Connecting UIs using FDC3



What is FDC3?


FDC3 stands for the Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium. It is an interoperability standard for financial desktop applications.


It was originally created by OpenFin in 2017 and was then made open source via FinOS (the Fintech Open Source Foundation) in 2018.


What does it do?


FDC3 provides a standard way for components (apps) of financial application user interfaces to communicate with each other.


These are typically components that are part of a single application like a price tile or trade blotter in a trading system, or components that are part of different applications, for example a trading system and CRM system. The applications can either be a company’s own bespoke applications, or provided by a third party. As long as they all support the FDC3 standard they can talk to each other.


This allows for users to have highly optimised workflows across their different desktop applications such as the selection of a client in one application causing the context to switch across many components in different applications, for example showing their trading history in a trading system, their contact details in a CRM system as well as with their credit availability in a credit system, all at the same time from the same selection.


The major Integrated Desktop products (openfin, Finsemble and Glue42) all support FDC3, allowing for the seamless desktop integration of legacy applications with newly developed ones that are built using the latest web technologies.


How does it do it?


FDC3 consists of the following:


Context

A context is a data structure that is broadcast between components.

There are standard context types defined for financial data such as a contact, instrument and position so that different components in different applications can communicate with and understand each other in a common way.

Context Channels

Context data is broadcast on context channels. Each component is assigned to a channel or channels so that only relevant broadcasts are received.


As well as application defined channels there is also a default channel to which all components are initially joined and system channels which allow for the common grouping of components.


Intents

Intents are used to define standard verbs so that actions can be performed as part of a workflow. Examples of verbs are ViewChart and StartChat. Together with context data this allows for rich functionality to be performed across components and applications.


App Directory

The App Directory contains metadata for FDC3 applications. It contains instructions to launch components as well as details of the intents that they support.

To discuss accelerated development of a user interface that is compliant with FDC3 please contact us.

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