BURLINGTON, MA, November 12, 2003 â Charles River Development today announced a new technology strategy to offer an open, distributed, platform-independent architecture for its Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS) that is able to scale and transform in conjunction with an investment managerâs evolving business model. Charles River, a leading provider of financial software and consulting services to the global investment management, banking, pension, and insurance industries, believes that its new distributed, service-based architecture takes a best-of-breed approach by marrying Java, J2EE, Microsoft .NET, and Web Services. The result is a platform that offers superior system performance, a wide variety of flexible deployment options, and maximum scalability and flexibility over the long term regardless of future technology trends. Charles River IMS, an integrated software suite for portfolio management (Charles River Manager), order management and trading (Charles River Trader), and real-time compliance (Charles River Compliance), will upgrade to the new architecture in stages beginning with the recently released Version 7.1.
"Charles River has long been known for the breadth and depth of its order management system and compliance functionality. Our knowledge of this marketplace allows us to deliver over 1,000 enhancements each year," said Peter Lambertus, president and CEO of Charles River. "By providing a distributed N-Tier platform, we can offer investment managers the best of both worlds â leading-edge technology combined with comprehensive functionality â all grounded in years of practical experience and successful deployment."
"Our new technology takes advantage of the best tools available for application development," said Arnold Wachs, product manager at Charles River. "On the client side, that means Microsoft C# .NET for a rich user interface and J2EE Java Services on the server side for maximum scalability and performance. In addition, both .NET and J2EE provide development frameworks that allow us to respond rapidly to client functionality requests."
Platform-Neutral and Scalable Technology
Charles River IMSâs new technology is fully supported on Oracle, Sybase, or Microsoft SQL Server database platforms. The system will run on Microsoft Windows 2000/XP, Sun Solaris or Linux application servers and Microsoft Windows 2000/XP, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, or AIX database servers.
"The decision to implement Charles River IMS today does not force you to predict the future," said Lambertus. "Three to five years down the road you might decide to scale up to a Solaris server or move your enterprise technology from Windows to Linux. Charles Riverâs system flexibility, scalability, and platform neutrality gives you the freedom to make those business decisions independent of your investment in our system. And, regardless of any technology changes you make, your Charles River IMS users will not need to change their workflow."
Framework for Rapid Integration and Customization
The first new technology component, available in Charles River IMS Version 7.1, is an Open Integration Framework which provides real-time Messaging for external systems communications and access to core Web Services for application customization. "Ease of integration and customization are key issues for our clients. By introducing both Web Services and Messaging, weâve made those tasks much easier," said Lambertus. Several Charles River clients are in the process of upgrading to Version 7.1 which provides multiple, flexible options for rapid systems integration through third party messaging products including IBM Websphere MQ, TIBCO Rendezvous, Java Messaging Service (JMS), and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ).
Charles River will continue to release its new architecture in stages over the next two major product releases along with scheduled functional enhancements. "A phased approach ensures clients can quickly take advantage of new technology components without experiencing any major changes in their current technology or workflow," said Wachs. "Since the database, interfaces, and data setups (broker, commission, security type, compliance rules, privileges, etc.) are unchanged and backward compatible, current clients can automatically upgrade â no re-implementation is required."
Schroder Investment Management, a global asset manager with over Â£90.4 billion under management, has been a Charles River client since 2001 and plans to upgrade to the new technology in early 2004. "We are very pleased with Charles River's technology strategy," said Marc Nield, Executive Director, Schroder Investment Management. "What they are doing will enable far greater scalability and flexibility in our global asset management systems architecture and enable us to integrate strategic systems far more effectively."
Charles Riverâs next technology release, scheduled for the first quarter of 2004, introduces additional Java components (including a Java compliance engine) for maximum system throughput, and multiple Web Services interfaces for further integration and customization options.