The High Cost of Free FIX Software

Flyer’s FIX Engine is free and provides world-class performance, support, and scalability

If you’re a trading shop looking to generate electronic orders or subscribe to data, you may be looking at FIX to facilitate this activity. If cost is a concern, then you’re probably looking at open source. And if you’re looking at open source, you’ll probably end up looking at QuickFIX.

QuickFIX has become the leading supplier of open source FIX engines and libraries. Its broad distribution across the trading landscape has implied a “good housekeeping seal of approval” by market practitioners. However, developing an application on top of QuickFIX is just the first step, and that’s usually the easy part.

Bridge from open to enterprise

In the connectivity ecosystem, there is a place for open source and vendor products. In fact, Flyer speaks QuickFIX and has helped clients integrate their open source engine with robust infrastructure tools for a hybrid approach that balances cost and “big iron” capabilities. In keeping with our commitment to the open source community, Flyer offers a free Python API and plans to open source FIX utilities in 2017.

Plugging into your workflow

While QuickFIX is free to deploy, the cost of building around it and connecting your business seamlessly is not. In fact, the challenge of plugging your application into bespoke workflow is not trivial, and there are many things to consider when choosing to go down this path, including

  • Connecting to counter-parties
  • Securing the connectivity (VPN, SSH, TLS etc)
  • Managing FIX protocols (4.2, 4.4, 5.0 etc)
  • Message transformation
  • Custom tags
  • Certification
  • Support
  • Drop copies to out of band systems
  • Maintaining the code
  • High availability
  • Performance issues

Penny wise dollar foolish

QuickFIX addresses the basic messaging need that underpins the workflow, but it ends there. Business requirements are complex, on-going development and support are demanding.  Programmers developing outside of core competencies may be saving hundreds of dollars in the short-term but may lose tens of thousands in opportunity cost or support.

FIX for all

FIX Flyer is an industry leading supplier of FIX infrastructure and tools for the most demanding clients across the capital markets spectrum, which includes exchanges, global macro hedge funds, and large broker-dealers. While this robust infrastructure and professional service have always been available to the largest players for a price, the high cost of this arms race has forced smaller trading shops into the wilderness of open source – until now. Flyer has now made the same infrastructure that the largest trading desks use available to everyone using the “Freemium” model.

  • Free engine for up to 3 connections
  • Multi-API support (Java, .Net, Python etc.)
  • Domain expertise
  • Global email support with phone support option
  • Frictionless path from POC to production

Unlike QuickFIX, each language and API is supported by a single software company with FIX domain expertise and a global trading network.

Start Small with High Performance

The Flyer FIX Engine was designed from the start to be reliable and deterministic.  The engine does not have to be bounced or restarted nightly.  Production Flyer FIX Engine instances have been running for over a year.

Superior technical innovations such as minimal object allocation and thread switching, as well as the ZeroGC feature, the Flyer FIX Engine can avoid the frequent and costly Java Garbage Collection operations and of which the QuickFIX platform is notoriously susceptible.

With the core FIX engine providing rock solid reliability and deterministic performance building a full end-to-end workflow and scaling up to large infrastructure is remarkably predictable and prone to succeed.

Built to scale

Utilizing the Flyer engine and FIX team allows you to deploy in a hosted environment, connect to your counter-parties via the Flyer Trading Network, and move efficiently from idea to production.  The 24×6 support makes connectivity turn key and accessible. The choice is simple; choose open source and build everything from end to end, or leave FIX to the experts and focus on core competencies.

It’s easy (and free) to start

Contact us  (we pick up the phone!) or have your team download the free trial to get started.

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About FIX Flyer

With over 120 clients worldwide, FIX Flyer develops advanced technology for managing complex, multi–asset, institutional securities trading using highly scalable software and network technologies.

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