Joining The OpenFin Community

Earlier this year, we announced OpenFin Community Edition which gives developers free commercial use of OpenFin. This made it even easier for developers to choose OpenFin and sparked some great questions from the community:

  • What’s wrong with deploying in a web browser?
  • How hard is it to get going with OpenFin?
  • How does the Community license work?

In this post, we answer all of those questions.

What’s wrong with deploying in a web browser?

Modern web technologies provide an incredible platform for developing apps that are highly performant, quick to market, and look great. But, the browser comes with a number of constraints:

  • You are locked into the browser version available on the desktop. In the financial enterprise, this can often mean old versions of Internet Explorer with limited support for HTML5 and other modern APIs.
  • Valuable development time is spent on cross-browser support and working around functional gaps in the lowest browser version you must target.
  • Your application gets lost in the surrounding browser environment where all content competing for your user’s attention is treated equally.
  • Screen real estate can’t be optimized through windows that can be torn out, organized, and persisted.
  • End users can’t leverage workflows where the tools they use everyday seamlessly interoperate with your application.

Running on OpenFin, developers can break out of the browser tab and deliver applications that meet the highest performance and stability demands of the industry and integrate into every aspect of the end user’s workflow to provide not just great look and feel, but a mind blowing user experience.

From Browser to OpenFin in 30 Seconds

Making the shift from a standard web app delivered in a commercial browser to an OpenFin app is incredibly simple. To get started just:

Get the OpenFin CLI from NPM

Run this command to generate a config for your app

Use the generated config to launch your app in OpenFin

Using the above with Google Finance, we can take it from a browser tab experience to a native app experience with no tabs, no location bar, desktop icon launch, and taskbar icon.

The g-finance home page – in the browser tab

The g-finance page running as an OpenFin App – no tabs, no location bar.

From there, you can progressively enhance your app to leverage the functionality OpenFin makes available to you.

A simple 2 page application displayed across separate browser windows.

The same app – just a few lines of javascript away from a multi-window desktop application.

Using the Community License

At OpenFin we’re committed to open source and making as much of our software free as possible. This is why we created the OpenFin Community Edition – an application license that makes the latest and greatest version of our runtime available to developers and their end users. As upgrades are published, the Community release channel will point to that newest version of the runtime. The newest features are made available seamlessly, just like with a browser upgrade on the desktop.

Once you’re ready to deploy your enhanced application, you only need to register your application for a valid license key. Head over to our Community Registration page and fill in the required fields. Update your app config as described and you’re ready to deploy.

As an OpenFin Community developer, you contribute to making OpenFin software great by adding to the network of applications using OpenFin. We’re regularly impressed by what developers can do with our software and excited to see what you’ve got in store!