Kris walked us through all the amazing features of FDC3 2.0 while I announced the inception of a formal FINOS hosted FDC3 Conformance program.
Today, at OSFF NYC, we are excited to announce that the FDC3 Conformance program is ready for version 1.2 of the standard (and nearly complete for the 2.0 version). Moreover we announced the first 3 platforms who are officially certified against the standard!
Finsemble, Glue42 and FDC3 Sail certified against FDC3 1.2
After months of hard work, we are excited to announce that the following Desktop Agents are now officially certified by FINOS as conformant to the FDC3 1.2 standard:
- The open source FDC3 Sail FINOS project, in its current development version.
- FINOS Silver Member Cosaic, with their Finsemble product (v8.3.0-beta.3).
- FINOS Silver Member Tick42 with their Glue42 Enterprise (v3.17.0) product and their Glue42 Core+ Browser Extension (v1.4), both making use of Glue FDC3 (v2.6.0).
We’re looking forward to beginning certification of a wider set of desktop agents against the FDC3 2.0 standard early in 2023, so make sure you sign-up for further updates.
How to become an FDC3 1.2 Certified Desktop Agent?
If you’re interested in applying to be a certified FDC3 Desktop agent, take a look at the requirements and application process. Certification is free for anyone and you can start testing your Desktop Agent today using the FDC3 1.2 conformance app in the FINOS FDC3 App Directory, as our goal is to continue nurturing the pervasive growth the standard has seen in the last 2 years.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Now, if you are not familiar with FDC3, our conformance program and why you should care, please continue reading below.
FDC3 is a standard for desktop interoperability. It means that different applications can send messages to one another, sharing contextual information about what a user is doing. On the simplest level, we use this all the time on our phones: whenever I click "Email this Page" or "Share via Whatsapp" I am performing some simple level of application interop.
But imagine you were a trader in a bank with six large flat-panel monitors in front of you, with half a dozen apps open on each. How useful would it be to say "Show me a graph of this stock", "Show me the news on this stock", "look up the contact details for this person" and so on, switching between apps as you do - that's the problem FDC3 solves and it is hugely popular as a result.
FDC3 is a FINOS open standard, used in thousands of apps in organizations all round the financial world. While many corporations use it internally to get their apps to share context, there is a growing group of application vendors that sell apps into the FDC3 space. The logos on the standards home and community pages give you a glimpse of how pervasive the standard has become. Additionally, there are several organizations producing FDC3 Desktop Agents (the host through which FDC3 apps chat with each other) and FINOS even has an Open Source Desktop Agent called FDC3 Sail.
Introducing FDC3 Conformance
With all this activity - apps, vendors, desktop agents, organizations and different versions of FDC3, there's plenty of scope for divergence or misinterpretation of the standard:
- As a user, I want to know that all the functionality of an app will work for me, on my desktop.
- And as a desktop agent implementor, I want to know that I'm building things right and that everyone's apps are going to work on my platform.
- As an app developer, I want to know that my app will work with every desktop agent implementation.
The FDC3 Conformance Framework is a FINOS-funded project blessed by the maintainers of the FDC3 standard to test and certify that Desktop Agents meet the FDC3 standard properly. Currently, there are two versions of the framework testing the two current versions of the standard: FDC3 1.2 and FDC3 2.0.
We've found that it's important to test against both. If you are choosing a desktop agent, you're going to need one that runs apps written for FDC3 1.2 and 2.0. Let's face it: financial services institutions generally have a longer-than-average mean upgrade time for their systems, so there are lots of apps written for the 1.2 standard that will need to keep running even as the Desktop Agents progress to support 2.0. So it’s important to have certification for older major versions of FDC3 to ensure backwards compatibility.
How Does the Certification Process Work?
Earlier this year, FINOS commissioned the development of the FDC3 Conformance Framework. This is an open source project that has been developed in public with the help of the FDC3 community. Anyone can check out the code and self-assess conformance to the standard, or examine the tests and see how they work.
FINOS have worked hard with the FDC3 community to help define a test pack. These tests have been designed to correctly verify conformance with respect to a specific version of the standard. The FDC3 maintainers then approve the specification of these tests.
In essence, the conformance framework is a set of FDC3 apps. You can install these apps directly into a Desktop Agent, or if your Desktop Agent supports it, run them directly from the FINOS FDC3 App Directory.
From the main test-running app, you can pick the test(s) you want to run:
Then, the test-running app will perform some interoperability tasks with some support apps within the conformance framework. In the example below we test for “listening to context data published by another app”:
Contribute to the FDC3 Conformance Framework
The FDC3 conformance framework is an open source project itself and as such we very much welcome contributors to help us evolve and improve the framework. Please raise issues and pull requests against the github.com/finos/FDC3-conformance-framework repository and join the FDC3 mailing list to ask questions.
Interested in this FINOS open source project, or any of our other projects? Click the link below to see how to get involved in the FINOS Community.