NEW YORK—Microsoft is ready to take on the Wall Street service-oriented architecture scene with its latest developer and infrastructure technologies, said a consultant in building IT systems for financial services companies.
Michael DeSanti, a partner with Eikos Partners, New York, spoke at the Web Services/SOA on Wall Street conference here and said Microsofts .Net Framework 3.0 meets the needs of financial services firms trying to build extensible SOAs.
DeSanti said the .Net Framework 3.0 and its components—the WCF (Windows Communication Foundation), WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), Windows WF (Workflow Foundation) and CardSpace—enable Microsoft to meet real-world SOA needs.
"Is Microsoft ready" for SOA, DeSanti asked. "Yes, they are. Microsoft has a solid set of offerings in the SOA space," he said.
Indeed, "Microsoft has been integrating SOA technology into all of its enterprise offerings from its operating system to Microsoft Office 2007 and various elements of the Microsoft enterprise application development environment," DeSanti said.
Meanwhile, some financial services enterprises are using Microsoft Excel, SharePoint and Web services to reduce risk in structured product environments, he said. And financial services firms are using workflow to model credit derivative processing, to model and manage large corporate loans, and to manage hedge fund processing, DeSanti said.
In addition, DeSanti said he believes Microsoft is well positioned to deliver SOA-enabling technology because "theyve been there since the beginning with DCOM [Distributed Component Object Model] and CORBA [Common Object Request Broker Architecture] support."
And Microsoft was instrumental in the development of XML and XML Schema, the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and the building out of the WS-* Web services stack and the WSDL (Web Services Description Language).
"Theyre breaking a lot of new ground, largely because theyre consuming most of this stuff internally," DeSanti said of Microsoft.
DeSanti said Microsofts WCF provides "one framework" for all of a developers Web services integration needs.
"WCF provides support for security, reliable messaging, transactions, metadata and XML, all under a common programming framework," he said.
Meanwhile, DeSanti described WPF as a framework providing a productive, unified approach to creating user interfaces, media and documents to deliver an unmatched user experience.
"Most people like WPF for creating next-generation user interfaces in this framework," DeSanti said. "You can deliver interactive user interfaces and facilitate developer-designer productivity," he said.
DeSanti described Windows Workflow Foundation as the programming model engine and tools for quickly building workflow-enabled applications on Windows.
"You can use Windows Workflow in the business logic of an application," he said.
Meanwhile, in addition to using the .Net Framework and other Microsoft technologies, DeSanti said developers should consider using other technologies to support their SOA development efforts.
These technologies include Aspect# (pronounced Aspect Sharp, an aspect-oriented programming framework for the .Net Framework) and Spring.Net for AOP (aspect-oriented programming) support; the CruiseControl.Net continuous integration server; NUnit for unit testing; Rhino Mocks for code coverage; and NDepend for code analysis, DeSanti said.
DeSanti said Microsoft technology can help with both sell-side and buy-side issues facing financial services companies, including the fact that cost and delivery pressure is forcing firms "to standardize on a single vendor for SOA solutions. They want one vendor who can deliver out of the box. And a lot of times platforms like Microsofts are attractive."