The OCC (“Office of the Comptroller of the Currency”) is an independent bureau of the United States Treasury Department.  It charters, regulates and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.  In its regulatory role, it is similar to the FDIC.

The OCC’s official web site is www.occ.treas.gov.

See also: “FFIEC” (umbrella regulation, including state chartered banks), “FDIC” (federally chartered banks), “the Fed” (U.S. central bank), “NCUA” (credit unions) and “OTS” (savings and loans).


OLA is an abbreviation for “Operating Level Agreement“, which is a type of internal agreement between departments that make it possible for file transfer operations to achieve their SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

See “Operating Level Agreement” for more information.


To onboard a user or onboard a partner is to set up all the necessary user accounts, permissions, workflow definitions and other elements necessary to engage in electronic transfers of information with those users and partners.

Automatic onboarding of users or partners usually involves external authentication technology of some kind.   When that technology involves particularly rich user or partner profiles and allows users and partners to maintain their own information, then the external authentication technology used to onboard users and partners is often called “Community Management” technology.

“On board” and “on-board” are also occasionally used instead of “onboard”, and administrators often use the phrases “onboard a user” and “provision a user” interchangeably.   See “provisioning” for more information.

Operational Level Agreement

An operational level agreement (OLA) is a less stringent form of service level agreement (SLA) typically set up between two departments in the same organization, especially when an OLA is set up to help support a customer-facing SLA.

See “Service Level Agreement” for more information.


Orchestration is the ability to control operational flows and activities based on business rules, especially in multi-application systems complicated enough to require middleware such as ESB (“Enterprise Service Bus”) or the older MOM (“Message-Oriented Middleware”).

In the context of a file transfer system, orchestration often refers to the ability to apply automation such as triggers, schedules, explicit calls and chained calls to model or solve a business problem.

In the context of SOA (“Service Oriented Architecture”), orchestration typically refers to the ability of programmers to rapidly develop composite applications due to the fact that most available application APIs have been encapsulated and published in reliable directories that programmers’ applications can easily interpret and use.

BEST PRACTICE: Orchestration typically invokes an image of “drag and drop” business application development: a task easy enough for the average business analyst.  Reality often requires more than that: shelling out to scripts, editing raw XML documents by hand and having to clean up “orchestrated code” after an incompatible interface is rolled out are still common issues.


The OTS (“Office of Thrift Supervision”) is a United States Treasury Department office that oversees “savings and loans”, particularly those involved in real estate mortgages.  The OTS examines each member institution every 12-to-18 months to assess the institution’s safety and soundness.   In that role, it behaves much like the FDIC does with federally chartered banks.

The OTS’s official web site is www.ots.treas.gov.

See also: “FFIEC” (umbrella regulation, including state chartered banks), “FDIC” (federally chartered banks), “the Fed” (U.S. central bank), “NCUA” (credit unions) and “OCC” (national and foreign banks).

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