OpenFin launches HTML5 desktop technology

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OpenFin, the technology provider, has launched OpenFin Desktop, a product that allows financial services firms to deploy trading applications using HTML5.

Many in the financial services industry have been advocating the use of HTML5, the native web technology championed by Apple, Google and Microsoft, to develop trading applications for some time. However, the front-end of single-dealer platforms of the world’s leading FX banks run on different systems, such as Flex and Silverlight for web applications, and Java and .Net for installed applications. However, improving technology has produced a new generation of web browsers, which reduce the need for plug-ins and bolt-ons – such as Java applets, Flash, Flex and Silverlight – to create better graphical animation and interactive applications. OpenFin says the financial industry is at a crossroads, as the majority of financial industry desktops do not run a modern web browser that adequately supports the HTML5 standard. Furthermore, the firm says trading applications often require functionality that is impossible to achieve within the constraints of even modern browsers. “HTML5 creates exciting new possibilities for trading application design and deployment,” says Mazy Dar, OpenFin CEO. “We developed OpenFin to unlock this potential and to help the financial industry accelerate its HTML5 adoption.” The firm says OpenFin Desktop enables HTML5 applications to run outside the browser with the performance, functionality and security needed for real-time trading. Application providers can use the software to deploy a single application or, alternatively, to provide customers with a branded desktop app store. OpenFin says the new product also helps financial services firms migrate to HTML5, avoiding the need to rewrite existing applications. OpenFin Desktop can run Flash and Silverlight applications, and integrates seamlessly with Java, C++ and .Net through an API. The software is built on Chromium, an open-source project from Google that also powers the Google Chrome browser.