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IBM Wants to Ease Bank Woes

IBM said it has invested $140 million in a new system that helps improve the way banks process financial transactions.

Based on a service oriented architecture (SOA), the Core Systems Transformation (CST) solution is an answer to aging back-office systems that can't quite keep up with increasing volumes of mortgages, loans and deposits.

CST consists of an SOA approach designed to offer key banking utilities as Web services . The services are delivered with core transaction processing gear from IBM's WebSphere and Rational software, servers and storage systems.

The software has been optimized to run on IBM's pSeries and zSeries servers under Z/OS or Linux. Database and transaction processing workloads can be split on separate platforms.

CST includes Big Blue's component business model and information framework data models, which help banks identify parts of the infrastructure that get taxed the most.

CST has been tested, IBM said in a statement. IBM partner Fidelity Information Services has created a new version of its Corebank product, which includes a Java application running on zSeries and pSeries servers and IBM storage.

This new version is available and has been shipped in Japan to Suruga Bank.

CST is more modern than the legacy systems it is intended to replace in that it is designed to scale up or down to adjust to increasing or decreasing transaction workloads on the fly. That is one of the reasons why IBM has chosen an SOA to fuel CST.

IBM has been something of an SOA trailblazer, along with HP, BEA Systems, Sun Microsystems and a litany of smaller vendors angling for a slice of the multi-billion-dollar Web services pie.

Yesterday, IBM announced a new initiative to help its business partners, independent software vendors and systems integrators develop SOAs with customers.

The plan calls for Big Blue to offer free SOA resources through its PartnerWorld Industry Networks, which currently has thousands of companies developing solutions for IBM software.