PLATFORMS: Hewlett-Packard HP 9000 Model 715 and Model K200 servers running HP-UX operating system. Informix Dynamic Server database with Web Connect (a subset of Informix Web Integration Option), Netscape Corporation Enterprise Web server, Virtual Vault from Hewlett-Packard Corporation and Virtual Financial Manager from Security First Technologies.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Security First Network Bank needed a high performance, scalable database to keep its virtual banking services on-line. As the first truly branchless bank on the Web, Security First wanted to build customer confidence in on-line banking with proven security and real-time data-intensive banking transactions, while developing a flexible, reliable and scalable growth path for our company's solution.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Informix Dynamic Server provided high-performance connectivity with our Web servers--meaning we could deploy Web applications that harness the power, scalability and extensibility of the Informix server. Informix Dynamic Server enabled our customers to pay bills, transfer funds, reconcile their bank statements and even view a digital image of checks that were cleared over the Internet.

STRENGTHS: Informix Dynamic Server gave Security First Network Bank the power and flexibility to use the Web for strategic business advantage. Informix Dynamic Server allowed us to easily and efficiently manage all application logic and content, broadcast information directly to users and allow users to query all of our company's Web site content. We were able to deploy our banking application on the Internet quickly and easily. Informix Dynamic Server handled the steady growth of Security First's business with its ability to scale from 1,000 customers to hundreds of thousands, quickly and easily.

WEAKNESSES: As our company grows, our transaction processing requirements significantly increase, requiring more processing power than a single system can deliver. Although Informix Dynamic Server can handle the volume, we are considering the Extended Parallel Option to allow us to exploit the capabilities of our loosely coupled computing architectures planned in the future.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Security First needed a robust, scalable database with the power and reliability to process time-sensitive transactions in real time with the ability to integrate with our Web server. Informix Dynamic Server distinguished itself by allowing Security First to deliver Web page content directly from our Informix database.

DELIVERABLES: Informix Dynamic Server provided a flexible, reliable and scalable growth path for our company, allowing us to expand beyond basic customer transactions and deliver a "virtual net worth" solution by allowing secure transactions over the Internet and giving our customers the ability to conduct banking transactions from a Web browser..

VENDOR SUPPORT: Due to the nature of our business, up time is critical, and Informix support teams provided the responsive support needed during design and deployment. Since our bank is open 24 hours a day, Informix's TechInfo Center provides immediate support 24 hours a day to meet our demands. Additionally, Informix has provided Security First with on-site assistance via its Professional Services Organization.

DOCUMENTATION: Informix Dynamic Server documentation is comprehensive and basically easy to understand. Informix also provides an extensive customer training curriculum for both classroom and video-based training.

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