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OpenFin, FactSet partner to make their apps, data feeds work together

FactSet and OpenFin announced Tuesday that they have integrated their technologies so that FactSet data can be easily fed into any application that works with OpenFin.

FactSet feeds data and analytics to more than 126,000 Wall Street users and is a competitor to Bloomberg and Refinitiv.

OpenFin has an open desktop architecture for Wall Street applications, which allows any application built in the framework to function together. OpenFin runs more than 1,000 applications at more than 1,500 banks and buy-side firms across 200,000 desktops in more than 60 countries.

The announcement means that FactSet's new web desktop is now OpenFin compatible.

Both companies are adhering to a standard called FDC3 (Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium) that provides a common language that allows apps to work together. JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays and BNP Paribas are among the banks that use the standard.

The intention is that bankers, traders, portfolio managers, wealth managers and analysts will be able to quickly access data from their applications, and create workflows that cut in and out of different applications, including the FactSet workstation.

Kim Prado, global head of client insight, banking and digital channels technology at RBC, said her bank subscribes to several FactSet data feeds and has already begun integrating them into users’ daily workflows. For instance, the bank ingests information about companies’ C-suite leaders and boards from FactSet.

“From various windows, you can right-click and see the FactSet data through the OpenFin box,” Prado said. “It saves people time.”

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The partnership between FactSet and OpenFin will also save RBC money, because the bank's developers won’t have to build or maintain integrations between the data and applications.

“That’s huge,” Prado said.

She sees this relationship as part of an ongoing trend in the industry toward interoperability and openness.

“This is where it’s all headed,” she said.

Data integrations like these also help lay the groundwork for artificial intelligence projects the bank would like to do in the future, Prado said.

Trend toward openness

Gene Fernandez, chief technology and product officer at FactSet, said his company is trying to be an open provider. FactSet ported everything in its traditional workstation into its relatively new web-native workstation that can now run in OpenFin as well as in regular web browsers, he said.

“The strength of the OpenFin platform is it allows you to take very disparate systems — FactSet, other third parties, components you build yourself — and stitch them together, making them look like one application to the end user,” Fernandez said. “From any given widget or application, you can monitor a portfolio list in FactSet.”

“It's a very productive environment and integrating applications that were built by different vendors and clients themselves is very powerful,” Fernandez said.

Several buy-side and sell-side FactSet customers were already using OpenFin for parts of their workflow, Fernandez said.

“So this was an opportunity for us to simplify their integration,” he said. “It seemed like a reasonable place for us to focus engineering resources.”

If FactSet sees similar interest in other platforms, it will consider integrating with those as well.

“But at this point, we don't have any other plans,” Fernandez said.

FactSet is the first major market data platform to run on OpenFin.

“This is something that people on the buy side and the sell side have been talking about and wanting to do for a long time,” said Mazy Dar, CEO of OpenFin. “If you talk to the people who are in digital transformation at all these firms, the future that people want to see is a world where apps can seamlessly interoperate with one another.”

OpenFin is speaking with other market data firms, too.

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