02.25.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Best New Product

Trading Technologies, a global provider of derivatives-trading software, made a blockbuster upgrade to its X_TRADER trading platform in 2012.

The centerpiece of X_TRADER version 7.11 is ADL (Algo Design Lab), a visual programming platform that allows traders and programmers to design, test and deploy custom automated trading programs without writing a single line of code.

Rick Lane, Trading Technologies’ chief technology officer

Rick Lane, Trading Technologies’ chief technology officer

“2012 can be categorized as the year of automated trading innovation at TT,” said Rick Lane, Trading Technologies’ chief technology officer.  “With ADL, we’re enabling every one of our end users to build algo strategies from scratch, with no programming.”

Using drag-and-drop building blocks, ADL allows market participants to construct sophisticated trading programs in a fraction of the time required by traditional manual programming.
“Lots of general-purpose systems have visual components, but you need to write code in order to determine the relationships between blocks,” said Lane. “What we’ve accomplished with ADL is to provide a level of resolution such that every block of code is unambiguous.”

Algo Strategy Engine is TT’s server-class product that enables deployment of custom algorithms developed using the ADL. Because of its multi-threaded concurrent architecture, Algo SE provides a highly scalable and high-performance solution. “ADL is integrated with X_TRADER, which enables algos to be developed and deployed using the same architecture,” said Lane.

X_TRADER 7.11 also includes TT SIM, a client-side trading simulator that enables users to learn X_TRADER, practice trading skills, and test trading strategies, including programs created with ADL, against a live production price feed.

“Software development is only as good as your simulation environment,” Lane said. “With TT SIM, once you’re done constructing your algorithms with ADL, you can run them against real production data, against simulated matching.”

TT followed up the launch of X_Trader 7.11 with TT API, a new application programming interface that enables end users and third parties to build faster, more scalable trading applications on the TT platform. Complex synthetic orders such as slicers and spreads managed on TT’s Strategy Engine servers can be submitted and controlled as simple orders using TT API.

“TT API gives those traders with programming experience the means to design low-latency trading applications in a multi-threaded fashion,” Lane said. “It’s a high-performance server-side API; in fact it’s what ADL is built on top of.”

TT plans to launch a managed software service, MultiBroker, to enable clients to enter orders from X_TRADER and route them to participating brokers via direct market access.

“If 2012 was the year of automated trading, then 2013 is the year of MultiBroker,” said Lane. MultiBroker is designed to  allow traders to transition between brokers when routing orders directly to the world’s major futures exchanges through TTNET, TT’s managed global hosting solution.

“Lots of general-purpose systems have visual components, but you need to write code in order to determine the relationships between blocks. What we’ve accomplished with ADL is to provide a level of resolution such that every block of code is unambiguous.” Rick Lane, Trading Technologies’ chief technology officer

“Currently, each buy-side customer operates within their own separate environment within TTNET, which means that while they have access to some three dozen exchanges, they can only route orders to a single (Futures Commission Merchant),” Lane said. “With MultiBroker, we will be operating a Software-As-A-Service model…This allows buy side participants to route orders and diversity order flow across multiple brokers.”

The multi-broker concept has been incorporated by other trading-technology providers, but “none have the footprint in futures that TT does,” Lane said.

Also in 2013, TT plans to offer a gateway to U.S.-based futures exchange Eris Exchange, through which it will connect its trading software to the Eris SwapBook electronic trading platform. Eris Exchange, which functions as a designated contract market, provides forward starting interest rate swap futures that are cleared by CME Clearing and traded on Eris SwapBook and Eris BlockBox.

Related articles