FIX Trading Community Goes Open Source

Originally published on 26 November 2015

FIX Trading Community, the non-profit, industry-driven standards body at the heart of global financial trading, today announced that it is now opening its technical standards process to software developers throughout the financial industry.

A standard, complete modern high performance interface for venues will promote fairness, lower costs, and should lead to quality and reliability improvements. An open process, based upon widely accepted open source licenses, that is hosted on the leading open source platform, GitHub, is seen as the optimal way to complete the design, implementation, and launch of the FIX Trading Community's high performance technical standards.

The objective is frictionless access: all of the important resources will be freely available in one place using a single sign-on. Several FIX projects have already been published to GitHub, the popular repository used by millions of developers around the world, and more are on the way.

The FIX High Performance Working Group is developing new protocols for high performance trading applications. Two specifications have been published in GitHub so far:

  • Project FIXTradingCommunity/fix-simple-binary-encoding contains the specifications for Simple Binary Encoding, a FIX standard for binary messaging. The current version is Release Candidate 3.
  • Project FIXTradingCommunity/fixp-specification provides specifications for FIX Performance session layer, a protocol for exchanging messages between counterparties. Release Candidate 2 was recently published in GitHub.

Additional encodings of FIX, such as FIXML, Google Protocol Buffers, and ASN.1 will also be made available via this open process.

Jim Northey, Principal Consultant and Industry Standards Liaison, CameronTec and Co-Chair, Global Technical Committee, FIX Trading Community, commented,  “We realised that while standard FIX is highly performant, there is an additional need for a high performance interface for order routing and market data to support the modern trading venue. This need is currently being met with varying levels of success and completeness by a myriad of proprietary protocols. Our goal is to provide a FIX based standard, including an open source reference implementation, that fully meets the requirements of the modern execution venue. The Simple Binary Encoding and the new FIX Performance Session Protocol, both of which build upon the collective experience of the market place, are first steps in meeting this need."

All of the FIX projects allow free public access, and provisions are made to gather feedback from all developers. The FIX Protocol specifications are licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License that allows users to copy and redistribute the documents. Open source implementation code is licensed under Apache License, Version 2.0, which allows developers to freely use, modify and redistribute code.