OpenFin FDC3

FDC3 intro text about the standard and how OpenFin founded

OpenFin & FDC3: Our Commitment

We’re excited about the resounding feedback we received on the blog we posted a couple of weeks ago on FDC3 — from founding the standard, to contributing it to FINOS, and our approach going forward. In case you missed it, here is the link:

As we discuss in the post, we’re working hard at OpenFin to promote the adoption of FDC3 across the industry. A key accelerant for this has been the introduction of our new OpenFin Workspace offering which uses FDC3 standards both for context sharing and for content discovery.

We got some great questions from several customers so we’ve prepared an FAQ which you can find below.

If you have additional questions about FDC3 and our approach, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at fdc3@openfin.co. Thanks for all of your support on this important industry initiative.

The goal of FDC3 is to create standards for desktop application interoperability in the financial industry. For these standards to be successful we need ensure they satisfy a set of foundational use cases and requirements defined and validated by the program participants. These use cases must represent the interop needs of the 40+ members of FDC3 as a sample of the financial industry as a whole. The remaining working groups Context Data, App Directory, Intents and APIs should use the use cases as the basis for each set of standards.

“The Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3) was founded in 2017 by OpenFin and contributed to FINOS. The FDC3 standards are created and used by leading organizations across the financial industry. ”




What is FDC3?
FDC3 is an open standard for plug-and-play interoperability between desktop apps.

Where does the name come from?
FDC3 is an abbreviation for Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium. The name was inspired by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) which is a standards body for defining the open web platform, including HTML5.

How did the standard get started? OpenFin started the group in the fall of 2017, bringing together major banks, buy-side and industry platforms. The initiative was announced publicly in March 2018: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/major-financial-industry-players-rally-around-fdc3-to-provide-universal-technology-standards-300610226.html

What is the relationship with FINOS? OpenFin contributed the initiative to FINOS (FinTech Open Source Foundation) in May 2018 to bring additional governance and independence to the development of the standard: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/finos-expands-with-openfin-contribution-of-fdc3-application-interoperability-standards-300648249.html

Does OpenFin continue to participate in FINOS FDC3 working groups? Yes. In addition, we’ve made it our mission at OpenFin to bridge the communication around FDC3 with our many customers who aren’t active working group participants.

What support does OpenFin Workspace provide for FCD3?
OpenFin Workspace enables context sharing using FDC3 APIs. Additionally, Workspace’s Content Discovery Service implements the FDC3 app directory standard.

What support does OpenFin Container provide for FCD3?
OpenFin Container just released new FDC3 APIs that implement the standard specification: https://developer.openfin.co/docs/javascript/

Did OpenFin Container support FDC3 before?
Yes. OpenFin previously had an FDC3 Service that implemented the standard.

Why the change from a Service to the new APIs?
With the new approach, developers take upgrades to FDC3 APIs at the same time as upgrades for all other OpenFin APIs. The previous Service architecture had the potential for compatibility issues.

What is the Interop API?
OpenFin Container recently added improved APIs to simplify support of FDC3 and address feedback from customers related to data security and modeling of the relationship between apps.

Are the new Interop APIs a departure from FDC3?
No. FDC3 APIs are built on top of the Interop APIs. Previously our FDC3 Service was built on the OpenFin Channel API. The Interop API builds on the Channel API and simplifies development. For example, it makes it easy to share context only with other trusted apps which addresses a key customer concern around data security.

Why do you need a different Interop API and not just the FDC3 API?
Our FDC3 APIs implement the FDC3 specification to the letter as a developer would expect. However, our customers need us to provide them with additional capabilities that aren’t (yet) part of the FDC3 standard. This is very common in standards development -- APIs come first, standards follow.

Why does the Interop API have different naming than FDC3?
To avoid developer confusion with FDC3 APIs.

What happens if one app uses FDC3 API and another uses Interop API?
They are fully compatible since the FDC3 API is built on top of the Interop API.

Can my apps use either API when running in OpenFin Workspace?
Yes. They’re both fully compatible.

Which apps can access data that I share using FDC3 protocol?
With the introduction of our new Interop API, a Platform can decide which apps are trusted and only those apps are given access to data. This allows multiple platforms on the same desktop to use FDC3 protocol without data leakage. OpenFin is unique in providing this capability.

Who decides when the OpenFin FDC3 DesktopAgent is upgraded?
With the introduction of our new Interop API, there is no longer a dependency between apps on the same desktop. Each app upgrades its FDC3 DesktopAgent software on its own timing. OpenFin is unique in providing this capability.

What’s next on the roadmap?
We currently support Context Sharing. We will be adding support for Intents next.

Where can I learn more about FDC3 and OpenFin?
If you have additional questions about FDC3 and our approach, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at fdc3@openfin.co.