(Disclaimer: I am currently employed by IONA as a Senior Solutions Consultant. See general disclaimer to the right.)
This past week, IONA announced the acquisition of C24 Technologies out of the United Kingdom. IONA has had a reseller agreement with C24 Technologies for quite some time that matched the strengths of our two companies for the greater benefit of mostly our financial services clients. This acquisition is a great example of complimentary products and people joining forces to provide truly differentiated value.
I have been working with the C24 IO tool (re-branded by IONA as Artix IO) for the past seven months at various Fortune 100 financial firms. IO (Integration Objects) is a data mapping and translation tool that enables model driven data management. Not only does IO come preconfigured with in depth knowledge of standard financial industry message formats, but it provides a graphical data mapping tool for building data translation models, it can convert these models into transformation rules, and generate optimized java code based upon the data mapping models. IO also has the ability to provide constraints to message validations that go beyond what’s available today with XML schemas or XPATH; and these constraints can be applied to any message format. Data models generated with IO currently process trillions of dollars of financial transactions daily around the globe.
Side Box: John Davies, co-founder and CTO for C24, enjoys showing prospective clients how IO can handle the intricacies of complex message schemes like SWIFT, FpML, and ISO 20022 and then providing the test schemas to the client to have them try the same test with the other data mapping tools they are evaluating…he hasn’t come across an instance yet where the other tools didn’t fall over on some part of the schema’s intricacies. After spending over two decades in the financial services industry dealing with these complex message formats, John and the C24 team has ensured that IO can handle the complicated formats that enable electronic banking in today’s world. (John also did an interview with TheServerSide.com on the acquisition.)
To provide some contextual background, IONA’s Artix family of distributed SOA infrastructure products enable true distributes service integration and has been in use for years within both the Financial Services and Telecommunications markets. The entire concept of SOA is about service enabling functionality within your enterprise and making that functionality available to anyone who needs to access it. Any point in your enterprise could directly consume a service within the enterprise to leverage its functionality. Enabling this type of efficient point to point connectivity using standards based message formats and transports is the genesis of the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) concept. That concept seems to have gotten diluted over the past few years during the conversion of existing applications server stacks into essentially ESB Hubs that all service consumption must pass through. Artix is a truly distributed technology that embraces this ESB concept. (For further discussion on the Stacks versus Distributed concept, see William Henry’s Gravity of the Hubs postings).
By hosting the model generated Java code from IO within the Artix runtime on the distributed services within an enterprise, Financial Service clients gain the combined benefit of efficient distributed services with robust model driven data mapping for financial message formats. This allows a firm to choose the best way to service enable an application based upon the unique technical, business, or political architecture of their organization. And they can do it in the incremental value driven approach that has become the new standard within the maturing technology industry over the past five years.
I am very excited about the joining of IONA and C24. I foresee some exciting case studies coming in the future as we continue to work with our large financial services clients on Artix and IO based solutions; and as the combined team continues to expand IO’s preconfigured message format understanding beyond financial services.