Introducing FDC3 1.2
FDC3 1.2 brings exciting new features to the FDC3 standard. In the FINOS Open Source in Finance Meetup “Improving Interoperability on the Financial Desktop” I discuss what’s new with FDC3 v1.2. Check out the recording above and a brief overview below.
I’m also proud to announce that I’ve recently been appointed as an FDC3 lead-maintainer, alongside Riko Eksteen (Adaptive FInancial Consulting) and maintainers Matt Jamieson (Whitedog), Georgi Gieorgiev (Glue42) and Johan Sandersson (Factset). I’m pleased to help lead a working group that is community-based and open-source, using the collaborative efforts of many contributors to improve workspaces across the financial industry. If you are new to FDC3, check out our FDC3 resource page to get started.
FDC3 1.2 was largely focused on maturing the standard based on the experiences of working group members that are implementing and using it right now. It’s one of the advantages of working with evolving standards that are vendor-neutral: we are getting input from contributors in real-time with varying use cases and no hidden agendas. The results are beneficial for all FDC3 adopters.
Pick an action, any action
The main functional addition to the FDC3 API in 1.2 is “raise intent for context.” At the heart of FDC3 are context data and intents: you pass an intent (the action) and context (the item) and your desktop agent resolves the intent (for example, open a chart).
However, the feedback FDC3 contributors had is that sometimes the user wants to discover what they can do with the piece of content. Think of systems such as your desktop OS or phone that show you share dialogues with options for what you can do with a piece of content. “Raise intent for context” is FDC3’s answer to this in the 1.2 release. You can ask a desktop agent what’s possible with a piece of context and receive a list of intents/actions.
Additionally, FDC3 1.2 allows you to share content outside of singular apps like Instagram and instead include processes like bookmarking and save for later. This is exciting because now not only can you integrate with apps you didn’t know about when you implemented your code but you can also perform new action types that hadn’t been contemplated when your code was originally read.
Improved developer support in FDC 1.2
The rest of the changes in 1.2 improve developer support and generally make FDC3 easier to work with, such as:
- FDC3 “ready event.” In the past you had to poll for the window.fdc3 object, and in some implementations it’s not ready yet. Now we’ve introduced a standardized “ready event” which allows you to easily pick up FDC3.
- Open and raise intent can now target applications based on app metadata (where previously they only supported the app name). Now you can use either the name or an app metadata object which has been updated to include both the name and version (or the app id).
- A new “get info” call allows you to check what version of the FDC3 standard the desktop agent is providing to you. This will become more important as the standard evolves.
- A new npm package provides an interface to any standard desktop agent to make it easier to bring into your code. It gives you typescript types for all the FDC3 api operations and the context types, and enums for the existing standardized intents and context names. It even exports the FDC3 apis which will be implemented by the desktop agent you’re using and allows them to be exported as ES6 functions you can import into your code.
For more details, including what’s coming next for FDC3 2.0, see the FDC3 1.2 release notes in Github.
We want to hear from you
What intents and context types do you use? How do you use FDC3? Stay tuned for a new initiative we’re calling Community Contributed Context Types. The goal is to make it straightforward for the FDC3 community to publicize how they are using FDC3 in the real world.
As always, if you have any big ideas or want to contribute, join our standards working group. Your ideas and use cases help us develop vendor-neutral, common standards for the entire financial industry. The scope for FDC3 2.0 is being discussed right now. If you’d like to contribute to the next iteration of the standard check out the get-involved page on the FDC3 website.