Credit Suisse builds a more flexible application landscape

Around 450 mainframe-based apps in use

Financial institution Credit Suisse is embarking on a large scale Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) project to build a more flexible application landscape.

The goal, according to the organization's special projects director, Andreas Kurmann, is to "disentangle" the mainframe systems.

Kurmann said this will be achieved by transforming core mainframe-based processes into reusable services.

Mainframes have been in use at Credit Suisse for over 30 years, and core applications are expected to remain on mainframe platforms for at least another 10 years.

"Around 450 mainframe-based applications are currently in use, but are tightly coupled and difficult to change.," Kurmann said.

"The objective is to uncouple these applications and create reusable services to interface between applications, to facilitate future application development."

After evaluating more than 10 SOA governance solutions, Kurmann selected CentraSite because of its functionality and level of maturity.

CentraSite is an open standards-based SOA governance solution co-developed by Software AG and Fujitsu, which controls and administers all artifacts in an SOA-based application landscape.

This includes over 3000 interface descriptions and over 15,000 SOA artefacts relating to key applications. CentraSite will also provide workflow-based SOA lifecycle management.

By mapping business processes in a modular way and employing shortened software development cycles, Kurmann said Credit Suisse has formed a fundamental basis for measurable increases in business process efficiency.

He said Credit Suisse expects to benefit from reduced costs, efficiency gains and improved time to market, platform freedom and shorter development cycles for new applications.

"Our considerable investment in mainframe applications will be protected, and SOA will result in an open, highly flexible architecture which will better support business needs both now and in the future," he added.

The first phase of implementation is scheduled for completion by September 2007.

Subsequent phases will extend CentraSite as the central registry and repository for Credit Suisse's SOA application landscape worldwide, replacing their proprietary solution.

Member of the Software AG executive board, Dr Peter Kurpick, said CentraSite can support efficient modularisation of even the largest IT landscapes to help companies protect their past IT investments and make their existing applications future-proof.

Software AG has over 2,600 employees serving customers in 70 countries. Local customers include the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian National University, Nissan Australia, Victoria Police, Cathay Pacific Airways and Wizard Home Loans.

Software AG recently acquired webMethods in a bid to catapult it to a leadership position among SOA vendors and accelerate its ambition to become a US$1.3 billion entity by 2011.

Software AG paid $US546 million for webMethods. Combining the two firms' integration software revenues positions Software AG as the number three player in the SOA and BPM market, behind leader IBM and Tibco Software.

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