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Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Accenture Software ALIP Technical Presentation
Technology/Architecture Primary Features/Design Principles 2 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Customizable Business Experts can innovate without the delay and high costs of traditional programming Modular Thin presentation supports multiple channels Abstract componentized design resists obsolescence Based on Standards Standard development tools/languages Standard infrastructure/administration Standard communication/formats Platform Neutral Avoids third-party lock-in Includes small footprint environments Open Published API and Database Simplifies integration Simplifies upgrades Simple Strong Keep it Simple approach Careful use of J2EE Let the platform handle the hard work
Technology/Architecture Logical Layers of Applications 3 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Foundation of pre-built Life Insurance components Common infrastructure and services User driven assembly of business processes Achieve many benefits of a full SOA now while positioning for the future
Physical Tiers Logical Layers of Application 4 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Presentation Thin Application/Model Ease UI development Encapsulate session state Cache API requests Process/API Orchestration Declarative Transactions Declarative Exposure Component Business Logic/Engines Decoupled and Replaecable Data Access Isolate Data from Logic
ALIP Architecture – Logical 5 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. ALIP Front End New Business Underwriting Customer Servicing Policy servicing Workflow and business process management Service Layer 3 rd Party Policy Administration Engine ALIP Back End Product Factory Individual policy management Common Calculation Engine Products Rules User defined Functions Tables Other Common Functions Optional usage of ALIP calculation engine by 3 rd party system Group policy management Batch treatments Claims processingThird party management Collection/Disbursement Accounting Commissioning Printing Reporting Authorization Reinsurance Interfaces Organization
ALIP Architecture – Physical 6 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Web Server J2EE Application Server Static Content/Images/HTML Web Application (WAR) EJB Application (EJB-JAR) Other Components (JAR) Product Component (JAR) Product Interface Product Calc Engine Database Server Product Rules Calculation Engine Other Components (JAR) Presentation Business, Product, and Data Flow Data Access
Supported Platforms 8 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Web Server IBM HTTP Server (bundled with WebSphere) Apache 2.0 IIS 5.0+ Application Server WebSphere 6.1 WebLogic 10.x Tomcat 6 (For laptop deployments of the front-end) Java JDK 1.5+ (the JDK bundled with the application Server.) Database Oracle 10g Oracle 11g DB2 9.x Enterprise Edition Derby (open source database for front-end on laptops) Messaging Middleware IBM MQ Series JCICS Cobol / Cobol Enterprise Integrated JMS server with application server. Apache ActiveMQ V4.1+ (For laptop deployments) Operating System AIX 5.3/6 Solaris 10 Windows 2003 Server, Windows XP Linux – (Red Hat Linux Enterprise edition or SUSE) Ibm z/Os 1.9 or higher (for Cobol layer) Commonly used Server Hardware IBM P5 series Sun Solaris T Series (java / UltraSparc2) Sun Solaris M series (non-java / Sparc64) Intel based servers Mainframe (for Cobol layer) ALIP was validated on zLinux/s390x using WebSphere 6.1, DB2 9.1 and SUSE Enterprise 10. Support is not yet available for this platform. Versions listed in italic bold are preferred
Rules Engine Architecture 9 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Business users design pages using the Page Builder Pages can invoke the Rules Engine for validations and follow up questions Rules Engine can invoke underlying Business API through XML payloads Pages can be grouped and tied together to form a workflow Workflow can leverage the Rules Engine to route to the user through different paths depending on the process or users answers The entire orchestration layer uses XML, allowing the configurable process to front non-ALIP systems, such as an ESB or third-party policy administration system Rules can be auto-deployed as web service operations
Rules Management Overview 10 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Product Rules Key IGO enabler Configurable coverage definition Centralized features utilized across coverage base, Robust calculation support and transactional events Page Group Rules for Data Collection Data collection needs to support business processes Nuanced support for a variability of data capture workflows Create and maintain with ease Business Rules Configuration to drive process innovation Drive workflow and follow up automation Insight into business rule execution to transform processes Expose as web services to support ease of integration and enablement of rules centricity
Rules Management Product Rules 11 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Data driven product engine to roll products out to market in fast/efficient manner Key IGO enabler Includes Coverage definition Centralized features Robust calculation support Transactional events Product structure and composition rules Tariffs definition Calculations Rules Underwriting Rules Test and simulation environments support the validation phase before the execution environment
Rules Management Page Development 12 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. The Page Management Interface supports the creation of Pages, Questions, Answers, Conditions, Reflexive Questions, Formatting, etc. Pages Specify page name and description (description displayed at run time) Attach rules to be run when entering or leaving the page Pages can be inserted between other pages or added to end of list Questions Robust and flexible interface for configuring questions Many types of answer controls supported (Text boxes, Drop down list boxes, Radio buttons, as well as pre-defined controls) Numerous properties to be set based on purpose and type of question
Rules Management Business Rules 13 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Customization is supported across: Data collection needs to support business processes Various design templates and features to leverage Variability of data capture workflows to support any nuances Create and maintain configurable business processes Business rules to drive process innovation Business edits that leverage product engine Drive workflow automation, follow up automation Enable data mining of business rule to transform decision-making processes Expose as web services to support ease of integration and enablement of rules centricity
Rules Management Workflow Development 14 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Workflows that control all business processes in the system can also be configured Defines the workflow for a given business process. Examples include: Application entry Financial transactions entry Underwriting execution Claims management Workflow services drive the front end flow according product type and channel Routing based on product and business object state User Authorizations to perform specific process tasks based on profiling structure
Rules Management Promotion, Version Control, and Migration 15 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Promotion tool migrates configuration between ALIP systems Treat configuration the same as code Uses Web Services to communicate with multiple ALIP systems Simple directory based repository by default Configuration artifacts stored as XML Designed for simple integration with existing third party source control.
