Browser Technology Eases Software Integration Worries

With the advent of XML technology and Web services, the days of an integration taking months to complete are long gone. Recently Entyre completed an integration with Dexma literally in a matter of a few days.

"Moving data back and forth with XML technology is pretty easy these days," said Chris Eagle, chief operating officer and

chief technology officer at Entyre, Ann Arbor, Mich. "We set up a Web service and literally in less than a week Dexma was hitting it with data."

Mr. Eagle and Richard Beedon, the company's CEO, acquired Entyre for an undisclosed sum in a deal that was finalized last month. The company has been in business since 1987 and serves the closing documentation needs of lenders in all 50 states.

Founded in 1995, Minneapolis-based Dexma helps lenders and other industry partners compete more effectively by delivering technology solutions that streamline loan production and expand product distribution. This integration with Entyre spurred from the fact that the two companies had a mutual customer and felt that the technology was there to make the process painless.

"This new kind of integration with XML and Web services is a big change when compared to how integrations used to be done," said Tim Anderson, executive vice president, business solutions at Dexma. "Rolling integrations out as a Web service is a huge improvement over the hard-coding method that used to be the norm.

"In general, there are two different kinds of integrations, one for the upfront initial docs, as well as one for the closing data set docs," he said. "Normally, being that you were dealing with the largest data set in the process when you talk about the close loan dataset, the integration process is always different with each provider and LOS that you have to integrate to."

Now that has all changed. "The nice thing now in the new world is that there's a standard way to deploy the integration using XML as a Web service to deploy within weeks," Mr. Anderson noted. "Before it would take months to ensure that all the data passes and that the integration is truly complete. So, XML normalizes the dataset, standardizes the integration and offers it as a Web service that you can deploy very quickly."

But this wasn't the norm when you go back even just five years. "When I came over to the mortgage industry this technology was still very uncommon," said Mr. Eagle. "What we're seeing now is people coming out with newer technology and people that are staying current on the latest technology. As lending systems and doc prep companies change their technology, XML and Web services are catching on. Even so, right now, 75% of LOS vendors still don't have a clean way for me to integrate and pull data."

New integrations are typically made seamless by masking the screens to look the same so the end user never knows when they're leaving one system and moving to another. This mirroring method also eliminates the opportunity for human error.

"As far as mechanical time goes, integration isn't that big of a deal, but as far as training and making the process seamless goes, it eliminates the need for training and the opportunity for error," reported Mr. Eagle. "If you have to physically export a file you have to first find that file and then export it. Along the way you have to make sure that you find the right file and export the right file, which makes it easy for human error to occur. With the XML integration and advent of Web services the process is seamless and there's no need to locate or physically pass a doc on."

Another up-and-coming technology that will further speed up this process is the adoption of MISMO standards. This summer the MBA is expected to release designations to determine which vendor is MISMO-compliant and which aren't to ensure that everyone's datasets are on the same page.

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