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Investment houses use Fair Isaac to empower business rules

XML may be becoming a matter-of-fact technology as it mixes with Java to help create enterprise systems. Typical of this evolution was a recent conversation with Russ Kliman, director, platform strategies, who discussed the development of the Financial Wellness Platform at SEI Investments Inc. The Oaks, Pa.-based company provides Web-based financial management and investment applications to banks and financial advisors.

XSLT is used in the presentation layer for the Web interface through which bankers and financial advisors access the Financial Wellness Platform, Kliman explained. The application is used for everything from mundane tasks such as updating a customer's address, to making major cash disbursements from investment funds.

To help end users make these transactions conform to not only their own institutional rules but also to the maze of state and federal regulations, SEI added a rules engine. It selected Fair Isaac's Blaze Advisor to perform the business-rules engine functions.

XML is also routinely employed to handle a wide variety of financial data being run through the rules engine, according to Kliman.

"The payload that we pass through to Blaze is in an XML structure," he said.

The 45-year-old San Rafael, Calif.-based Fair Isaac Corp., which had its start in the financial technology business back when computers used vacuum tubes, has also embraced XML as well as Java.

Because its rules engine is a component in larger systems such as the one Kliman built at SEI, Fair Isaac uses Java and W3C standards to fit into as many places as possible, explained Ken Molay, director of product marketing at Fair Isaac.

"We created our rules software from the ground up as a generic Java application that can be called from any operating system that has a Java virtual machine and using any application server," he said. "We can communicate through Java objects and EJBs. We're fully J2EE-compliant." Molay also noted that his firm's software can access COM and .NET objects.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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