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Caplin bets on HTML5 for web trading

Caplin Systems, the technology vendor that specializes in building FX single-dealer platforms (SDPs), has launched a set of tools designed to help banks construct trading applications in HTML5.

The firm has been advocating the use of HTML5 – the native web technology championed by Apple, Google and Microsoft – for some time. In June, Caplin released a survey that found the vast majority of FX banks, if they were starting a project now, would use HTML5 to construct a graphical user interface.

The front-end of SDPs of the world’s leading FX banks, such as Barclays’ Barx, Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn and Citi’s Velocity, run on different systems – 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 do away with the need for plug-ins and bolt-ons – such as Java applets, Flash, Flex and Silverlight – to create better graphical animation and interactive applications.

Yet there are some factors that could hamper the roll-out for HTML5 in FX SDPs.

First, there are concerns that customers have not yet adopted the new generation of web browsers. Second, large banks have a substantial pool of developers proficient in Flex and .Net, but do not yet have those capabilities in HTML5.

To address the latter issue, Caplin on Monday launched BladeRunner, a new HTML5 development environment, together with a suite of tools designed to help banks build trading applications in HTML5.

The firm says the system can halve the time and effort it takes to build a trading application and that big investments are showing a “keen appetite” for BladeRunner, given the productivity gains that can be achieved.

“Almost all the banks we speak to see web-trading applications as a key differentiator, and recognize that the future for online trading lies with HTML5,” says Paul Caplin, founder and CEO of Caplin.

“What we have now created with BladeRunner is a range of HTML5 financial trading libraries and a development toolset that allows bank developers to reach the same levels of productivity they achieve in more traditional languages.”

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