Conventional wisdom holds that if you want a truly flexible and open trading platform you should build your own. If time to market and cost are your top priorities, buy from a vendor. Today, however, some vendors claim to offer the flexibility of an in-house system combined with the convenience of one off-the-shelf. Is there a way to scrutinize the truth in this argument?
If you’re considering investing in a vendor platform and openness is a top priority, it is important to identify and evaluate the truly “open” platforms up front. Otherwise, you risk getting halfway through an implementation process only to discover that the functionality you wanted to customize is locked. But are there ways to measure and validate a vendor’s claim to openness?
One generic measure is lines of code (LOC), comparing how much of the system code is locked down vs. open and changeable. For example, Tbricks by Itiviti’s clean separation of system core and apps makes it easy to count the LOC and compare the two – by this measure, more than one quarter of the system is implemented as open and changeable code (apps). But what does this actually tell us? Is 25% a ‘good’ number?
Tbricks by Itiviti is actually designed to allow extension with as few lines of code as possible, sometimes with no code at all. The API is architected to remove ‘typical’ overheads from the development process, such as concurrency, memory management and excessive boilerplate code. There is also a massive amount of built-in functionality specifically for writing trading applications.
So, LOC is not the whole truth – how else can one evaluate a vendor’s claim to flexibility? Future articles will discuss this and other ways to determine system suitability (in-house or off-the-shelf) in depth.
Blog The fast pace of derivatives markets makes their participants a demanding group. Derivatives traders must be flexible to succeed, and also need functional capabilities in their technology such as speed, global access and powerful analytics. They confront these needs in an environment affected by new regulation, plus more demands for market access and lower costs. […] April 27, 2017
Blog In the ongoing pursuit of efficiency and cost awareness among market participants, trading technology is often at the center of attention. Still there is at least one key function in trading systems left largely untouched by productivity and streamlining measures, and that is testing. Manual testing of trading infrastructure solutions remains prevalent within today’s financial […] April 20, 2017
Blog The ability to respond rapidly to a new opportunity is a prerequisite for success in derivatives trading. Adding access to a new exchange or electronic execution venue, support for a new security, or compliance to the latest regulatory wrinkle is essential to making sure opportunities are realized and profits are made. As a result, agility […] April 11, 2017
Automation & Testing Whether you are deploying FIX or proprietary protocol components within trading systems, thorough testing is crucial to success. Not only do you need to test your systems for execution venue driven events but also for managing the client flow. Manual testing is a costly and error-prone process that can be significantly improved and accelerated through automated testing. Automated regression […] April 6, 2017