In conjunction with its 20th anniversary, Imagine Software, provider of real-time investment management solutions, launched the next generation of the Imagine Financial Platform (IFP) and App Marketplace.
Imagine says the hallmark of IFP has always been its flexibility for businesses to create their own custom views, built out on top of the Imagine platform. And with the App Market, customers and third parties are able to share the applications they've built for others to adopt and tweak.
"Firms face demand for transparency from investors, regulators, and management so we came up with a suite of tools which help them address those issues," explains Lance Smith, CEO of Imagine Software. "All of our clients have taken that capability to augment the use of the system."
Clients only have to run the apps in Java Script to gain access to Imagine's database and analytics. "We're excited," adds Imagine CTO David Miller, "All of a sudden it's unlocked the power of Imagine's trading system, accessed through APIs, using their data and leveraging our analytics."
He adds that it opens up a much broader market than just hedge funds and banks. "Some clients want to use their own models to see analysis of trading activity, or to measure the efficacy of day trading, or use it in ways we never dreamed. In fact we don't have to think of it, we just give them the tools and they build the app."
The Marketplace is populated by apps built by Imagine as well as third party providers, and by some clients willing to share their custom programs. "Things have changed from twenty years ago," reflects Smith, "proprietary models are not always what give the leading edge." Over one hundred applications are currently available in the new Marketplace with a couple more new apps coming in each week.
Among the more popular applications on the Marketplace are those written to build regulatory reports and display dashboards on iPads and other mobile devices.
"The rate of visualizing data is an interesting trend we've seen," notes Smith. One of the issues with all the computing power we have now is that it's overwhelming. Heat maps have come up as a useful way of visualizing higher dimensional data; and colors are used to draw attention to areas we want to go into and find more details.
"It's exciting to see other people use tools to create new things because you don't always anticipate what somebody is going to build. It's always surprising and interesting. It's a new ecosystem, you just don't know what's going to evolve out of it."