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WebMethods, a maker of software designed to help disparate applications swap data more effectively, introduces four new products tailored for the ever-adapting financial services industry.

WebMethods, a maker of software designed to help disparate applications swap data more effectively, introduced on Monday four new products tailored for the financial services industry.

The company said the so-called Financial Services Frameworks packages specifically offer help in linking information technology systems devoted to operations, risk management, customer interaction and product development.

WebMethods believes the financial services segment is hungry for tools like its Frameworks products because companies in the industry are constantly forced to install or build applications to support new product lines. The complexity of the financial systems, and rapidly changing market conditions, make it especially tough to keep these applications working together smoothly, company representatives said.

In its operations package, WebMethods offers integration software that promises customers the ability to move toward straight-through processing (STP), a vision for making

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securities transactions completely electronic, eliminating the paper, phone and fax detours that can bog down orders. In its risk management product, the software maker claims to help end users deal with complex regulatory requirements, such as the Patriot Act, Basel II and Sarbanes-Oxley, while identifying and managing potentially new information-security risks not addressed by these regulations.

WebMethods and other integration specialists, such as Tibco and SeeBeyond, have traditionally relied on proprietary adapters to link corporate applications. Analysts say these traditional integration companies are suffering from falling revenue in part because of lower-cost integration products built around Web services.

In October 2003, WebMethods acquired three companies including Web services start-up The Mind Electric in an attempt to create a standards-based way to bridge incompatible systems.