Microsoft Aids Financial Services Developers

Microsoft releases a financial services component library.

NEW YORK - Microsoft has released a new Financial Services Office Business Applications Component Library.

At the sixth annual Microsoft Financial Services Developer Conference, here, Microsoft released its new OBA (Office Business Applications) component library to help financial services organizations build applications on the 2007 Microsoft Office System.

Microsoft's last major update of its OBA platform was at its Microsoft Office System Developer Conference in San Jose, Calif., in February, where the company announced a new OBA sample application kit and an OBA composition tool kit. At that February conference, Microsoft also announced new OBA library components for financial systems.

However, at the financial services conference here on March 12, Microsoft released new components and delivered new functionality with the Financial Services OBA Component Library. The library consists of more than 90 components that serve as common financial methodologies and standard Web service protocols.

Chris Bryant, senior product manager of Office Platform Strategy at Microsoft has described OBAs as composite applications, built on the 2007 Microsoft Office system, that use the interfaces of Microsoft Office products and connect to other Microsoft technologies like Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

In the case of financial systems, OBA solutions model how people work day-to-day within financial services firms by integrating components with existing workflows, said Mike Walker, architecture strategist for the Worldwide Financial Services Group at Microsoft. The OBAs are also aimed at reducing training efforts and at trimming development time, he said.

"The Financial Services OBA Component Library is a comprehensive set of OBA components that span across key areas in the banking, insurance and capital markets industries," Walker said. "The components are built in a composite way. This enables customers to assemble OBA components into existing or new business processes."