Microsoft: Financial Exchange Speeds Development and Audit Reviews by 20 Percent

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  • 1. Financial Exchange Speeds Development and Audit Reviews by 20 Percent Overview ―Using the tools in Visual Studio Team System, we Country or Region: United States Industry: Financial services cut 20 percent off the time to develop the Castle audit solution … and included capabilities that we Customer Profile CME Group, based in Chicago, Illinois, couldn’t have added any other way.‖ offers futures and options based on Roman Benko, Associate Director, Systems Development, CME Group interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, commodities, and alternative When CME and The Chicago Board of Trade merged to form investment products. It has 2,000 employees. CME Group, one of the world’s largest and most diverse exchanges, the company needed a faster, more streamlined way Business Situation As CME Group grew, so did the challenge to conduct audits of companies clearing transactions through it, to speed audit processes and enable and to share that information among auditors and managers. Its greater exchange of information among auditors and managers. solution: Create a smart client Office Business Application called Castle, based on Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team System 2008 Solution CME Group created a smart client Office Team Suite and Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5. The Business Application using Microsoft® solution lets auditors work in the familiar interface of the 2007 Visual Studio® Team System and Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5. Microsoft Office system, to automate tasks like retrieving supporting documentation, and to synchronize data more Benefits  Development time cut by 20 percent quickly and easily between the field and headquarters. The  Auditor processes streamlined solution was developed 20 percent faster than it would have  Audit reviews completed up to 20 percent faster taken using earlier tools, speeds audit reviews up to 20 percent, and boosts accuracy and collaboration.
  • 2. ―For us to do what Situation to put the completed audit through a In a world of increasing volatility, customers review, the reliance on printed copies LINQ [Language around the globe rely on CME Group as contributed to delays between the field Integrated Query] does their premier source for managing risk. and headquarters that could add up to a Formed by the 2007 merger of Chicago week to the process. for us would have Mercantile Exchange (CME) and The taken up to a day per Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), CME Group In 2006, the impending merger brought the offers futures and options based on interest auditing issues to a turning point. The table—that alone rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, CBOT was using an off-the-shelf software saved us a month.‖ commodities, and alternative investment package to handle the audit process. A products such as weather and real estate. single solution would be needed for the Frank Fieseler, Associate Director, Systems In 2006, the company’s volume exceeded combined organization—but management Development, CME Group 2.2 billion contracts worth more than in the CME Audit Department were U.S.$1,000 trillion. concerned that the off-the-shelf package would need to be heavily customized, that But with success comes challenges— users would need expensive training on the particularly the challenges inherent in software, and that continuing licensing ensuring speed and reliability amid costs would be high. increasing volumes of business. CME was facing those challenges even before What CME Group wanted was a fast, low- the 2007 merger. The exchange guaranteed cost development project that would result the creditworthiness of every transaction in a software application that was intuitive that it cleared—which required it to audit to use and that would facilitate the rapid the companies that were party to those exchange of data among auditors and transactions. managers. While CME had a custom software appli- Solution cation to facilitate the audit process, it was That rapidly developed, low-cost, intuitive, a simple, aging application that did little and collaborative solution is exactly what more than organize the files—such as CME Group has in Castle, its custom solu- Microsoft® Office Word documents and tion created internally using the Microsoft® Office Excel® spreadsheets—that auditors Visual Studio® Team System 2008 Team collected and created during their work. Suite development system and Microsoft Paper copies were still used as final .NET Framework version 3.5. Castle is an documentation. When follow-up audits Office Business Application that enables were conducted, the auditors had to carry easy, intuitive use by presenting auditors bulky binders containing the previous, with the same Microsoft Office Fluent™ paper-based audits into the field. user interface style—including the Ribbon and Mini Toolbar—and file types with In addition, there was no automated which they’re already familiar. mechanism to synchronize electronic documentation between the central Castle is also a Windows® Forms–based database and the auditor’s portable smart client application that works in computer, or to share documentation connected mode to upload and download among the several auditors who might files, while working in disconnected mode need it at the same time. They had to share on the auditor’s portable computer when printed versions of files. When it came time the auditor is at the customer site.
