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EDS helps financial firms with app-building

For financial companies building applications they need in order to track interest rates or calculate loans, EDS has a new answer.

For financial companies building applications they need in order to track interest rates or calculate loans, EDS has a new answer.

In an effort to tap the market for componentware and related services targeting the financial industry sector, the services giant's Financial Industry Group has formed a partnership with ComponentSource, a business component information and services site based in London.

Under the 12-month agreement, Plano, Texas-based EDS said it's providing Microsoft-based code, or components, to midsized financial firms so that the firms can make building their applications easier.

"The big market is banking and financial institutions," said ComponentSource CEO Sam Peterson in a phone interview. "The way we market is through broad-based marketing to specific institutions were the first adopters of this technology. They get a huge benefit using component-based rather than using an old system."

Bill Wilkerson, EDS's chief technology officer for its financial group, added, "What was compelling for EDS was the overall size of this market, which have been judged by research firms as a very rapidly growing market space."

Citing an industry study conducted by the Gartner Group last September, Wilkerson said that by 2001 some 60 percent of new development will be done by components with growth rates in excess of 40 percent annually.

"Many of our customers are adopting this," he said. "We realized that we needed to release selected components from our applications, which was a struggle internally in the decision process because EDS is exclusively a services company."

Research firm Ovum has estimated that the market for componentware and related services will exceed $60 billion by 2003. With its partnership with ComponentSource, EDS said it's entering the market through this new, distribution channel by offering them on the Web.

"This kind of initiative is exactly what is needed to boost the open market for components, which has a pivotal role in current and future systems development," Ovum industry analyst Gary Barnett, said in a statement.

Currently available through the ComponentSource site, which offers a catalogue of around 1,500 components for immediate evaluation, download, and purchase, are 25 of EDS's components from the EDS Financial Calculation Component Suite. ComponentSource said it has agreed to market and supply more than 60 of EDS's financial software components online, offering EDS's components for financial calculations, host connectivity, encryption, date manipulation, bank printing, trace services, currency control, and security.

Developers from financial firms interested in purchasing the components can research the product on the site through reviews and case studies from those who have already used the component. Purchasing the software can be downloaded directly into the customer's system, the companies said. In addition, EDS and ComponentSource will provide joint technical support under the deal.

Prices for components from EDS's financial calculation suite range from $499 to $3,999.