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									   An Integration of Web Service and Workflow to a Wealth Management Order
           Placement System: A Case Study of International Brokerages
                        Brenda Y. Hon1 and Dickson K.W. Chiu2, Senior Member, IEEE
      Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
                      Dickson Computer Systems, 7A Victory Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong

                     Abstract                                       A WMOPS cannot exist alone without the support of
                                                                 other systems in different departments of the financial
    With the increase in personal wealth and organization        enterprise. During an order placement, authentication and
sizes, there is also an increase in their assets. So, there is   authorization processes are required before the financial
a great demand of professionals to manage these assets           advisors can access it, which involves the Entitlement
and coordinate investment activities in order to maintain        Service System. Clients’ information should be obtained
the growth. Wealth Management Services are now widely            to input the form, which requires the Customer Relation-
offered by banks, trusts companies, and brokerages. As the       ship Management (CRM) System. All the financial prod-
financial market becomes well-developed worldwide, the           ucts are grouped into portfolios, which are managed by the
variety of financial products also increases: equities, mu-      Portfolio Management System. Clients’ assets, such as
tual funds, bonds, securities, foreign currencies, and de-       cashes and securities are placed in particular accounts with
rivatives (like options, futures, forwards, and swaps). As a     balances, which is supported by the Account Management
Wealth Management System (WMS) plays the role of an              System. Details of financial products and services infor-
order placement hub, it becomes more and more compli-            mation should also be posted for selection, which are pro-
cated during each enhancement to support order place-            vided by the Product Information System. Therefore, order
ment of additional kinds of financial products. This is be-      placement is a highly interdependent process which re-
cause a WMS requires different channels to communicate           quires the cooperation of other systems in different de-
with different Instrument Markets. For an international          partments. In order to minimize the cost and reduce the
investment company, the problem comes more compli-               time spent on learning the sophisticated structure and ar-
cated because the order placement processes are hetero-          chitecture of each system. Each department should provide
geneous in different countries and locations. In fact, trad-     an Application Programming Interface (API) for the order
ing systems for different instrument markets of different        placement system to call. Since each of these sub-
countries and even different cities are different. Workflows     processes can be treated as the services provided by the
are also hard to coincide with different sites. Therefore,       individual departments, Web service technologies [10] can
we propose the use of Web services to implement the              be applied to communicate with these different systems,
workflow of order placement process.                             regardless of whether such systems are legacy systems or
                                                                 built with different programming languages.
                                                                    For the local offices of an international brokerage, or-
1. Introduction                                                  ganization architecture, company policies, and laws vary
                                                                 among different countries. However, a WMS usually need
   Wealth Management is one of top financial services            have a unified interface and independent among different
provided by international brokerages for affluent clients. It    deployment locations. Therefore, the underlying order
serves a wide variety of products and services to suit the       placement workflow varying in different sites have to be
clients’ needs. Under a Wealth Management System                 shielded. Examples include: order placement should be
(WMS), clients’ assets can comprise equities, funds, cash-       approved by more than one branch managers, order
es, foreign currencies, bonds, and so on. As more deriva-        placement with amounts exceeding some limits requires
tives are introduced, a WMS also have to support transac-        further approval, and different fees are required for each
tions of options, futures, forwards, and swaps. In order to      transaction based on laws and regulations in different
ease the trading process, a single entry point is required       countries. To separate the general workflow and location-
for financial advisors to select different types of products     specific workflow, globalization workflow and localiza-
for purchase, which is called a Wealth Management Order          tion workflow are used respectively as the taxonomy in
Placement System (WMOPS).                                        this paper. Therefore globalization workflow can be over-
ridden and localization workflow can be determined by the      main issue is that the message or network frameworks are
specific site during deployment.                               proprietary. Another issue is no standardization or agree-
   The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2   ment about the data formats and the trading information is
introduces the background and related work. Section 3          defined in different taxonomy. The system interfaces and
discusses an overview of the requirements for the              processes are also developed in different way. This affects
WMOPS. Section 4 presents a conceptual model for the           the interoperability among different trading partners.
