Community Blog

Community Blog

Building an open source ecosystem for FDC3

April 27, 2022
It’s been almost 5 years since the FDC3 standards initiative kicked off. In that time, FDC3 has grown from a gleam in the eyes of a handful of technologists to a living and thriving standard adopted by a critical mass of banks and buy-side firms as well as key data and service providers such as FactSet and Symphony. The success of the FDC3 standard has been driven by the heroic efforts of its community and maintainers, as well as by a real need in the market for an open solution to the application interop problem. 

Throughout this time, one critical piece of the ecosystem has been missing: a complete and fully open source implementation. Today I am excited to announce that this is no longer the case, and a fully Electron based open source implementation has been contributed to FINOS, where we are expecting it to be a critical resource for the FDC3 developer community.

Why should FDC3 be open source?

There are two key reasons an open source standard should have an open source implementation:


1 - To provide developers of the standard with an open and neutral reference implementation.

2 - To reduce friction for adopters of the standard through the existence of a viable open source option.


A Chrome extension based open source implementation of a desktop agent was previously contributed to FINOS. While this project has been useful to the FDC3 developer community as a reference, it lacks both viability for app developers as well as completeness. This project addresses both of those gaps by implementing in the technology of choice for desktop apps (Electron) and by providing the full stack of FDC3 in the implementation (App Directory as well as Desktop Agent).


On this note, if you are an Electron developer and you are new to the FDC3 standard, take a look at this FDC3 Primer for Electron and Web Developers. 


What's in the Project?

fdc3 electron


The project is built using best practices for any modern electron / web application. The Desktop Agent client is written in Typescript and based on the Vite Electron Builder Boilerplate project. 

The toolchain for the project includes:


Security is a vital consideration in all Electron projects. To ensure best practices, all remote content is rendered in BrowserView instances with node integration off and with contextIsolation enabled. Only the FDC3 API is injected into remote content. All UI content for the agent is local.


What’s next?

Next major steps will be to iterate and expand on the implementation.  We will be engaging the wider community on this, but there are a few areas that come immediately to mind:

  • Integrating compliance and testing features into the project to better serve as a toolset for FDC3 testing and development.
  • Providing extensibility hooks to support modeling experimental feature sets.
  • Iterating and expanding on the UX of interop.
  • Working with the wider Electron community on addressing interop use cases outside of finance. 


This is a new and exciting development for FDC3 and we’re looking forward to seeing the engagement on this project and the impact on the FDC3 ecosystem as adoption continues to grow!



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