By: Grant Birchmeier
The QuickFIX open source project is an important part of what we do at Connamara, and has been for nearly 20 years now. However, we still talk to many people — some clients included — who are unfamiliar with QuickFIX. We wanted to share our history with the project, why we believe it is important, and how it influences our work today.
QuickFIX was created in 2001 by Oren Miller, who was working at Thoughtworks at the time. QuickFIX was built to be an open source implementation of the FIX Protocol as specified by the FIX Trading Community (formerly FIX Protocol Organization). The original version was written in C++, but the acceptance was so pervasive from the FIX community that Java, .NET, and Go implementations soon followed.
Connamara became involved when our founder, Jim Downs, was working with Miller on a trading system project. Jim implemented the user stories and acceptance tests that defined the functionality and checked the accuracy of the implementation.
Since that time, Connamara has continued to be involved with the project as a maintainer and contributor, and, as of 2010, the host of the cross-platform build servers and automated build platform. Connamara is also a contributor to the Java version, QuickFIX/J.
In November of 2011, Connamara released QuickFIX/N, a version of QuickFIX implemented in C# to support the Microsoft .NET Framework. With this release, the QuickFIX community now has the option to implement a FIX solution in the three main languages used in financial systems development.
Since QuickFIX’s launch in 2001, the various QuickFIX versions (C++, Java, C#) have nearly one million estimated downloads, and it has been extremely rewarding to be a part of that growth. We were honored to receive recognition at the FIX Trading Community’s 20th Anniversary for the QuickFIX Open Source Project’s positive impact in the global trading community and FIX standard adaptation.
Our work in QuickFIX today
Connamara offers support and integration services around all flavors of QuickFIX. One of the main services we provide is QuickFIX functionality enhancement, whereby clients engage us to augment the core QuickFIX project to include new functionality. The benefit of enhancing the core is that the QuickFIX Community will maintain the enhancement and possibly improve the functionality going forward.
Additionally, Connamara also offers QuickFIX application development, where we provide design and implementation services of applications that embed the QuickFIX library. Typically, these applications fall into five distinct categories: Dropcopy Adapters, Market Data Adapters, Order Routing Adapters, FIX-to-FIX Translators, and FIX-to-Storage Applications. You can find more information on each of these categories on our website.
So why is all of this important? FIX is the de facto standard that trading systems use to communicate trading information between counterparties, between traders and exchanges, and between exchanges and clearing organizations. It is, essentially, the backbone upon which our industry operates. As mentioned, QuickFIX is an open source implementation of FIX, and we believe strongly in the principles of open source. Having a free, non-proprietary, open-standard protocol is vital because it democratizes the technology, opening it up to a much wider range of people than would otherwise be able to use it. It also, in our opinion, leads to a better overall product — with the entire community able to work on the project, we see improvements at a far greater pace.
Interested in joining the QuickFIX community, or seeing how QuickFIX can make a difference for your company? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.