collaborative systems involved and the order placement            WMSs also have a high interdependence with other in-
system. Section 5 describes the system architecture of the     ternal departments, trading partners, and third parties. Inte-
system, highlighting the workflow mechanism and Web            roperability is the main concern in implementing STP. The
services for the integration. Section 6 summarizes the pa-     first step of standardization and approach with interopera-
per with the advantage of our approach and our future          bility is the adoption XML [13][14], which has the charac-
work direction.                                                teristic of platform-independent and language-independent,
                                                               facilitating the share and exchange of data. So, many mes-
2. Background and Related Work                                 sage frameworks have been migrated to XML standards in
                                                               the financial market. Some of them are extended from the
   The global financial market is a dynamic, fast changing     above protocols. For example, the FIXML is derived from
environment. Timing and accuracy are key factors to in-        the FIX protocol, whose main jobs are quote request, mar-
fluence the financial services industry approaching their      ket order request, and trade order. Another one is Finan-
excellence. Therefore, financial companies spends billions     cial-product Markup Language (FpML) which is a XML
of dollars on information technology (IT) developments in      standard for financial derivatives. These XML standards
order to achieve the above two goals. Straight through         are also under the umbrella of ISO 15022 XML standards
processing (STP) is one of the hottest topics, which refer     [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] now. Therefore, B2B collaboration
to automation of the transaction process. As trading in        and information exchange can share the same medium for
WMS plays role as a central order placement hub, imple-        better communication.
menting STP can obtain several key benefits to manage a           Although XML provides a platform of data exchange,
large amount of transactions among different types of fi-      different organizations should also compromise at the
nancial products. This aims at a better connectivity among     same channel for communication and publishing their ser-
different trading entities during the trading processes and    vices. Recently, Web services [15] [17] [29] [30] become
better integration of front-end and back-end systems. In       very successful in achieving the ubiquity [31] and service-
addition, this reduces unnecessary manual processes and        oriented goal. Here are some of their advantages. (i) Web
the risks of human intervention such as phone call and fax.    services follow the open standard format and protocol in
As a result, this can increase the accuracy as well as re-     text based, which supports the interoperability among dif-
duce the operational cost and time of the trading process.     ferent application software system to handle inter ma-
   STP involves three main steps during the lifecycle of a     chine-to-machine processing in disparate platform. (ii) By
trading process. They are pre-trade, trade execution, and      embedding SOAP messages in the Hypertext Transfer
post-trade. Pre-trade includes quote request. Trade execu-     Protocol (HTTP) protocol, Web service communication
tion is the main order placement process such as informa-      can easily pass through firewalls among different compa-
tion provision and order confirmation. Post-trade consists     nies. (iii) Reusability of Web service components is very
of settlement and clearing. Since STP for trading compos-      high and a large system such as a WMS can be developed
es of a large amount of data exchange among front-end          by integrating different Web services from different sub-
system, middle-office application, and back-end system,        sidiaries in varies locations.
extended markup language (XML) is the most appropriate            To further provide business process and workflow
approach to implement STP. This is because XML has the         enactment using Web service, we employ the Business
features of platform independent and the standard of in-       Process Execution Language for Web Service (BPEL) [21]
dustry for B2B communication.                                  [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] in this paper. BPEL is a
   There are some other approaches to implement STP            XML-based de facto standard for describing business
processes. One of them is the Financial Information Ex-        processes and defining workflow specifications on top of
change (FIX) protocol. It is a message specification, which    Web services. It is a Process Definition Language (PDL)
acts as a role of exchanging trade-related information         combined from IBM’s Web Service Flow Language
among different organizations. The Society for Worldwide       (WSFL) and Microsoft’s XLANG. It divides the process
Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is               into two categories: abstract processes and executable
another protocol which focuses on settlement operation         business processes. Abstract processes are not executable
after order placement. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)       but they define the specification of the behavior of busi-
offers the transfer of information between among organi-       ness processes. Executable business processes are the con-
zations through networks, now including the Internet.          crete business processes, which define the states and se-
However, some problems exist with these approaches. The
quences of workflows. This approach of the process de-          Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Department,
sign very much facilitates an OO and IoC approach of            Account Management Department, and Product Informa-
workflow design.                                                tion Department.
