US outsourcer EDS last week announced a joint initiative with business component information specialist ComponentSource to deliver "ready-to-use" software components over the Web.
Christened EDS Engineered Business Components, the model offers application developers an opportunity to purchase pre-written code for the development and integration of applications in the financial sector.
As one of the global leaders in business component information and services, ComponentSource is expected to market and supply more than 60 different EDS components through its http://www.componentsource.com site.
"This is an opportunity for EDS to present a new offering to a new market through a new distribution channel," John Meyer, president of EDS' Diversified Financial Services unit, said. "Through ComponentSource, EDS has a channel to offer its premier financial business components to a developing niche market, in addition to the market that we have always served with traditional end-to-end information solutions."
Following in the footsteps of application service provision (ASP), the software components initiative promises to help significantly reduce the cost and speed of application development, while tapping into the market that is predicted to grow to over $90 billion by 2003.
According to industry analyst Ovum, the EDS/ComponentSource deal is a significant step forward into that direction. "This kind of initiative is exactly what is needed to boost the open market for components, which has a pivotal role to play in current and future system development," an Ovum analyst said.
Component-based applications enable developers to keep up with the business need for flexibility, rapid deployment and a lower cost of enterprise applications, allowing them to mix and match pre-fabricated "chunks" of software code and facilitating easier integration of legacy systems.
However, IDC Australia's Graham Penn believes that the supply of "software components over the Web" is yet to become a key feature of the local developer market.
"This is exotic new stuff that people are experimenting with at the moment, but it will become more important, particularly as we get more open systems and Java development happening," Penn said.
Currently available EDS components are based on the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) and include EDS Financial Calculation Component Suite (consisting of Deposit Calculations, Interest Rate, Investment Calculation, Loan Calculation), EDS Adding Machine, Host Services, Simple Encryption/Decryption and Trace Service.