BST Awards 2018: Best Use of the Agile Methodology—OpenFin

There will come a time when all software development work will be along Agile lines, not only for this industry, but for all industries. As to when we might reach that point is anyone’s guess, but it is the future—of that there is little doubt. Gone are the days when the Waterfall methodology sufficed, which, when it came to large numbers of projects, tended to be too long-winded and suffered unnecessarily from scope-creep, missed deadlines and inflated budgets. Now, Agile is the only feasible model for developing and deploying software quickly, efficiently and iteratively for pretty much all capital markets firms and the community of third-party technology vendors serving them. 

This is the third year this category has been on offer in the Buy-Side Technology Awards. The first recipient was Pittsburgh-based Confluence in 2016, while last year it was Eze Software, now part of SS&C Technologies, in the winners’ circle. This year OpenFin takes home the award, thanks largely to its OpenFin OS, designed to enable Agile development and deployment for capital markets firms and third-party technology vendors who up to now have mostly focused on deploying apps onto end-users’ desktops.

The challenge facing large numbers of buy-side firms is that traditionally the bulk of the tools they have developed and deployed for their end-users are either installed directly onto desktops or are run on servers in datacenters, which makes maintenance and upgrades/updates cumbersome, time-consuming and costly. OpenFin OS addresses the problem by allowing developers to build their apps with any HTML5 framework and run them on OpenFin OS as opposed to a web browser. The app looks and feels like a native, installed app, even though it is web-deployed like any other web-based app. This allows buy-side firms and their vendors to instantly deploy and update desktop apps if and when they need to, while bugs found in live apps can be immediately fixed and deployed to end-users. OpenFin OS also enables Agile development when it comes to app interoperability by way of simple APIs, allowing developers to integrate desktop apps with one another, streamlining workflows and unifying the end-user experience. 

OpenFin currently uses OpenFin OS to deploy thousands of apps to in excess of 1,500 buy-side and sell-side firms, in addition to a range of capital markets technology firms, a number of whom have won categories in this year’s and last year’s BST Awards. Clearly, OpenFin is onto something, as evidenced by it phenomenal growth and broad industry adoption since it opened its doors for business in 2010. 

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