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Frequently asked questions on J/XFS.


Official FAQ Document - March 28, 2000


Official FAQ Document - October 23, 2003

What is J/XFS?

The J/XFS (Java eXtensions for Financial Services) standard defines the interface between a pure Java application and a wide range of financial devices and provides a layer of separation between application and device logic. The standard was created to examine the ways in which Java advantages could best be exploited in the financial environment.

One of the main "drivers" behind J/XFS is the move by financial institutions to modern open-plan branch designs. These new branches offer efficient service in a comfortable, customer friendly environment. J/XFS facilitates this trend by providing an interface between the branch systems/applications and the various peripheral banking devices used in the branches. These peripheral devices include ATMs, TCDs, TCRs, MTSs, card readers, pin pads and printers.

Without J/XFS, integrating numerous banking devices with branch systems is problematic, time consuming and expensive. It also leaves the branch with an inflexible solution that is not easily updated when new applications are required or devices need to be added. The J/XFS interface solves all these problems.

J/XFS will become increasingly important as it provides a solid foundation on which future networked banking solutions can be built. It is also easily integrated into the modern retail banking solutions being offered by the major industry players.

J/XFS was developed by leading system suppliers DeLaRue, IBM, NCR, Wincor Nixdorf and Sun Microsystems and is now hosted, monitored and maintained by the European Committee for Standardisation, CEN.

What are the benefits of J/XFS?

J/XFS technology offers a range of benefits to every level of the financial system supply chain. Most of these benefits are due to the layers of separation that J/XFS provides and the platform independence that J/XFS brings. When viewed together, the list of benefits reinforces the importance of J/XFS and helps explain why it will be an important part of the future direction of financial systems. The list of beneficiaries and advantages is as follows:

Benefits to financial institutions

  • Device independence: provides vendor independence
  • Platform independence: functions on any computer platform
  • Future-proof: functions on any computer platform you upgrade to in the future
  • Facilitates networked, thin client solutions: combination of Java and J/XFS technology
  • Functions on existing IT resources: no need to upgrade any IT resources to implement J/XFS
  • Easy integration of new devices into application
  • Interoperability with other Java-based applications
  • Stable and robust: necessary for critical financial systems
  • Reduced overall IT costs: due to use of existing IT infrastructure and future-proof nature of J/XFS, reduced administration costs and shorter application development schedules
  • J/XFS is already contained within many currently implemented commercially successful solutions.

Benefits to application developers

  • Separation of application from device drivers: application developer does not need to incorporate any driver logic into their application
  • Java language advantages: stable, robust, advanced multithreading capabilities
  • Platform independence
  • Facilitates thin client/browser solutions
  • Reduced client administration and configuration costs
  • Easy integration of new devices into application
  • Interoperability with other Java-based applications
  • Reduced development times
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Future-proofs your application
  • Marketing advantages: J/XFS adds a significant advantage to your application and makes it more attractive to both device manufacturers and financial institutions
  • It is already a commercially successful implemented solution.

Benefits to financial device manufacturers

  • Device services (drivers) are operating system independent
  • Maintain one line of drivers instead of one line of drivers for each operating system
  • Future-proof solution
  • J/XFS device services are easily integrated into a distributed computing environment using application servers
  • Shorter development times
  • Marketing advantages: J/XFS adds a significant advantage to your device and makes it more attractive to both application developers and financial institutions
  • Please note that the term device services (drivers) does not describe the low level firmware that exists in every device. The device service provides an interface between this firmware and any application that wishes to make use of the device
  • It is already a commercially successful implemented solution.