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* Academics applaud commercial software innovation

The Open University, a participant in OpenTrade Technologies' University Partnership Programme, has singled out OpenTrade's Orbita real time messaging and integration software for a teaching case study which describes Orbita as 'the leading real time middleware solution in the field.'

The Open University has recently evaluated Orbita and OU Business School lecturer, Bernado Batiz-Lazo, has produced an OU case study document "Innovations in Credit Control" for use by Business School IT students.*

The Open University conducted its evaluation of Orbita as part of the University Partnership Programme initiative under which OpenTrade makes evaluation copies of Orbita available to educational institutions for the purposes of evaluation, research and teaching.

OpenTrade Chief Executive, Joel Jervis, says, 'We expected our partnership with Universities to be mutually beneficial, but it is especially gratifying to learn that the OU has felt Orbita important enough as a subject of study for its IT and business students.'

According to the OU study, 'Real time middleware is the name given to the messaging software that is the 'backbone' for real time communication and applications integration of some of Europe's top financial organisations such as the Swiss National Bank, the Helsinki Securities and Derivatives Exchange (HEX Exchanges), Gruppo Intensa (Italy's largest banking group), Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB), and United Banks of Switzerland (UBS).'

All the organisations mentioned in the OU study are customers for OpenTrade's Orbita software.

The case study continues, ' The leading real time middleware solution in the field is called Orbita and was developed by OpenTrade, a privately held company with offices in London, Frankfurt and Milan. Orbita is a resilient system which supports both publish-subscribe and point-to-point messaging of messages up to 2 Gigabytes capacity. This is equivalent to exchanging messages roughly the size of the hard disk of a modern day personal computer in real time -- with delay measured only in nano-seconds.'

'Besides acting as 'backbone' for Intranets or Extranets, the most popular application of Orbita has been the financial dealing room. Reliable price and news dissemination has been a critical requirement for the operation of dealing rooms in financial institutions for very long time.'

'Money market trading is a perfect example of real-time middleware at work. These are high volume, low margin activities in which automation is key to reduce costs, control market and credit risks. Because of the need to have up to the minute information, the systems used to support currency or money market trading must be able to process thousands of transactions per day, with daily turnover running in the billions of dollars, pounds, euros, yen, and other currencies.'

'One result of [a system with] multiple interfaces,' points out the study, ' is that business strategy had to choose between a thin client base or limited applications: If front desk activities were to perform data modelling operations on a large data set and a substantial number of data elements were located on the organisation's proprietary databases, then technological limitations restricted the number of users that could access that application as well as the number of client/counterpart information that could be processed. If on the other hand the organisation opted for a simpler model, then greater numbers of users could access that application as well as the application being able to processes greater number of clients/counterparts.'

'What a system like Orbita does is to remove these 'bottlenecks', that is, eliminate potential obstructions to information flow by keeping up to date images of all relevant
data sets (whether small or measuring several megabytes) which can be maintained in real-time across all systems. In other words, systems such as Orbita provide a way for data sets to receive hundreds or even thousands of updates per a second. This information is provided through a range of communication speeds (from low modem speeds to 100Mbps links and beyond) emerging from dedicated local area networks and remote systems. Moreover, information is produced by subscribers and affects message receivers whose number constantly fluctuates.'


NOTE to editors: Copies of "Innovations in Credit Control" by Bernado Batiz-Lazo are available from JGM.

Editors Notes:

OpenTrade Technologies is the independent software house that invented real time business messaging in the 1980s. With offices in London, Frankfurt and Milan, OpenTrade has been supplying solutions based on this technology across Europe for 17 years.

OpenTrade provides the key component of a number of mission critical solutions for the financial services industry - its technology is used daily by institutions such as the Swiss National Bank, Banca Intesa and the Helsinki Stock Exchanges to make split-second judgements.

Now, real time business messaging is in demand outside finance and banking in a wide range of industries. OpenTrade's high-performance business messaging system, Orbita, is being deployed as an essential component in applications from vehicle scheduling to public share dealing over the Web.

Technically, Orbita enables the reliable, efficient distribution of real time information from a data source or publisher to any number of subscribers. Built to transport and deliver tens of thousands of messages per second per node, Orbita provides a unique high performance publish/subscribe messaging architecture that supports high-speed message transport, and enables massive system and application scalability. The publish/subscribe mechanism allows information about business events to be published efficiently and very rapidly across private and public networks for B2B and B2C communications over any IP network.

OpenTrade is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cairnsford Technology Group.

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