EDS claims that it has built the world's first Internet banking solution using .Net development architecture. The IT solutions provider has constructed a .Net-based online banking service for the Bank of Queensland. According to Microsoft, the EDS team took just under four months to complete the project.
At this stage it appears that the .Net implementation is limited to providing an interface between the bank's online customers and its mainframe.
Aside from EDS's claims that the project is a world first, the implementation of the .Net architecture at the bank has a second significance.
Given the critical nature of their security apparatus, banks are known for being conservative when it comes to choosing Internet banking technology. Most banks prefer to wait until a technology matures before putting on the front-line.
Frank Arrigo, Microsoft group manager for .Net ecosystems, accepted criticisms that the move was premature in part.
"It's a reasonable criticism if you look at it form the Web services implementation point of view, but I would dispute [the criticism] if you're looking at it from a .Net architecture perspective," said Arrigo.
Arrigo admits that the security protocols such as WS-Security (yet to be implemented), which .Net relies on to secure Web service transactions, are still evolving. Though companies with significant stakes in the Web services development have agreed to the specifications for the protocols they haven't been implemented
John Dowles, director of Monash Information Technology believes it's unrealistic to expect any new technology to be perfect out of the box.
"It's always evolutionary, nothing is shrink-wrapped and goes in perfect, it comes about through working in a real-life situation," said Dowles
Curiously Microsoft has been quiet about EDS's achievements with the Bank of Queensland. The online banking service has been online since June but the software giant chose not to publicise the implementation, as it has with other recent .Net developments.
Microsoft last week claimed a number of victories for the .Net platform, including the migration of the Australian Taxation Office's Australian Business Register onto the platform.
Arrigo said that there are more banking solutions in development outside Queensland. However, Arrigo declined the opportunity to discuss those in detail prior to next week's TechEd conference in Queensland.