Community Blog

Community Blog

Open Sourcing our Secure Electron Adapter: a Game-Changer for Smart Desktop Technology

May 06, 2020

As the smart desktop continues to gain momentum in financial institutions, solutions providers depend on a number of modern technologies to realize that vision, including Electron—a container for creating desktop applications with web technologies. Electron has over 100 million installations around the world, and is used by software you already know and use daily—Skype, Slack, Spotify, Microsoft Teams, and WhatsApp, to name a few. 

Author: Rob Schmidt - Director, Strategic Initiatives, ChartIQ




For those leveraging the power of Electron to create application interoperability on the desktop and requiring enterprise-level security, we have big news. Our Finsemble team is proud to announce we’ve open sourced our Secure Electron Adapter (SEA) though FINOS, the Fintech Open Source Foundation. SEA is the only fully open source secure web container.


SEA acts as a firewall, intermediating API calls within a permission structure that mitigates the risk of running third party content in a desktop agent like Finsemble. 


Run in a browser, web applications benefit from strict security measures—sandboxed, restricted from most operating system APIs, kept away from the file system, and further protected by web security policies. When deployed to the desktop with Electron and made interoperable with one another, those same applications now require that new security measures be implemented. 


Electron suggests a number of best practices and security recommendations be adhered-to in order to provide security when working with Electron applications. It’s not a small list, and once completed, there is no guarantee you can deliver the user experience you want once you’ve followed the guidelines. At Finsemble, we’ve found what’s missing is an accessible, adaptable implementation of those security recommendations, purpose-built with smart desktops in mind. 


With SEA, financial institutions can fast-track securing Electron, while staying true to their goal of providing the best possible smart desktop user experience. True application interoperability can now be achieved with confidence and gold-standard security. It's a game-changing solution.

To learn more about the project, visit the overview website or the FINOS-hosted repo on Github.


Be sure to join us for a FINOS Virtual Meetup on May 20th at 11am ET (4pm BST) with guest speakers Kris West & Ian Mesner of ChartIQ, who will be presenting on the "How to Secure the Electron Container for Capital Markets". 




About the author

Rob Schmidt

An employee of ChartIQ since 2014, Rob Schmidt, Director of Strategic Inititatives, heads a team focused on creating interoperability between third party integrations within the Finsemble desktop platform. The Ecosystem team offers full support from initial ideation to assistance with technical implementation to deployment to client site.