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Re: The FinancialData Function

Hello.  I work at Wolfram and have worked on FinancialData, and other
curated data projects (CountryData e.g.).  I might be able to address
some of your concerns.

We consider FinancialData - as it is now - "experimental" in the sense
that it isn't really finished growing yet and it is going to get a lot
more powerful, not in the sense that it is going to go away.

We started off just making it easier for people to get public forms of
data, things that are readily available in formats like Excel, into
Mathematica and in standardized Mathematica expressions.  Instead of
our users each doing a bunch of intervening steps themselves to use
this stuff, we'd do it right, once, for all of them.  And add value in
the form of a flexible Mathematica function that works with others in
ways our users expect, etc.

But we realize the types of data readily available that way, are only
the first layer of what practioners want.  In the future we are going
to make even more available through FinancialData.  To do that, we've
made deals with data providers to get our users free access, within
Mathematica (and subject to the usual terms of use issues over resale
etc), to much more comprehensive data feeds - including options,
futures, mutual funds, detailed fundamentals, economic time series,
intraday tick by tick prices, etc.  That should also address some
concerns over possible third party changes and code breakage - our
partners aren't going to change their services in ways that break our
agreements with them.

Implementing each of those extra features takes some work and
therefore some time.  Internally we have all this stuff already, in
some form, but there is an intervening curation step - and some
function design for qualifying arguments and the like - to get it to
final forms we are satisfied with and think our users will expect.

The bottom line is "stay tuned, more FinancialData coming soon"...

I hope this helps.  And I'd be happy to answer additional questions.

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