   As trading processes involve many different events to
trigger the workflow enactment automatically such as
business events (e.g., order approval) and temporal events
(e.g., settlement date due), we employ ECA rules [11] as a
framework for this purpose. Chiu et al. [28] introduce an
event-driven approach to CRM in the e-brokerage industry,
which helps to manage different kinds of events that are
triggered anytime anywhere. We extend this solution for
the collaboration between different departments and trad-
ing partners during the trading lifecycle. For the collabora-
tion of workflows between varies entities, Chiu et al. [6]
further propose workflow views supported by a Business-
to-Business (B2B) process engine to collaborate the
enactment of workflows across multiple organizations [3]
[4] [5] [6]. This helps separate not only the public
workflow and private workflow, but also extend the
workflows towards globalization and localization.                 Figure 2: WMS interdependent on different external
   In summary, this paper introduces a novel approach to        system based on the financial products.
implement STP, trading, and transaction lifecycle in a
WMS, by integrating XML, Web services, BPEL, and                   For external trading partners, the roles and requirements
ECA rules.                                                      are as follows, as depicted in Figure 2: Money Market,
                                                                Mutual Fund, Foreign Exchange, Equity, and Derivatives
3. Requirements Overview                                           Actually, as a global WMS, it should have the flexibili-
                                                                ty to not only connect to different back-end external sys-
                                                                tems based on the financial products, but also handle
                                                                communications of various back-end external systems
                                                                based on particular sites and locations. This is because in
                                                                different countries, the policies and mechanisms of the
                                                                financial markets may vary. The global WMS should be
                                                                able to manage the branches and adapt to the environment
                                                                and laws at different regions.

                                                                4. Conceptual Model
                                                                    In this section, we present three main conceptual mod-
                                                                els for our WMOPS: the main Wealth Management Order
                                                                Placement model, the Event Condition Action (ECA)
                                                                model required for the event-driven order placement me-
                                                                4.1. Conceptual Model for Wealth Management Order
   Figure 1: Interdependency of the WMOPS with different
                                                                       Placement Hub
internal departments
                                                                    Figure 3 shows the conceptual model of wealth man-
   The users of WMOPS are mainly client advisories and          agement order placement model in Unified Model Lan-
financial intermediaries of international brokerages, as        guage (UML) Class Diagram. The main order placement
well as brokerages and investment banks. During the trad-       information is represented as Order, which contains
ing lifecycle, the workflow requires the cooperation with       attributes such as transaction date, settlement date, portfo-
other departments internally as well as various trading         lio, account, etc. For different types of products, they are
partners and third parties externally.                          modeled as subclasses. For example, Bond Order
   For the internally communication, the WMOPS has a            represents the records of order placement of bonds. Other
high interdependency with the following departments, as         order placements include Mutual Fund Order, Derivatives
summarized in Figure 1: Entitlement Service Department,         Order, Deposit Order, and Foreign Exchange Order.
                                                                rules in different location, the rules are divided into two
                                                                categories: Global Rule and Local Rule. With the Local
                                                                Rule extends Global Rule, Local Rule can totally override
                                                                a particular global rule or add some features into existing
                                                                Global Rule to fit into the local requirements. Rule con-
                                                                sists of Event, Condition and Action.

         Figure 3: Conceptual Model Order Placement
    The whole order placement process involves different                 Figure 4: Conceptual Model ECA mechanism.
roles of people, each of which sometimes involves more              Event is the things happen which can induce others to
than one person. In order to take an order placement, a         process sequence of activities to response to the event. In
Client should first contact his/her representative, Financial   this case, events are divided into Temporal Event and
Intermediatory. Then, the Financial Intermediatory, based       Business Event. Temporal Event is the event that will trig-
on the advice from the Advisor, requests the system to          ger when a particular date dues, for example settlement
place the order with the preferred choices. After submit-       date. Business Event is the business start point that induc-
ting the request, the order should be approved by more          es sequence of processes, such as order placement request
than one Approver, such as Team Head, Branch Head, and          which is categorized as Human Intervention Business
Director. If the request is successfully approved by all the    Event and message received from other internal or external
approvers, a signer will sign the contract and the order        system which is categorized as System Intervention Busi-
placement is confirmed. Sometimes, when the order               ness Event. To prevent Event message abused, we enforce
placement information is not fully filled, a Help Desk is       to just allow the Authorized Entity to trigger the event.
responsible for completing the form. For each order             Others do not have right to access the system and starts the
placement, different types of Fee are charged based on the      event. Authorized Entity does not only apply to User but
product type and policies of a particular region. They are      also other internal and external system. Therefore Autho-
mainly taxes, commission, and handling charges. For ex-         rized Entity is divided into System and User. User has
ample, the types of Fee in Hong Kong are Brokerage Fee,         right to trigger Human Intervention Business Event and
Transaction Levy, Investment Compensation Levy, Trad-           System has right to trigger System Intervention Business
ing Fee, Trading Tariff, Stamp Duty, Transfer Deed Stamp        Event.
