New York, NY–June 17, 2020–As the financial services industry continues to embrace collaborative open source projects to keep pace with rapid technological change, FINOS (the Fintech Open Source Foundation), a nonprofit whose mission is to foster adoption of open source, open standards, and collaborative software development practices in financial services, today announces three new codebase contributions. The new projects represent diverse solutions to solving common software problems, large and small.
“Working closely with Platinum members Citi, Deutsche Bank and ChartIQ, a Silver fintech member, we’ve deepened our reservoir of open source projects that address specific needs in financial services,” said Gab Columbro, executive director, FINOS. “From desktop applications to large-scale enterprise information management, these new additions to our community demonstrate how open source is driving positive change in the industry, as more financial institutions see business value not only in consuming but, most importantly, contributing to open source.”
Citi Synthetic DataHub Helps Institutions Test Information and Keep it Confidential
Gaining the ability to use confidential data sets with external cloud services can be a lengthy process. A lack of useful test data often slows the development of new systems. To address this, Citi created DataHub to generate synthetic data to address the need for anonymization when working with cloud providers. DataHub is a set of Python libraries dedicated to the production of synthetic data to be used in tests, machine learning training, statistical analysis, and other related use cases.
DataHub was developed as part of a Citi Engineering Excellence program to deliver innovative software. Citi’s highest-level program, E4, allows developers to pitch ideas, gain sponsorship and deliver as an individual contributor over a six-month period. After completion E4 graduates continue to take their project forward while working on challenging firm-wide initiatives.
Citi’s DataHub engine enables developers to quickly create synthetic data sets to meet the growing needs of regulators and businesses looking to innovate without compromising sensitive information.
“Citi is extremely excited to make this important contribution to the growing FINOS community,” said Ali Villagra, global head of Citi Velocity. “We believe it will accelerate innovation in the rapidly evolving data space and help drive adoption of open source in the financial services community.”
Waltz Helps Companies Get a Better Handle on Internal Technology Landscape
Primarily developed by Deutsche Bank and Khartec Ltd, Waltz helps large financial institutions understand their technology architecture in a consistent, well-documented and easily digestible format. Deutsche Bank recently contributed the project to FINOS. Waltz shows where applications reside, what they do and how they are connected. It has been used to assist with key performance metrics, data lineage, regulatory responses and application rationalization and migration programs.
“The work we’ve done to develop Waltz has been critical in tackling a range of challenges, many of which are common to our peers,” said Russell Green, Deutsche Bank’s chief architect. “For example, it is central to the way we manage our applications and technology risk, while also providing a basis for application forecasting as part of our IT strategy. Ultimately it helps us to develop a clear picture of our technology usage now and in the future. Contributing Waltz to the pantheon of FINOS projects means we can better share the benefits across the industry and drive common approaches to regulatory demands, which is an essential part of open source innovation.”
ChartIQ’s SEA Project Seeks to Provide Greater Security for Desktop Application Solutions
The popularity of building desktop applications leveraging the power of Electron–a container for creating desktop applications with web technologies, and also a project housed within the overall Linux Foundation family of projects–is growing. When bringing web technology to the desktop, risks should be mitigated. The Secure Electron Adapter (SEA) looks to provide a secure alternative to working directly with the Electron API. SEA acts as a firewall, intermediating API calls within a permission structure that obviates the risk of running third party content on the desktop. Electron is widely used by solutions providers that build individual applications or create application interoperability.
“Solutions providers can now leverage the power of Electron with an added layer of security,” said Dan Schleifer, CEO, and co-founder of ChartIQ. “With this open-source project, financial institutions can fast-track securing Electron, and use SEA as a building block to provide the best possible smart desktop user experience.”
Open Source Contributions from Financial Institutions Increasing
These additions bring the total announced contributions made into FINOS since early 2019 to 14. Over 35 percent of these contributions were made by financial institutions that also are FINOS platinum members. This represents a significant increase from previous years, not only demonstrating the strong pipeline of activity on the heels of FINOS’ recent acquisition by the Linux Foundation in April, but underlining how open source is now a key pillar for modern firms. Also, it is evidence that FINOS has enabled the industry to enact their open source strategy efficiently and in a compliant manner.
Waltz and Synthetic Data are just the latest examples of large-scale contributions being made by FINOS investment banking Platinum members. In early-2019, JP Morgan made its contribution of Perspective and in late-2019, Goldman Sachs announced its intention to contribute Alloy, that bank’s internal logical modeling language and toolset into the foundation. FINOS has grown to 33 members since its founding in 2018 with major financial institutions, innovative fintechs and well-respected consultancies.