Introduction to the first release of finaquant® protos

finaquant® protos is a calculation engine library (C#/.NET) based on table functions. It is available without any charge (zero-priced), and can be downloaded at finaquant.com to use for non-commercial purposes like education and training.

finaquant® protos is essentially a math software comprising table functions. A library of matrix and vector functions come as a by-product upon which the higher-level table functions are based.

Some table functions are available in expensive software for applications like financial planning. FOX formulas from SAP are a relatively well-known example. Vendors of such software products generally target larger companies that can afford the high license, consulting and maintenance costs. Besides, table functions are not offered transparently as mathematical operations with predefined input and output parameters; they are often hidden behind a thick and sophisticated layer of graphical user interface (GUI) which may become more burden that help for experienced users. You may have in fact used FOX formulas for years without hearing a term like table function.

Inspired by some company-internal problems related with reporting requirements, I began to develop a sort of table and meta-data mathematics about six years ago in 2006. Years after, these inspirations has become the fundaments of Finaquant Analytics.

A calculation engine with table functions can be used for applications like financial planning, commission calculations for provider-dealer networks, forecasts and estimations, price calculations, risk and trend analysis, data preparation for reporting, population dynamics in science and so on. Actually, any kind of calculation with structured data, much like you would do matrix calculations with matlab or R; only at a higher level, directly with tables. A single table function can save you many hours of requirement engineering and database programming as you will see in the related section of the user manual, especially under capturing general patterns.

The ambition of Finaquant Analytics is making table functions available to individuals and smaller companies conceptually as table mathematics, and technically as a software library. As already mentioned, finaquant® protos is free (zero-priced) for non-commercial purposes, and its commercial cousin finaquant® calcs will be offered with a very affordable price. Finaquant Analytics wants to have a broad user and customer base from business and science, providing inspirations and feedbacks from many corners for product development.

Another ambition of Finaquant Analytics is achieving self-service simplicity with its software products. We will deliver you the building stones in terms of software with well documented mathematical functions, tutorials and user manuals plus training if desired, and you will configure your own solution yourself without reliance on us or on other external consultants. That is our self-service philosophy and business model.

I can imagine that achieving such a self-service simplicity will require some time, adjustments here and there in the future releases of the software and documents in order to make them more readable, practical and understandable. By just being a responsive user or customer, you can help us make your product a better product.

Tunç Ali Kütükçüoglu

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