ReformIS were selected by a large international asset management company to develop a unit dealing system for their Treasury and Performance departments. The client had recently outsourced their back office operations and was in the process of decoupling the retained front and middle office systems from the back office supplier.
Delivery of the solution to a strict schedule was critical to the client, as they were liable for penalties from the back-office supplier should decoupling be delayed. Additionally, ReformIS were required to dove-tail the solution delivery into joint testing plans agreed between client and back-office supplier. ReformIS succeeded in delivering to schedule and ensured implementation according to the joint plan.
The new unit dealing system provides the following functions:
- Capture of manually input unit deal instructions
- Capture of unit deal instructions via file interface
- Workflow of instructions through verification, sign-off and authorisation stages
- Generation of standard reports and customised searching
- Export of authorised instructions to third party back office operations
- Import of instruction activity extracts from third party back office operations
- Maintenance of static data for portfolio, share class, share class mapping etc.
For the user interface, ReformIS designed a solution that balanced the need to replicate existing functions, so as to not require intensive user training, whilst providing usability improvements to make the unit dealing workflow more efficient. Interface handling services incorporated the client’s framework components so that the solution integrated with the client’s standard support processes for error logging and alerting.
The ReformIS solution uses the client’s Intranet to deliver all user functions, including; data entry, maintenance, authorisation workflow, and reporting. File interfaces are processed in a two-phased approach. The File Handler is responsible for capture and structural validation of incoming files and creation of outgoing files.
The Data Loader performs business rule validation of incoming data and update of the application database. The Data Exporter polls the application database for instructions that are authorised to be sent to the third party back office supplier and generates the record ready for file creation by the File Handler. Componentisation of interface processing provided a high degree of auditability and resilience for the instruction dataflow.
The Unit Dealing System is a multi-tiered solution implemented using the Microsoft .NET Framework and associated development methods. The tiers are organised as follows:
GUI Tier: a web application responsible for providing the user interface, consisting of ASP.NET web forms and user controls, and AJAX.NET libraries. This tier is written using ASP.NET and C# .NET and resides on a Windows server hosted within Internet Information Services (IIS).
Business Tier: the implementation of the domain model, business rules validation and data access layer interface definition. This tier was developed using an object orientated approach and an interface programming pattern to ensure efficient encapsulation of business entities and an implementation that is more flexible and extensible.
Data Tier: the database tables, views and stored procedures responsible for processing data access and maintenance requests from the Business Tier on the SQL Server databases.