Service Providers (SPs) may partner with other Service Providers to fulfill the necessary steps to satisfy a client request. Each SP can simply forward messages received from clients to other service providers to act on. This capability to delegate services without client awareness is an important precept of SOA architecture, and the IFX framework fully supports this notion. SPs may be co-located or geographically separated.
Service Providers may be single companies offering many services or multiple companies partnering to provide a single service. The granularity of a service is defined by the institutions offering them, not by the IFX Forum. This facilitates service segmentation across business boundaries, technical boundaries or both, with complete flexibility within the framework.
In the IFX framework, it is easily conceivable that a Service Provider may be an application that collaborates with other applications and that those applications are built on different platforms with different technologies. The stateless Rq-Rs protocol and built-in recognition of Service Provider routing and data ownership are all critical to easy adaptation of the IFX model to any deployment model in any channel.