Duty, and Transfer Fee.                                             After the Event is triggered, Condition helps to check
4.2. Conceptual Model for ECA mechanism of Order                the validity of the input data, does some validation and
       Placement                                                determine whether it is a suitable time to start the process.
                                                                    After passing the validation criteria, one or more Ac-
    Figure 4 shows the conceptual model for ECA me-             tion starts to process the workflow. In our case, we divide
chanism of Order Placement. We adopt the ECA mechan-            Action into two types, Automated Action and Manual Ac-
ism to handle order placement problem in global wealth          tion. Automated Action is the action that is running auto-
management system. ECA stands for Event-Condition-              matically without human intervention. Manual Action is
Action. We design to model the business world which             the action that involves Actor to control the whole action
consists of rules. Rule is the enactment of all event-
triggered activities. As to accommodate the difference of
runs. When the action runs, Workflow begins to process         Order Placement Application handles the data capturing
the main business flow.                                        for transaction. ECA Control Engine controls the events
                                                               and the consecutive actions. Workflow Control Manager is
5. System Design & Implementation                              responsible for the whole workflow processing involving
                                                               the workflow management and collaboration.
    In this section, we explain the detail system design and
implementation of WMOPS. Firstly, we present an over-
view our system architecture. We then explain the Order        5.2. Order Placement Mechanism
Placement Mechanism. After that, we design the deploy-
ment of WMOPS and highlight each technique adopted by
WMOPS. Finally, we show the Web services implementa-
tion of the WMS focusing on collaboration among internal
and external system using BPEL.
5.1. WMOPS Architecture

                                                                  Figure 6: Sequence Diagram of Order Placement Request.
                                                                   Figure 6 shows the sequence diagram of order place-
                                                               ment request. When a client places an order, the WMOPS
                                                               first access the Order Placement Application to capture the
                                                               required information. Then, it triggers a trading event to
                                                               the ECA Control Engine and the corresponding workflow
                                                               is processed. The Workflow Manager contacts the relevant
                                                               systems outside to continue the whole transaction process.
                                                               Finally, when the order is confirmed, the Workflow Man-
           Figure 5: WMOPS System Architecture.                ager triggers a confirmed order event. The ECA Rule En-
                                                               gine receives the event and updates the order status in the
    Figure 5 shows the system architecture of WMOPS.           Order Placement Application. Then, the whole order
The environment is separated into internal and external        placement execution is finished.
partitions. Internal systems of different departments inside
the firewall provide proprietary functions that are mainly
for internal use. Therefore, we just use Simple Object
Access Protocol (SOAP) to communicate among the
WMOPS components and the internal departments. The
Web Services Description Language (WSDL) describes
the service interfaces of the Web services. External sys-
tems of the trading partner systems are separated with
firewalls. Therefore, SOAP can be embedded into HTTP
protocol without reconfiguring the trading partners’ set-
tings. As the services provided by external systems are
open to the public, they have already been published to
Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI)
directories, from which the WMOPS can find these ser-
    Within the WMOPS, the system consists of three
modules: Order Placement Application, ECA Control En-
gine, and Workflow Control Manager, each of which has
corresponding databases supporting them separately. The           Figure 7: Collaboration Diagram of Settlement Execution.
                                                                      Using BPEL to establish the workflows in Web Ser-
                                                                  vices can preserve the automation of the system and the
                                                                  collaboration among business partners. Figure 9 shows the
                                                                  interaction among Web services of different systems using
                                                                  BPEL. In the BPEL engine, when it receives order place-
                                                                  ment request from WMOPS, it invokes the corresponding
                                                                  systems to process the orders. In this case, if the order is
                                                                  about equity, the Equity System Web Service is invoked.