Rules Management Replicating in Multiple Environments 16 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Stable Trunk version for ongoing development Feature branches used for enhancements Deployed and tested in isolation before merging to trunk Trunk state is tagged during releases Fixes are made against release version If applicable, fixes are merged back to Trunk for the next version Both code and configuration can be patched or promoted respectively
Change Management Process Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Change request, Assigned to developer (Specification or Defect) Is change request large enough to require a branch? One Enhancement SVN Branch 1 QA tests on branch site & peer code review Developer / Configurator makes changes Branch from Trunk Once approved, Merge to Trunk One Enhancement SVN Branch 2…N QA tests on branch site & peer code review Developer / Configurator makes changes Branch from Trunk Once approved, Merge to Trunk Enhancement Enters Queue to be merged back to trunk Changes made directly on Trunk Changes are signed into trunk as single changeset Developer / Configurator makes changes Developer gets latest code Change requests large enough to require a separate branch may take a few days or weeks. Each enhancement has its own timeline for completion independent of trunk development lifecycle. All changes for an enhancement, including data configuration are signed in as a single changeset. Change requests small enough not to require a separate branch are typically bug fixes or minor enhancements. Example: change format on a data element on a page. 17
Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. System Development - Two Week Lifecycle The lifecycle above represents the main development trunk of the system. Each enhancement has an independent lifecycle. During any development cycle, the development manager may elect to not merge code and skip a cycle to focus on making corrections to trunk. The performance test is planned to be executed once every other cycle. Merges are not scheduled during the final two week development cycle before a system release. 18
Process Benefits Process significantly reduces wasted labor by concurrent changes adversely impacting each other on a daily development basis. Enhancements large enough requiring a branch are isolated from trunk activity, insulate both the developer and the rest of the development team. Process is flexible enough to allow development to be nimble, to allow direct change vs. queued change as directed by the development manager. Change process using Subversion allows isolation of distinct changesets to be rolled back or ported to other ALIP versions. Development cycle allows queuing of merging disruptive large enhancements to trunk at discretion of the development manager. Allows development manager to control trunk stability. Regression testing before and after makes it easy to identify defects introduced by the enhancement. 19 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved.
User Experience 20 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved.
Internationalization 21 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Features Single installation supports multiple languages Unicode/UTF-8 Same web pages for all languages Locale tied to each request Date, Currency formats, Collation Jurisdictions, Addresses Tax Calculations Maintenance by Translators (non programming) Batch operations by region
Scalability and Failover 22 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Clustering Stateless design Serializable web session Supports seamless fail-over Best Practices No single point of failure Large-grain interfaces Transfer object design pattern Always rely on pooling
Security Architecture 23 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Authentication Single Sign On (SSO) Container-based authentication (JAAS) Turnkey Custom Authorization Access Control Lists (ACL) Group-based authorization Security level accessible by rules Insurance-aware permissions Non-repudiation Auditing Version control for rules and questionnaires Encryption Transport/Wire (SSL, SFTP) Password hashing Data encryption
Integration Web Services and Integration Mechanisms 24 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. User interface integration Mashups Imaging systems Message Based Accept XML, transform and communicate Adapters for standard formats like ACORD Flexible transports Web Services Enabled API Full API exposed as WS-I compliant services Expose User Created Rules as Services Application/Programming Level Swap out or extend internal components Many technical options Open relational database Provided tools to simplify extracts and reports
Integration Open Relational Database 25 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. 20+ Logical Schemas Map to Components Design Conventions Normalized Master/Detail Named Values for Dynamic Sequential Keys Isolated Customizations Default Data Lookup Tables Initial Data Initial Users/Groups Sample Rules
Integration Rules as Web Services 26 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved.
Integration Example: ALIP Documentation Wiki 27 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved.
Integration From the Traditional to the Modern Approach 28 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Traditional Approach ALIP acts as a hub and handles data transformation internally Transformations are too complex to do in configuration, requiring code ALIP must handle multiple transport types (SOAP, JMS, Custom) Some transports like SOAP endpoints are too complex to handle without generating code so they are custom. Modern Approach ALIP communicates with an ESB using its own canonical data formats Custom code no longer needed since transformation and communication is externalized to the ESB ALIP needs only a small number of generic transports (SOAP, JMS) ESB Tools can handle transformations without code.
Integration ALIP SOA / ESB Strategy 29 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Scenario: ALIP is a front end to several existing back end systems Leverage process-driven design to delegate service requests WebSphere ESB Hosts mediation layer and transformations leveraging ALIP schema. Allow the customer to manage the integration layer Reduce complexity and customization within ALIP Use third party transformation tools (WebSphere Transformation Extender) Customer chose ACORD as a standard format within the ESB ALIP/ACORD mappings maintained as part of base
Future SOA Related Enhancements 30 Copyright © 2010 Accenture All Rights Reserved. Continued Path Continued direction to enable our customers to leverage third-party SOA infrastructure and tools Expose ALIP data and functionality to encourage the creation of composite and situational business applications outside of ALIP Leverage dynamic rules as a flexible way to implement services Example Joint demonstration with IBM using WebSphere Process server Leverage standard BPEL to design an Agent Approval process. Seamless mix of ALIP services in a larger process flow. Shared J2EE platform advantages (transactions, Java/SCA service bindings) Augment and embellish with other services without modifications to ALIP ( notification).
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