In my last blog post, I made the case for continuous delivery in a Murex environment. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the challenges associated with moving away from a more traditional approach to software development and deployment—and the steps firms could take to make the transition as seamless as possible.
The capital markets system challenge
A capital markets platform is one of the trickiest environments in which to practice continuous delivery. Here’s why:
- There’s no industry-wide standard. Capital markets platforms tend to follow a wide variety of business models, so standardized processes are few and far between.
- They do a lot. Capital markets platforms are usually designed to handle an extensive suite of highly customized products, trades and cash flows, which—back to our first point—resist standardization.
- They’re connected. Capital markets platforms regularly connect to a wide range of third parties, including data vendors, exchanges, custodians and regulators, resulting in complex interdependencies with upstream and downstream systems that can make pinpointing errors extremely difficult.
In short, it’s easy for things to go wrong when you’re dealing with a capital markets platform—and the consequences can be painful and far-reaching.
Continuous delivery for Murex
Many of the challenges associated with continuous delivery are shared by all capital markets platforms, and this includes a highly sophisticated system like Murex that delivers cross-asset, trading, risk and post-trade solutions. Here’s why:
- Configuration management needs to encompass software and configuration data. It must span the work on the “core” Murex application or data and its customer-specific components, including key integration elements such as the data dictionary and workflows.
- Continuous integration must offer the same level of discipline, control and traceability for configuration data and source code, but merging both items is a complex task.
- Continuous testing must include reliable and repeatable unit testing, end-to-end system and integration testing for all deployments, and alignment with a known base of code and data—without the costs typically associated with reproducing an environment.
Enabling continuous delivery for Murex
As a leading partner of Murex and having performed numerous implementation projects for the platform, Accenture has developed a series of tools, processes and frameworks to help you deal with each of these challenges in turn:
- Configuration management: Our tools allow sets of configuration data to be controlled and deployed into a fully baselined environment, as needed. The Accenture Reformx tool, in particular, makes it possible to apply the same level of discipline and control to both configuration data and source code, and facilitates consistent control of the data sets and code deployed to a specific Murex environment.
- Continuous integration: Our dedicated delivery process performs joined-up core and integration development, facilitating the creation of a full deployment pipeline that can be used to re-deploy a known base of code and data to a specified environment. Moving away from the “mainline” or “branch” analogy can be the key to success. With a range of tools and processes at your disposal, you can cherry-pick what is required in a specific environment instead of being tied to a master approach.
- Continuous testing: Our application frameworks make it possible to test code decoupled from a Murex environment. Developers can be sure that what should be in the testing framework is in fact there. Plus, we’ve developed processes and tools to facilitate end-to-end test automation.
A prize worth pursuing
Achieving continuous delivery in a Murex environment could bring more predictability, quality and flexibility to projects. By working in small batches, using computers to perform repetitive tasks, and relentlessly pursuing quality through collective responsibility and continuous improvement, firms could expect to see dramatic results, particularly improved quality of software releases, lower development cost base, faster time to market and greater efficiency.
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