One of the biggest wealth management banks in the United States, with over a trillion dollars under management and an additional trillion under custody, prides itself on being a leader on the technology front. They pioneered the use of computers to process financial statements back in the 1950s, and today offer trading platforms popular with hedge funds, FX traders, and other financial institutions.
As part of their continuous investment in tech, the banks regularly review their tech stack and look for opportunities to excise or upgrade outdated solutions that prevent them from meeting three clear business objectives:
The bank is currently implementing a matrix data-driven architecture that aggregates all of their information in one place, so it can be utilized across platforms for a variety of services. They’ve just made a major investment in digitizing their business, which includes transforming batch processes to real-time with both synchronous and asynchronous APIs.
Based on those business and technical objectives, their architects focused on improving how the bank moved real-time information between applications within the firm and to partners. They were using both synchronous and asynchronous interaction patterns, but there was a stark contrast between the governance of the two.
Thanks to Layer 7 API management, their synchronous APIs had decent governance, and stakeholders understood who owned the data and what data was available. When a synchronous API changed, there was a well-defined process for making sure that dependent applications had the chance to modify code.
Their asynchronous APIs, on the other hand, suffered in several key areas:
One of their data architects once said, “My job is playing data Whac-A-Mole – I don’t know where anything is, where it’s going, or how it’s used.”
A big part of the challenge was the blend of different technologies used for asynchronous communication, not all of which blend harmoniously – MQ message brokers, Solace event brokers, and Kafka event streaming.
They knew they needed to improve their governance and implementation of asynchronous APIs, but how? After realizing their existing API management software wouldn’t do the trick because asynchronous APIs don’t reliably link one server and one client, they knew they needed a tool that could track one-to-many dependencies and efficiently manage the complex characteristics of events like topic strings, queues, and consumer groups.Stop Playing Whack-a-Mole with Your Kafka Event Streams!PubSub+ Event Portal for Kafka is a tool that allows you to visualize and manage your Kafka event streams across your lines of business.
That’s when they discovered our PubSub+ Event Portal product – a first-of-its-kind product the lets architects and developers collaborate on the creation, management, governance and reuse of event streams, which would:
They thought Kafka was the least of their event-driven concerns since it was a newcomer to their scene, unlike IBM MQ and Solace PubSub+ event brokers. With that in mind, they set out to scan their Kafka environment first before moving on to the main event of Solace and IBM MQ.
The scan agent went to work, detecting the applications, consumer groups, and topics on their Kafka cluster. A few moments later, the architects gathered around to get a glimpse at their environment. They saw over six thousand topics, including 552 that weren’t being utilized by any applications, and many that contained circular dependences!
That raw data and the relationships shown gave their architects what they needed to reach out across the enterprise and show SMEs what was going on, and going wrong, with their events. This spurred developers across the company to clean up unused topics and better define how applications interact. With that yeoman’s work done, they’re now discussing at a more strategic level how events should be structured, and improving their change management process.
This bank’s event-driven journey shows how PubSub+ Event Portal can help large enterprises efficiently build an event-driven system that spans their organization and is easy to manage, secure, and scale.
For more on how Solace helps financial services build a better digital experience with PubSub+, check out our financial services solutions page.
We’re enabling the future of event-driven financial services. Whatever your data movement needs, there’s a good chance we offer the best-in-class solution.