Beacon: a real-time financial news application built on Openfin

Read Time
3 min read
Published On
July 5, 2017

News is a key driver of fluctuation of financial markets, for example when Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States, the markets swayed and many a fortune were made and lost. News is also a vehicle for reporting fundamental company information like M&A activity, a CEO or key officer leaving a company or an important financial research finding or analyst rating.

For financial professionals, having news accessible to them at their trading terminal is critical: news that is fast and in-tune with various wire services, that can be searched easily to find that nugget of information about a topic, and that is easily readable among the tens of windows across multiple screens. This is even more true in this age where humans are racing against machines to seek competitive actionable information

Achieving such mission-critical capability in the past required installed desktop applications with a Windows SDK and advanced technologies based on C++ and others close to machine hardware. However with the rise of the consumer internet and several realtime apps and technologies, similar SLA’s are achievable with modern technology stack. On a financial user’s desktop, the last mile is the installed application. Till date, various financial information providers and organizations have resorted to building custom applications in bespoke technology stacks compatible with their other legacy applications and desktop IT infrastructure.

Only recently have more modern installations like Chromium gained adoption, which allow for apps to be built in modern tech stacks like HTML5 and Javascript, along with adapters to interoperate with existing legacy applications and widely adopted programs like Excel.

OpenFin, a provider of HTML5 runtime technology for the financial industry, is leading the charge in this arena. Perpetual is a New York City based innovation lab that provides advanced User Experience Design and Full-Stack Development expertise derived from years in the financial information services industry.  The Perpetual team is proud to bring you Beacon, a scrolling news app leveraging the OpenFin framework.

This version of Beacon offers realtime scrolling news from multiple sources, with the ability to search news, select news sources and bookmark articles for later reading. Upcoming versions will have watchlists, alerts, trending news and lots more.

You can download the Beacon Desktop Application here. ​

Technical approach building Beacon
Beacon Feature Overview
Presentation on The Future of Financial Information Services, QCON Shanghai