Optimal Group crafts risk management tools with Flex 2

Optimal Group Inc. plans to debut two tools in September that were created by using Adobe’s new Flex 2 software product line instead of Java-based tools that it says are at times difficult to work with.

Last month, Adobe Systems Inc. released its Flex 2 product line and Flash Player 9 to help developers build the next class of Internet applications without having to pay for software licensing.

The first application by the Optimal Group is a risk-management solution used internally by the company’s risk department. The software is used to upload charge-back information related to customer transactions into the system so that it may be processed, said Dimitrios Gianninas, an RIA developer for Optimal Group Inc., a payments and services company with operations throughout North America, U.K. and Ireland.

The Montreal-based company processes credit-card payments for Internet businesses, mail-, telephone-order and retail point-of-sale merchants. It also processes electronic cheques and direct debits online and by phone.

“The main (reason) of why we used Flex 2.0 for this is application is because…it could take anywhere from 10, 15, 20 minutes to process a file depending on how many records are inside of it,” said Gianninas.

He said the Optimal Group used the messaging option to build this tool. As someone uploads and processes information, “the server will send information to the person’s client, with the Flex client telling him at what stage in the processing of the file they are at.”

“We were beta-testers from the beginning,” Gianninas said. “You get a lot out of the box,” such as the ability to construct charts.

Customers have access to ready-built controls that come with a lot of functionality, he said. “We can build applications in a similar manner. . . . When someone needs to do maintenance, he knows exactly where to go to do an upload.”

Optimal Payments had used JavaServer pages to develop solutions in the past, but noted the downfall is that “it can take a lot more time to build things.”

Adobe Flex Builder 2 runs at about US$499, while Adobe Flex Builder 2 with charting functionality costs US$749. Adobe Flex Data Services 2 Express, which includes a single full production license for deploying applications on a single CPU, is free. List pricing for Adobe Flex Data Services 2 is US$20,000 per CPU plus maintenance and support. Volume discounts and custom pricing structures for ISV/OEM customers also are available.

Companies such as Bell Canada, Boeing, Dow Jones Indexes, Samsung, and SAP are among the users.

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