November 13, 2012, 11:50 AM — Bloomberg has launched an app portal that will allow subscribers of its financial information service to access additional third-party functionality, and even contribute apps of their own.
"Anyone in the world -- whether a member of the academia, a professional software company, or one of our clients -- can create custom applications that take all of the data we provide," said Claudio Storelli, who leads the team that developed the portal. "You have the tools to capture and productize an idea, and make it available to any user in the world with a Bloomberg terminal."
The basic Bloomberg subscription, which was originally accessed via terminals although now also comes as an Internet-connected software package, offers data, such as prices, statistics and news about securities. The service also provides some basic functionality, such as specialized calculators and trading capabilities. Bloomberg's service has about 310,000 subscribers.
The aim behind the Bloomberg App Portal is to extend this service with additional, specialized functionality that is integrated directly into Bloomberg's own resources. Thus far, the app portal hosts 40 apps, including ones for data analysis, portfolio management, risk analysis, data visualization, valuation and pricing.
Users might find the Bloomberg apps could simplify workflow. Workers in the financial community tend to run many applications simultaneously, often across multiple computer screens. Embedding more functionality into the Bloomberg services could reduce the number of different applications the user will have to run, as well as streamline the process of moving data across different applications.
A bank, for instance, may have 1,000 employees who share data across 3,000 spreadsheets, many populated with data from Bloomberg. The bank could build an app that could handle much of this number crunching within the Bloomberg service itself, simplifying administration by eliminating all these disparate spreadsheets. Or, a third-party financial software company could integrate its products within Bloomberg as a service to its customers. The users of the service can access these apps through the APPS<GO> option on the Bloomberg homepage. Apps are executed in the Bloomberg workspace on the user's computer.
Bloomberg is encouraging third-party developers to contribute to the portal, be they commercial software companies, lone developers or academicians with good ideas, or customers themselves.