Princeton N.J.-based Princeton Financial Systems (booth 1840), a provider of portfolio management and accounting software to financial institutions, has been working to put a new face on PAM. Specifically, the company has been rewriting the interface that clients and other vendors use to integrate with the accounting platform. The shift entails changing the way PAM integrates from a file-based extract, transform and load (ETL) paradigm to a service-oriented-architecture-centric platform.
"We have taken those interfaces and made them available through industry-standard Web services, which plug seamlessly into a service-oriented architecture on any platform," says Charles Morris, CTO at Princeton. "While our core architecture is a Windows-based architecture, we have used industry standards to allow us to integrate the core of PAM to any Web services-friendly platform, be it Windows, Linux, Unix, Macintosh, .NET, J2EE or any other platform," he adds. "We have exposed our Web services data interface via standard XML," he explains.
Princeton also is working with some of its partners to overhaul shared interfaces. For example, this year Princeton will introduce a Web services-based interface to the Charles River Development (Burlington, Mass.) investment management system. As a result, when a trade is put into Charles River's IMS, it is seamlessly sent to PAM. Then, all of the uploaded information from PAM will flow back to the Charles River IMS. According to Morris, previously, firms had to export trade tickets from Charles River, then import them back into PAM using file-transfer protocols (FTPs).
Another benefit of a Web services environment is that there are fewer moving parts - such as file transfers, imports and exports, for example - that a CIO must look after. Removing them from the equation means a reduction in maintenance costs, Morris says. Additionally, with Web services, data latency is reduced, he adds.
Princeton's focus over the upcoming months will include taking advantage of the revamped architecture to build a new graphical user interface on top of PAM. The company has been in talks with Microsoft, according to Morris, and recently finished a proof-of-concept to answer questions such as how to "bridge the gap between our native Win32 code and the new .NET managed infrastructure," he says. "That is the key to exposing what we have done to maintain our investment in our existing code base and not have to rewrite 100 percent of the application.