Application programming interface
An API, or application programming interface, is an interface that facilitates the exchange of messages or data between different software applications. Common messaging structures in futures and options include the Financial Information Exchange protocol, more commonly known as a FIX protocol.
Types of API Connections
In front office futures and options trading, there are two main purposes to any API interface, the provision of market data on which decisions can be made and order submission. Exchanges have implemented different versions and technologies for API access to their electronic markets. In recent years, however, there has been a consolidation of technologies used by exchanges.
- Globex - The Globex system employed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has also grown to include the provision of data and order routing for NYMEX, Comex & now the Chicago Board of Trade, Kansas City Board of Trade and Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Order submission on One Chicago is also still available via the Globex Interfaces (however, Market Data is not).
- Connect - The Connect API pioneered by the LIFFE exchange was also employed by the Chicago Board of Trade until the recent merger with Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange (TIFFE / TFX) also has implemented this technology base.
- VALUES API - The Values API was developed by Deutsche Borse and is used for that family of exchanges including Eurex, Xetra and other hosted exchanges and contracts on the Eurex platform.
Clearing APIs offer access to trade feeds and then processes such as allocation and acceptance to clearing houses.