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XML-Based CICS Integration for Financial Services

As companies race to meet their needs for straight through processing and reduced settlement cycles, HostBridge makes it easy to integrate CICS applications with other XML-based integration initiatives.

Executives and IT professionals in financial services have a unique understanding of the value XML provides. More than 80 percent of the respondents in a recent industry survey view XML as critical to the future of their business strategy, and almost all of those same companies use CICS behind the scenes.

As XML becomes pervasive throughout organizations, people are looking for solutions that ensure they do not strand their trusted legacy systems. That's why customers like Main Street America Group and MetLife are using HostBridge to help develop end-to-end XML initiatives.

Faced with an industry-wide push towards straight through processing (STP) and industry requirements for reduced settlement cycles (T+1), financial services providers were among the first to adopt XML as an enterprise-wide standard for exchanging data and integrating systems. While there is broad support for XML from database and software vendors, one of the last remaining hurdles is the ability to XML-enable legacy systems such as CICS. HostBridge powers financial services providers over that hurdle.

In the diagram below, an application server invokes HostBridge using HTTP and receives an XML document containing CICS transaction data. An XSLT engine on the application server transforms the XML document to any other XML document format.




What makes XML so effective in financial services is the presence of industry standards for exchanging data. Initiatives such as FpML, FinXML, FIXML, OFX, IFX, and SOAP provide a common vocabulary for companies to share and integrate data and systems. Another standard, eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT), allows companies to transform XML documents into other XML documents that use a different vocabulary.

XML supports integration strategies with straight through processing and the establishment of common business rules as goals.