The objective of FAST is to develop, on a workstation, an open architecture in which new multimedia facilities are integrated with a set of existing financial and banking applications currently installed on traditional data-processing systems. The aim is to integrate existing software components as much as possible and to limit the development of new ones to interfaces and "glue" modules.
The planned FAST architecture basically consists of:
- an end-user environment to allow operators and customers of banking services easy access to a broad range of services supported by different software applications and running on a heterogeneous network
- an application management environment to allow banking analysts to set up and configure the end-user environment as the "locus of integration" of relevant services delivered by the pre-existing applications combined with multimedia facilities.
The appropriate set of applications will be identified by considering the services most in demand, according to the requirements of the major banking institutions within the FAST consortium. Specific multimedia features will be integrated for training, support and promotion of the services delivered at front-office and self-service points.
Other related objectives of the project are to:
- provide an approach for the use of up-to-date software technologies that can be applied repeatedly (in this sense the project will be the basis for future product development by consortium members)
- contribute to the definition of suitable application standards for the financial and banking markets.
The integration addressed by the FAST project will go beyond simply mapping transaction-oriented and multimedia applications into the same windowing interface: the platform will allow the integration of elementary transactions and services provided by different applications in a homogeneous environment that is easily configurable to match the user's needs. In this way, services supplied by different applications running on different DP systems will eventually be accessible from the same workstation. This integration will be achieved through an object-oriented approach that follows current and emerging industrial standards.
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