Found this City#Grid Special Report via Matt Davey's blog. Lots of interesting real-world cases on how banks are using grids of all sorts. Not surprisingly, I especially liked the piece on page 12 in which Andy Doddington from Bank of America describes how they used GigaSpaces to scale and simplify a middle office applications for P&L analytics.
One the interesting things Andy raises is a very common thing on Wall Street, which is the extensive use of Microsoft Excel among middle and front office users (traders, quants, etc.) in investment banks. Whatever you think of it, Excel is the de facto standard front-end for many-many apps in the securities industry.
While it is a flexible tool, and one that many users are familiar and comfortable with, it also creates many difficulties from an enterprise point-of-view around management, maintenance, disjointed data silos, etc.
In this particular case the solution was to use the GigaSpaces in-memory data grid and replace the client (Excel) with a rich client. That works. But one of the things we are working on with Microsoft is how to have the best of both worlds: the low-latency and central synchronized data grid with the familiar Excel.
I can't spill the beans just yet, but we'll be announcing and demoing what we've been up to together with Microsoft at the SIFMA show (formerly known as the SIA show) in June in New York.
Come see us there!