Enterprise Interoperability Vendor Comparison – Executive Summary

Vendor Comparison Whitepaper Cover


During Q4 2019, NORMAN & SONS released their Enterprise Desktop Interoperability report. This was the conclusion of the most extensive independent research study to have taken place within the interoperability market. It is compiled by a team of technical, business, and design resources and defines the key capabilities that organizations should expect when selecting an interoperability platform.


The report uses a normalized rating system to help compare vendor history, product architecture and feature sets. Content was taken from publicly available sources and augmented with vendor-supplied information. In addition, technical consultants also examined the developer experience for those new to the products or those intending to do more advanced development.

We’ve spent a considerable amount of time reviewing and comparing the various platforms featured in our report. We were very thorough in our approach and offered each vendor the opportunity to review for accuracy and provide input accordingly. Our intent is for this research to be a helpful manual for any buy-side or sell-side firm that is looking to modernize its financial desktop.

Johnny Mattimore
Head of Strategy, NORMAN & SONS

Based upon market penetration and a focus on financial services use-cases, three vendors were selected for detailed examination.


The headline result for the report states:

Out of 94 identified features, Glue42 was marked the highest with 86%, with the other vendors scoring 70% and 56%.

Research Results Part 1

Out of 14 categories, Glue42 was the leader in Platform Architecture, Access Controls, Window & Workspace Management, Messaging, Workflow Management, Notifications, Search, Language Adapters, Developer Tools, Metrics Services & Performance.

Additionally, Glue42 was the joint leader in a further three categories – Access Controls, 3rd Party Integration and Extensibility.

Research Results Part 2



The architecture is well designed and allows development to be done at a high pace due to a rich set of well-engineered features, in particular across Windows & Workspace Management, messaging and workflow management.

NOTE: Glue42 has been designed to support extreme levels of scale and performance. This improves UI responsiveness and allows true real-time data sharing.


Web and native feature parity is achieved and in many instances, the vendor emphasises its capability for “deep” integration for native applications, for example in .NET and Java.

NOTE: Glue42 provides native support for Java, .NET, JavaScript, VB/COM, Silverlight etc. No third-party software is required to achieve integration.


For these reasons, over time, a fork which was easy to manage and enhance in the early stages may, but not always, become increasingly complex and costly to maintain, not least material new fixes and features are introduced.

NOTE: Glue42 does not fork Electron – but instead uses an abstraction layer to ensure that changes to the underlying container (e.g. security fixes) can be deployed quickly.


Of the 94 features mapped in the normalized features framework, 17 features/sub-features were identified that were unique to Glue42, including:

A/B-testing, Multi-device workspace management, Service discovery, Shared context, Swimlanes, Activities, High volume notifications, Metrics, VS code plug-in, and more…


  • Shared Contexts with general data sharing and Channels offering isolated user defined sharing
  • Activities offers isolation and window behaviours
  • Request-response via applications registering named methods Pub/sub via Bus
  • Streaming

NOTE: Glue42 is the only vendor to offer a complete range of interop patterns across all language bindings. This significantly reduces development effort and also accelerates time to market for new applications.


Swim lanes is a unique feature and the concept is intuitive. It addresses workflow assembly beyond pairing applications. It gives them ways to talk and to solve choreographed startup, rules-based business workflow to provide orchestration layer over the swimlane applications

NOTE: Swim lanes simplify the integration of UI and data in the context of a specific user process. This reduces cognitive load and helps to coerce navigation within and between different applications.


Metrics are rich via a proprietary analytics tool called Glue42 Insights, with the ability to track and record the user journey through web and native applications; to record the associated metrics to either high-volume Cassandra cluster (millions per day) or low-volume store (e.g. RDBMS); and, to present in a BI dashboard using QlikSense.

NOTE: Glue42 is the only vendor to support UBA. This capability allows organizations to capture user activities directly from the desktop and use the data to manage new regulatory challenges, optimize processes, reduce risk and license costs, and improve productivity.


The creation of the NORMAN & SONS report and the work that went into it represents a maturing of the market for solutions for desktop application integration and the desire to move away from in-house platforms. Glue42’s success is based on the fact that we embrace the messy reality of today’s environments and focus on providing ways to re-purpose new or old applications and deliver cost-effective digital transformation and legacy migration.

Download the full enterprise interoperability report

Norman & Sons Enterprise Interoperability Vendor Comparison Document
Photo of Konstantin Boev
Author Details

Konstantin Boev

Former Marketing Manager, Glue42

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