The Java Financial Object Xchange, an Internet forum organized last fall by Sun Microsystems to promote its Java computing language in the financial industry, is holding a software contest.

Applicants from North America will compete through June 30 for accolades and cash prizes as the most innovative in financial services. All qualified entries will be posted on the Web site; winners are to be announced in August.

"The innovative implementations that emerge will show how developers are using Java to build powerful financial applications," said Shahram Moradpour, worldwide market development manager at Sun. The company said 2,400 participants are on its free JFOX forum.

First prizes of $20,000 and second prizes of $10,000 will be awarded by a panel of Java experts in each of three categories: capital markets, including brokerage, back-office, and accounting systems; banking, including home banking, branch automation, customer service, and loan origination and processing; and insurance, including claims, billing and payment systems, risk management, and managed care.

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