Microsoft Announces Windows DNA FS Banking Industry Framework

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 3, 1997 — Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates today announced Windows® Distributed interNet Applications for Financial Services (Windows DNA FS), an industry framework that will allow banking software applications to seamlessly exchange information with each other and legacy mainframe systems.

“Windows DNA FS is a low-risk way for financial institutions to build powerful, flexible, heterogeneous ‘digital nervous systems,'” Gates said. “Those systems will allow institutions to embrace next-generation solutions that take advantage of the Internet and global electronic commerce.”

Gates made the announcement during a satellite keynote address from Redmond to more than 8,000 bankers attending the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery ’97 Conference in New Orleans.

“Windows DNA FS is a logical step in responding to one of the important issues banks face today,” said Bob Landry, group director of retail banking advisory services at The Tower Group. “If a bank’s customer data is fragmented across different applications that can’t talk to each other, it cannot provide consistent and reliable service to its customers. But if those applications can share information and the bank makes it actionable through customer-focused integrated delivery channels, it can reduce costs, increase revenues and retain its most profitable customers. Those institutions that use information effectively will be the winners in retail banking.”

Using Windows DNA FS, banks can build a function once and drive it through multiple delivery channels. For example, a software component designed to transfer money between checking and savings accounts can perform that function, in real time, for customers banking at home by PC, at the teller window, at an ATM or at a kiosk. That component can perform the transfer function by “talking” to any kind of back-end computer infrastructure, including mainframes.

Several leading banking Microsoft® Solution Developers announced support for the framework, including ADI Software (Germany), ALLTEL Information Services, Argo Data Resource Corp., Bankers Systems, Broadway & Seymour Inc., CFI ProServices Inc., Clarify Inc., Corillian Corp., Diebold Inc., Edify Corp., Financial Information Consulting Services Group, Financial Network Services, Fiserv Inc., FlexiInternational Software Inc., Goldleaf Technologies Inc., Infonorth, Information Concepts Inc., Infosys Technologies Ltd. (India), KALypso, Nexis Software Inc, nFront Inc., NSys, Olsy, Prologic Corp, Sage Consultants, Scopus Technology Inc., Software Dynamics Inc., Synon Corp., TIBCO Finance Technology Inc., Translink, Unisys and Versatility Inc.

Windows DNA FS will allow applications to exchange information, even if they run on different operating systems. It is scheduled to be freely available to software developers and banks and eventually managed by an independent third party.

“Windows DNA FS-compliant applications will solve a real problem for financial institutions by allowing functional drag-and-drop interchange between software applications,” said Mike Dusche, worldwide financial services industry manager at Microsoft. “Windows DNA FS also provides a low-risk way for a bank’s new delivery channels to seamlessly exchange data with each other and whatever back-end system the bank has in place.”

Windows DNA FS-compliant applications will, for example, allow a financial institution to select a call-center application from one vendor and an Internet banking application from another knowing that the applications will work together.

“What we’ve basically done is applied the same cut-and-paste functionality that’s in every copy of Windows to back-office financial-services applications,” Dusche said. “So those applications can now share information, just like any user of Windows can drag a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet into a WordPerfect or Word document.”

“Our banking customers expect interoperability between their delivery channels, and Olsy is committed to providing it,” said Massimo Gallotti, president and CEO of Olsy North America. “Windows DNA FS extends the advantages of COM and DCOM, and Olsy fully supports it as the application architecture for building distributed and Web-based banking solutions.”

A Microsoft Solution Developers conference for Windows DNA FS is scheduled for
Feb. 5 and 6, 1998. A solution developer kit is scheduled to be released in late 1998, and Windows DNA FS-compliant products should ship in early 1999, according to Dusche.

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