09.14.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Middleware to the Rescue

Raymond James uses technology to smooth TRACE reporting.

The need to connect numerous legacy systems is challenging firms to come up with process automation improvements.

“Many companies still have legacy systems, often several, that touch on trading processes,” Toby Corballis, CEO at Rapid Addition, told Markets Media. “This can often make automation a complex, time-consuming, and daunting process.”

However, middleware technology is being developed to overcome these challenges. For example, Raymond James, one of the largest independent U.S. broker/dealers, has implemented Rapid Addition’s ShortCut FIX Adapter to perform TRACE (Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine) reporting of OTC secondary market transactions in eligible fixed-income securities, including mortgage- (MBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS), to the U.S. regulator Finra.

The ShortCut for FIX adapter provides Raymond James with the compatibility and integration necessary to quickly comply with the new regulatory mandate to TRACE report mortgage- and asset-backed securities. In addition, the flexibility of Rapid Addition allows the firm to use a proven platform for future FIX and TRACE initiatives, Corballis said.

ShortCut for FIX is an adaptor for Microsoft’s BizTalk middleware platform, enabling connections with any counterparty regardless of message type.

“ShortCut for FIX “FIX- enables” Raymond James’ BizTalk implementation, allowing it to send and receive FIX messages and to transform and normalize them between other protocols, such as SWIFT, XML and SQL,” Corballis said.

By relying on adapters for different kinds of communication, the BizTalk Server Engine supports a variety of protocols and data formats, thereby providing a messaging component that provides the ability to communicate with a range of other software.

BizTalk also supports creating and running graphically-defined processes called orchestrations. Built on top of the engine’s messaging components, orchestrations implement the logic that drives all or part of a business process.

“By allowing data from multiple systems, and in numerous formats, to be normalized and used in orchestrations visually, BizTalk speeds up development, making compliance with new directives quicker, easier, and less expensive to achieve,” said Corballis.

Rapid Addition’s products are taken up by firms who are seeking consistent, easy-to-use, trading technology, he said. The range of products covers FIX engines, BizTalk adaptors (for FIX and EMX), order routing software, risk filters, and browser-based institutional trading front-ends.

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