26-30, 2004. Details will be available at www.ifxforum.org.

"Since geography does not dictate who will be important contributors to Forum deliverables, we want to recognize that fact by rotating our meeting locations to be convenient for different populations," said Richard P. Urban, IFX Forum president. "In Dallas, we accomplished a great deal - in London we expect to do the same, and we hope to see as many new faces at the next meeting as we did in Texas."

Following a month-long public comment period for IFX Version 1.5, the Forum's Steering Committee ratified the new specification, which extends the ATM, POS, Business and Consumer Banking support provided by earlier releases of IFX. The result of several years of implementation experience in various commercial and retail banking applications, Version 1.5 builds on IFX's multi-channel capabilities to enable it to be used as a core technology for the EFT industry.

Work on IFX Version 2.0 also continued at the Dallas meeting. An adaptation of the IFX infrastructure to support emerging standards, Version 2.0 will be designed to support Web Services standards and will include changes flowing from the International Standards Team Harmonisation (ISTH) project. The Forum specifically invites companies and individuals who have international payment requirements or are implementing service-oriented architectures to participate in building this next generation of the IFX standard.

The current draft of an extensive ATM/POS Implementation Guide, designed to help business and technical personnel understand how to use IFX to implement all or part of an ATM/POS solution, was reviewed at the meeting. Developed by the Forum's ATM/POS Working Group, this guide assists parties interested in building an interoperable software application for EFT processing, using the business messages of the Interactive Financial Exchange (IFX) specification.

Additionally, the Forum's Web Services Working Group released its first deliverable at the Dallas meeting, an assessment of how the IFX specification can be used in a Web Services architecture. The working group's mission is to show how the IFX standard schemas and messages fit into the Web Services infrastructure, to avoid incompatible implementations of Web Services, and to provide comprehensive guidance on the use of IFX with emerging Web Services models, thereby ensuring the stability, flexibility and longevity of the IFX Business Message Specification. This material is available to members in the Members' section of the IFX Forum Web site.

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