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January 9, 2024

FDC3 Interoperability Across Devices

OpenFin Workspace - FDC3 Interoperability Interop Desktop Tablet Mobile


Desktop interoperability has been a core capability of OpenFin since the introduction of OpenFin OS in 2012. We sometimes refer to this as “On-The-Glass” interoperability because it allows apps to talk to other apps right on the end user’s screen, enabling context sharing and automating workflow. You can read more about this here.

Until recently, this type of interoperability was only available on the Desktop, but that’s all changed with our “Anywhere” approach where end users can get the OpenFin Workspace experience (with app-app interoperability) not just on the Desktop, but also on Tablets, Smartphones and inside Web Browsers. Apps on the same device can talk to one another using FDC3 standard APIs. That means developers can build once and run anywhere.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking the “Anywhere” capabilities one step further. We’re introducing a new service we call “Interop Anywhere” that enables FDC3 interoperability not just on the same device, but also across devices. That means apps on your desktop can talk to apps on your tablet and apps inside your web browser. You can start on your desktop at the office and continue your work on the go, without losing context. You can hand a customer your tablet and walk through their portfolio while running the review from your desktop. In the future, you’ll even be able to share context and workflow with your colleagues’ and clients’ devices and not just between your own devices.

As you would expect, our product and engineering teams have been incredibly thoughtful about how to deliver this capability and our technical approach comes with several very important benefits:

  1. FDC3 Standard: We fully leverage FDC3 so developers can use standard APIs and don’t have to change their code.
  2. Local-First: We keep interoperability local (i.e. on the same device) whenever possible. This means data never touches the Cloud unless it has to, which means better security and less risk of data loss.
  3. Offline Support: Our local-first approach also means that interoperability on the same device continues to work even if your device loses its internet connection and is offline.
  4. Optimized Cloud Connections: Cloud connectivity always travels through the interoperability bus on each device. This means far fewer connections to the Cloud which would otherwise require a lot of overhead. It’s the difference between the number of connections for every app you have on every device (very expensive) and connections just for the number of devices you have (2-4).

We’re already working closely on this new capability with some of our largest customers who are helping to drive our roadmap.

If you’d like to learn more about Interop Anywhere, please get in touch at info@openfin.co.

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