International Finance Corporation Exchange provides the following foreign currency exchange services for clients:
Managing currency exchanges
Ordering foreign currency
Checking availability of requested foreign currency at all local bank branches
Providing convenient locations throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia
Buying and selling foreign cash and travelers checks based on current exchange rates is IFCE’s sole business. International Finance Corporation Exchange services customers with and without accounts. For customers without an account, they provide cash-only services, whereas bank customers may use credit cards, personal checks, and other forms of payment. All branch offices receive individual country currency reports. These include information about country currency name, the denominations of both cash and travelers checks, and currency restrictions for each type of currency. Account executives and cashiers not only provide customers with currency information and exchange rates, but also place orders for currencies. Throughout the day, cashiers and account executives receive updates on individual foreign currency price quotes and currency availability at each branch. The system rejects requests for currencies in cash exceeding individual country restrictions. The following categories exist for fulfilling orders:
Pending orders occur only if currency is not available in cash drawers or in local branches. The standard procedure for such an occurrence is procuring requested currencies from regional branches. The system notifies the customer via email when the currency is available at the user’s local branch. An audit performed on a cashier’s drawer completes the transaction. The system reconciles any discrepancy. If currencies exist beyond normal limits, the central branch stock receives the overage. A balance shortfall prompts a request for currency replenishment from central bank stock.
The IFCE project will capture user inputs and visual outputs with added printing capabilities. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and IBM’s DB2 contain business logic and serve as repositories for data storage and retrieval. The project employs the web services XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI for data transmission and communication with Credit Card Services for payment processing. Reuters and Bloomberg serve as data sources for transmitting updated currency quotes.
The following abbreviations are used in discussions of the case study:
IFCE International Finance Corporation Exchange
MDC Main data center
MTBF Mean time between failure
The following assumptions and dependencies exist for our case study examples:
The IFCE main data center resides in the United States.
IFCE links to the National Credit Card Services for noncash transactions.
IFCE points to the Federal Reserve System for up-to-the-minute currency rate information.
Account and non-account customers interact with the system through a local branch.
Each regional bank reserves the privilege of selecting the most cost-effective hardware for a particular location. This privilege comes with the understanding that the hardware meets some defined criteria such as X86 Intel compatibility, power redundancy, or acceptable MTBF.
The following software platforms and application servers are present in the system:
Java 2 Enterprise Platform (J2EE 1.4)
Java 2 SDK Version 1.4.0_02
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server 2000
JNBridge Pro Enterprise Edition
Microsoft .NET Framework V.1
Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
Apache Server 2.0
Microsoft SQL Server 2000
SQL Server 2000 for XML Version 3
Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) Toolkit 3.0, WebService Description Language (WSDL), TCP/IP, and HTTP are employed for data transmission and exchange between different financial entities such as the National Credit Card Services and Reuters.
IFCE deals in the following currencies:
The overall architecture for this case study will remain static. The application servers are modified when appropriate to demonstrate a particular technology.