Why LSE went its own way for middleware

The London Stock Exchange has chosen to build its own platform to link up its core systems, rather than buy commercial middleware.

The London Stock Exchange has chosen to build its own platform to link up its core systems, rather than buy commercial middleware.

The LSE ran a complete review of commercial middleware platforms but decided to build its own "IB45" middleware using the Microsoft C# programming language and .net framework, instead of buying off-the-shelf middleware, said chief technology officer Robin Paine.

The IBus middleware platform "is the technological heart of everything we are doing," he said.

The platform is engineered to support high-speed message dissemination and has been designed to scale up and down to cope with varying demands in trading volume.

Ian Charlesworth, senior analyst at Ovum, said internal IT departments had long been the biggest competitor of integration suppliers such as webMethods and Tibco. "Now, through a combination of standards and improved tooling, building your own middleware platform has never been easier," he said.

He pointed out that even though development of custom middleware was easier, management and maintenance of homegrown solutions could be a significant burden.

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