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Introduction

This section provides general information on FIX API, it’s characteristics, applications, possibilities and limitations.

FIX stands for Financial Information Exchange. It is an industry driven machine-to-machine communication protocol that has been specifically created to handle considerable amounts of financial information and transmit that information as fast as possible.

The FIX Protocol Specification provides the format for electronic messages and the communication model of those messages. It has been created and managed by FIX Trading Community previously known as FIX Protocol Limited (FPL). The FIX Trading Community is a natural and non-profit organization which regulates the standard of FIX API through the collaboration of major industry players and committee members.

cTrader supports FIX version 4.4. For further information about this version please refer to the specifications published by the FIX Protocol Organization under http://www.fixtradingcommunity.org/pg/structure/tech-specs/fix-version/44.

Background of FIX API in FX Trading

FIX Protocol was created in the early 1990’s for setting up electronic communication between exchanges, brokers, banks and institutional participants such as hedge funds. It has successfully established itself against other API’s used for transmitting financial markets data such as JAVA and C++ because of the improved speed and the effectiveness of data transferring. In 1998 there was a non-profit company established for expanding, developing and supporting the protocol, it was called FIX Protocol Limited (FPL) and remains active to this day under a different brand.

Due to the simplicity and effectiveness, FIX Protocol has quickly become the standard communication method in the financial industry across all asset classes. It is now widely used for performing any trading or financial operation all over the world.

For a very long time, in the FX Trading industry only major participants, such as banks, brokers, liquidity providers and institutional traders had access to using FIX API. Theses participants were able to create sophisticated solutions in order to improve trading effectiveness and a competitive edge over smaller investors such as retail traders. The situation has changed completely in 2016, when Spotware Systems became the first retail focused technology company to provide a FIX API to anyone without prejudice. A FIX API can be obtained via cTrader with no conditions applied such as minimum trading volume or minimum deposit size.

Typical Application Methods of FIX API in the Industry

FIX API is an industry standard messaging protocol which has multiple applications in the market.

Brokerage. Brokers use FIX API to receive prices from the market and execute their clients orders.

Providing Prices. Liquidity providers and price makers such as banks or exchanges use FIX API to provide prices to brokers or hedge funds.

Trading Hubs. Institutional traders may use FIX API for developing proprietary systems that allow them to open trades on any account they have with any broker from a single system.

Advanced Trading Robots. With FIX API trading robots including black box algos can receive information from multiple sources simultaneously and make trading decisions based on a much wider scope of data and number of sources.

Trade Copiers. Systems that will automatically replicate trades on multiple trading accounts across multiple brokers or on the accounts of traders are connected to the copier. However we believe other Spotware API’s are more suitable for this.

Custom Trading Interfaces. Some traders prefer to use a minimalistic interface for trading, either because other interface parts distract them or because they feel they consume system resources. With FIX API, there is a possibility to create a trading interface which will fit the exact needs of such traders. However we believe other Spotware API’s are more suitable for this.