  • 3. ―Without Visual Studio Developers used the ClickOnce application for each audit document, enabling deployment technology in Visual Studio documents to be more easily stored, 2008 [tools], we would Team System to automate the deployment searched, and retrieved. have had to program of Castle to auditors’ computers and to enable updates to be pushed to them Auditors use custom controls implemented the Ribbon feature automatically—an especially important with Visual Tools for Microsoft Office to ourselves. With Visual ability as CME Group tested Castle and add links to supporting documentation to issued frequent updates to address the any part of a file. For example, an auditor Studio 2008, we just inevitable issues with early versions. may add a ―cross-reference‖ based on a dragged and dropped custom control at the place in a document Castle stores auditing information in two where a bank account is referenced. Click- the controls and wrote places: ing the cross-reference opens a related the events behind  In a central data repository based on document that shows how the auditor Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 Enterprise tested or confirmed the bank account them.‖ Edition database software and running information. Roman Benko, Associate Director, Systems on the Windows Server® 2003 Enterprise Development, CME Group Edition operating system Additionally auditors use custom task  On the auditors’ computers, in a panes to document their tests of sample database based on SQL Server 2005 documents in the related Word or Excel file. Express Edition, a free, easy-to-use, When audit files are moved between the lightweight, and embeddable version of central database and the auditor’s com- SQL Server 2005 puter, all linked documents and testing documentation move with them auto- SQL Server Replication Services enables matically. To handle the frequent move- fast synchronization between the databases ment of information between the SQL whenever the auditor is connected to the Server Express Edition database and the network, ensuring both that the auditor is Castle application, the developers used the using the most current data and that other new Language Integrated Query (LINQ) auditors and managers can share and use support in .NET Framework 3.5. the auditor’s information. With complete auditing information available on their CME Group developers needed a way to portable computers, auditors no longer manage the development process among need to carry bulky binders to customer themselves as well as to work with beta sites. testers to refine prerelease versions of Castle. They used Visual Studio 2005 Team The developers used Microsoft Visual Foundation Server to create a portal based Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office on Windows SharePoint® Services that system (version 3.0)—which is included hosted all source code, work items, design in Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team documents, and updates. The portal also Suite—to create the Office Fluent-like user supported the developers’ weekly meetings interface and to add custom properties and with beta users, enabling developers to controls to files, which gives Castle much of organize and track user feedback. its power. For example, developers easily took advantage of Visual Tools for Benefits Microsoft Office and the native XML CME Group met its goals to quickly and support in Office Word 2007 to add XML cost-effectively create a solution that would tags that identify the auditor and company simplify and speed the audit process, while
  • 4. ―Auditors can get to boosting accuracy and collaboration. CME time testing it as we would have testing Group met these goals by taking advantage code created by hand.‖ their work more quickly of capabilities enabled by Visual Studio and they can focus on Team System 2008 Team Suite. For Benko and Fieseler, the productivity enhancements in Visual Studio Team that work more Development Time Cut by 20 System cut total development time from thoroughly, minimizing Percent eight months to six, enabling them to meet ―By creating an Office Business Application the CME Group goal to get Castle into the potential for error.‖ and using the tools in Visual Studio Team production as quickly as possible. Roman Benko, Associate Director, Systems System, we cut 20 percent off the time to Development, CME Group develop the Castle audit solution— Tedious Processes Eliminated, compared with what it would have taken Boosting Accuracy with Visual Studio 2005—and included The Castle developers weren’t the only capabilities that we couldn’t have added ones to benefit from the use of Visual any other way,‖ says Roman Benko, Studio Team System; the auditors and their Associate Director, Systems Development, managers benefit as well. Feedback from CME Group. ―For example, without Visual testers confirms the value of the user Studio 2008 [tools], we would have had to interface and other enhancements over program the Ribbon feature ourselves. the preceding application. With Visual Studio 2008, we just dragged and dropped the controls and wrote the ―Testers tell us that the audit process events behind them.‖ should be both faster and more accurate thanks to this tool,‖ says Benko. ―Tedious Similarly, Frank Fieseler, Associate Director, tasks—such as uploading and downloading Systems Development, CME Group, points all the information that they need, or to the timesaving benefits of the Language searching for supporting data—have been Integrated Query technology. ―We created eliminated thanks to the custom controls something similar to LINQ for an earlier and other technologies that we were able application, but LINQ was better, faster, to include by using Visual Studio Team and easier to work with,‖ says Fieseler. System. Documentation is easier to work ―LINQ has more intelligence and object with because auditors use the same inter- orientation than working with data sets, face and features that they know from 2007 which means we didn’t write any of the Microsoft Office system software. That underlying code because we could rely on means that auditors can get to their work the LINQ code generator to create the SQL more quickly and they can focus on that statements for us. It was a very visual way work more thoroughly, minimizing the to work, a more productive way for us to potential for error.‖ work. CME Group also uses the custom controls ―Our application has 50 tables in SQL to create an audit trail—that is, to identify Server. For us to do what LINQ does for us who has entered or changed information— would have taken up to a day per table— further boosting accuracy and security by that alone saved us a month. Not only did providing documentation against which to LINQ automate the code development but, check for discrepancies or errors. because we knew that the code was accu- rate, we also didn’t have to spend as much
  • 5. For More Information Audits Reviews Completed Up to 2008 Launch Wave For more information about Microsoft 20 Percent Faster Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, products and services, call the Microsoft Because synchronization between the and Visual Studio 2008 provide a secure Sales Information Center at (800) 426- auditor’s database and the central and trusted platform for creating and 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft repository is faster and easier than before, running your most demanding applications. Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- auditors synchronize their data more Combined, the products provide a solid 2495. Customers who are deaf or hard- frequently. That in turn makes up-to-date foundation for next-generation web of-hearing can reach Microsoft text information more readily available to other applications, broad support for telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) auditors or managers who may need it. virtualization technology, and access to 892-5234 in the United States or (905) relevant information. Advanced security 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 The faster synchronization also cuts the technology, developer support for the United States and Canada, please contact time that it takes for managers to review latest platforms, improved management your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access and approve an audit, because the updated and web tools, flexible virtualization information using the World Wide Web, audit document shows up in the manager’s solutions, and access to relevant go to: Castle home screen for review as soon as information from throughout your www.microsoft.com it’s uploaded to the central repository; organization enable a broad array of formerly, managers relied on printed technology solutions. For more information about CME Group version of files that had to be returned products and services, call (312) 930- from the field. The review of the audits now 1000 or visit the Web site at: can be completed up to 20 percent faster. www.cmegroup.com Software and Services  Solutions  Microsoft Visual Studio − Office Business Applications − Microsoft Visual Studio Team System  Technologies 2008 Team Suite − ClickOnce application deployment − Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team technology Foundation Server − Language Integrated Query  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 − Windows Server 2003 Enterprise − Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Replication Edition Services − Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise − Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Edition Microsoft Office system − Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express − Windows Forms Edition − Windows SharePoint Services  Microsoft Office − Microsoft Office Excel 2007 − Microsoft Office Word 2007 Hardware  HP ProLiant DL385 server computer  Fujitsu LifeBook T4010 computers This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published November 2007