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LeveL Four releases XFS-based product suite

20 April 2004  |  627 views  |  0

Level Four Software, the leading provider of ATM test and development software, today announced an XFS extension to its core product, ATM Channel Development Suite, in response to industry adoption of open standards ATM architectures.

The enhanced desktop ATM testing and management toolset is designed to accommodate the introduction of the XFS interface standard and the anticipated move to the IFX messaging standard. The XFS extension supports in-house developed applications and proprietary messaging protocols, and continues to support existing protocols still prevalent in the marketplace.

XFS* is an open architecture interface, a layer that separates the software and hardware of an ATM. Level Four's XFS extension to the ATM Channel Development Suite enables ATM testing with any XFS-based run-time software application, whether it is packaged or developed in-house, regardless of the hardware it runs on.

Complete end-to-end testing is initiated from the desktop through the XFS application program interface to test the live software, using simulated hardware and peripherals. All the benefits of having a "virtual" ATM for developing and testing ATM applications are now available with the latest generation of ATM software architectures from leading ATM vendors and independent software providers.

Level Four recognises that a rapid uptake of open standard ATM architecture is already in progress. Banks are particularly interested in XFS as it provides the ability to run any vendor's software on any ATM hardware. Martin Macmillan, CEO, Level Four Software, comments, "XFS introduces a competitive element that is causing fundamental change in the ATM marketplace. Leading ATM manufacturers have for the first time become exposed to competition from each other and from independent specialist software companies. This creates a win-win situation for banks as vendors strive to offer the highest quality, most cost effective solutions."

Macmillan continues, "Our vendor independent ATM testing suite is a natural fit with the move to open standards. We are pleased to announce the XFS extension to our product suite, which meets the increasing testing requirements of our growing customer base in EMEA and North America."

The XFS extension also accommodates IFX Version 1.52**, the emerging messaging protocol for communication with host systems. Level Four is an active member of the IFX Forum, a non-profit standards-developing organisation promoting the benefits of the use of one common messaging language for internal and external communication for financial institutions.

Open standards drive change in ATM technology
Today, Level Four Software launches a white paper that discusses the role open standards will play in the future of the ATM channel. The white paper explores the rapid advancement in ATM technology, in particular the adoption of XFS, IFX messaging protocol and TCP/IP networks, which play an integral part in the new open architecture.

*XFS - The open software layer XFS evolved from a Banking Solutions Vendor Council initiated by Microsoft in 1991. The result was referred to as Windows Open System Architecture/Extensions for Financial Services (WOSA/XFS). The aim was to provide multi-hardware support, without having to change application programming specific to hardware features. Since 1998 the standard has been adopted and developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), and is now referred to as XFS.

**IFX - International Financial eXchange (IFX) specification, Version 1.5, released in February 2004.

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