                                                                  If the order is for foreign exchange, the Foreign Exchange
                                                                  System Web Service is invoked. If mutual funds order
                                                                  placement is requested, Mutual Fund System Web Service
                                                                  is invoked. Then, each result is assigned to BPEL va-
                                                                  riables. Finally, the ultimate order status result is replied
                                                                  back to the WMOPS through Wealth Management Web

                                                                  6. Discussion and Summary
                                                                      In this paper, we present a case study of a Global
Figure 8: State Diagram of Order Status during theTrading Cycle
                                                                  Wealth Management Order Placement System for interna-
    The trade date and settlement date of financial prod-         tional brokerages. The Wealth Management System
ucts are often different. Usually, the settlement date is two     (WMS) provides very broad functionalities. During the
business dates after the trade date. When the settlement          whole trading cycle, the WMS requires to communicate
date arrives, the external system send a message to the           with different internal systems as well as different external
Workflow Control Manager, which then triggers an event            systems provided by trading partners and third parties.
to inform ECA-Rule Control Engine to handle the settle-           Therefore, the WMS cannot operate independently with-
ment process. The WMOPS then needs to contact the                 out cooperating with other systems. Providing a suitable
client for settling the payment. This completes the whole         channel to enable the collaboration between WMS and
trading cycle after updating the local transaction record         other related parties becomes a main concern over the
and sending back the payment confirmation. Figure 7               whole software development life cycle. Another issue is
shows the collaboration diagram of settlement execution,          the flexibility and maintainability of the WMS among
while Figure 8 shows the state diagram of the order               different locations of large-scale international organiza-
placement status within the trading cycle.                        tion. This induces the problem of discrimination of
                                                                  workflow among different sites. We propose the solutions
5.3. BPEL Implementation of Workflow                              in this paper in order to tackle the order placement prob-
                                                                  lem, that is, the Wealth Management Order Placement
                                                                  System (WMOPS).
                                                                      To tackle both the internal and external collaboration
                                                                  issues, we employ contemporary Service Oriented Archi-
                                                                  tecture (SOA), Web services, and XML technologies inte-
                                                                  grated with an event driven approach with ECA rule.
                                                                  Wealth management organizations are service providers.
                                                                  In order to meet their goal of product diversification, their
                                                                  WMOPS needs to communicate with different types of
                                                                  systems, whether they are internal or external systems or
                                                                  legacy systems. Web services technology has its advan-
                                                                  tages of programming language independent, loosely
                                                                  couple, firewall friendly, platform independent features to
                                                                  communicate among distributed systems. This service-
                                                                  oriented architecture naturally fulfills the business nature
                                                                  of service providers, that is, to provide services.
                                                                      An event driven approach is also suitable to model the
                                                                  business rules in the business world because most business
                                                                  process flows across departments and organizations are
                                                                  always triggered by events. ECA rules are therefore used
   Figure 9: Interaction of among varies systems using BPEL
                                                                  for such workflow enactments. As it is hard to control the
processes of external systems, the ECA model facilitates              [13] O’reilly, “XML Standards for Financial Services”, at
the utilization of asynchronous message driven mechanism         
                                                                      [14] IBM, “Thinking XML: A glimpse into XML in the financial
to streamline the overall workflow.
                                                                           services industry”, at http://www-
    As WMOPS is a large-scale, highly interdependent             
system, for our future work, we would like to focus on the            [15] Web Services Architect, “Web Services and Straight Through
scalability and reusability of BPEL. We are also interested                Processing”, at
in workflow view monitoring [32] in order to keep track          
the workflow process and enhance the correctness and                       6.asp
                                                                      [16] ISO, “ISO15022 XML”, at
smoothness of flows [1] [7]. It is because communicating         
with various types of system may be highly error-prone.               [17] O’reilly, “A Web Services Primer”, at
Next, we extend the WMOPS to handle security and pri-            
vacy flows [12] and transaction processing of the                     [18] Wikipedia, “Web Services”, at
workflows. We are also studying how semantics help ex-           
ception handling. Alerts and flow urgency can also be                 [19] Web Services RoadMap, “The Web Services Protocol Stack”, at
applied to the WMOPS for approval request and client                  [20] Web Services RoadMap, “The Web Services Protocol Stack”, at
notifications. We also develop some stress tests and func-       
tional tests for performance tuning.                                  [21], “BPEL4WS”, at
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