System News
SWIFTNet FIX Messaging Service and STP
OpenFinance Magazine Fall 2002
October 7, 2002,
Volume 56, Issue 2

The Fall 2002 issue of OpenFinance magazine features articles on the SWIFTNet FIX hub, a messaging service pilot program for the financial services market to improve straight through processing (STP). Developed for SWIFT by Financial Fusion on the SolarisTM Operating Environment (Solaris OE), the hub routes, monitors and manages FIX message traffic in real time through FIX servers maintained in SWIFT datacenters to ensure a high degree of security and reliability.

Working with SWIFT, Financial Fusion has also developed SWIFTNet Link for FIX, a Solaris OE or AIX-based application that bridges a FIX engine to the SWIFT network.

Additional planned features for the FIX service include a certification program, version translation, browser-based order-entry application, reporting functionality and interoperability with SWIFT's back-office products and services, including its core store-and-forward messaging service, SWIFTNet FIN.

The SWIFTNet FIX Hub requires software known as a FIX engine. FIX engines are easily available, but the issue is cost and ease of implementation. To address the issue, Sun is discussing with its partners two cost-effective Lerce-based solutions -- one from APT Computer Systems, the other from B2B ITS. APT has developed a 100% Pure JavaTM certified version of its FIX engine, which runs on most operating systems, including Linux.

"In the FIX marketplace the barriers to entry have been far too high," says B2B ITS chief executive Robert Woodmansey. "We are offering a commoditized FIX appliance to get people trading."

B2B ITS has also been working with Schroder Salomon Smith Barney to develop a Sun-supported FIX testing gateway, which automates the process of testing the link whenever a new client wants to connect to Salomon's using FIX. Done manually, testing can take anything from two days to two months. "FIX usage has been spreading -- I'd say it is almost universal in the U.S.," says Kevin Houstoun, director equity electronic trading at Schroder Salomon Smith Barney. "In Europe, most brokers have some FIX capability, either in-house or via order-routing networks. So, on the buy side, it is becoming easier to adopt because they can cover all of their brokers.

While Salomons focuses on its own customers, B2B ITS will offer the gateway, known as FACTS (FIX Antenna Certification & Testing Service), on an ASP basis.

The Fall issue of OpenFinance magazine also contains articles on the SunTM LX50 server and the access it offers to features such as SWIFTNet Link on SolarisTM Operating Environment (Solaris OE). To see the Fall 2002 issue:

http://www.openfinancemag.com

For information on the Sun broadening its SunSM Customer Ready Systems (Sun CRS) program by shipping entry-level servers pre-loaded with FIX software, see article number 7869 on this newsletter's Web site. "

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