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Raft International announces .Net strategy

Migration to Microsoft.Net set to revolutionise financial services with
better system interoperability and more delivery channels

Raft International has announced that its component based financial software solutions will be migrated to the Microsoft.Net platform. The .Net platform greatly improves interoperability with other systems and expands the delivery channels available to Raft’s financial solutions. Microsoft’s latest platform will provide the basis for a new generation of Raft software making full use of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) to revolutionise information flow in financial institutions.

Raft has created a new component architecture specifically for .Net. The company is now engaged in migrating from its present Microsoft DNA architecture to .Net and expects to engage existing customers in a beta migration program in Q4 2001. Raft will release its .Net Component Inventory simultaneously with Microsoft’s full production release of Microsoft.Net, currently scheduled for late Q4 2001.

Commenting on the strategy, Asim Shah, Raft’s Chief Technology Officer and architect behind the company’s .Net strategy, said: 'Microsoft.Net represents a major breakthrough for component-based solutions, facilitating reuse and interoperability across platforms in a manner never previously possible. The changes we are introducing into the Raft Component Architecture will deliver real and sustainable business benefits to our existing and prospective customer base. We deliver the strategic benefit of speed-to-market through reuse of our stable of COM components under DNA. Now we will be able to offer the same speed-to-market but with all the advantages offered by Microsoft.Net'.

Mike Finlay, Raft’s Sales and Marketing Director said: 'The .Net platform is focussed on exposing business services in a manner which promotes reuse across multiple delivery channels. This is a great benefit to today’s financial services organisation, facilitating incomparable flexibility and protecting margins through reduced cost.

The extensive use of XML within Microsoft.Net and its supporting toolset makes interoperability between applications and across platforms far simpler than ever before. This interoperability allows Raft to interface its components with other applications quickly and easily, reducing the need for middleware and delivering significant business benefit to our customers'.

About Raft International plc

Founded in 1995, Raft International plc develops component based software solutions for financial institutions in the investment banking and wealth management sectors. In addition, Raft International offers a range of strategic consultancy and business change services to financial organisations developing their e-commerce capabilities. With offices in the United Kingdom, Denmark and India and a customer base spanning Western Europe, Raft International’s main revenue generator is the design and implementation of software solutions using its component-based Rapid Application Development (RAD) techniques. These enable the Company to deliver tailored and cost effective web-enabled software solutions up to 10 times faster than traditional systems. The Company is a Microsoft Managed Partner and its component-based architecture is based on Microsoft’s Windows DNA architecture. Raft International is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).