Automating existing software platforms

March 30, 2021

Adding additional automation within existing order workflow systems is never an easy task. Issues such as upgrading software, storing additional data, and the ability to remove automations when they are unwanted have always been problematic for brokers running large trading platforms. This latest series of blogs looks at these issues and how ION has found new ways to overcome them.

Incorporating additional automation to existing trading platforms is a vital process within any banking platform. It allows the continued optimization of workflows and improves the utilization of the available workforce. However, continuous configuration changes can make systems more fragile and upgrades more difficult, as all the additional modifications need checking at rollout time.

The usual software approach is to add software as client-specific code on top of the existing platform code or configuration. Another method is to use APIs to add new software routines to the outside of a platform, thus minimizing upgrades. But APIs are not always available and may not have access to all the required workflow change data.

The storage of additional data within the platform also causes problems, as most trading platforms do not allow clients to add their own instrument or static client data. This can significantly limit the possible customizations/automations.

There’s one more problem you might face. Over time, the modifications made to a trading system can build up to the point where it may be almost impossible to remove an automation code/configuration for fear that it may break another workflow customization.

Over the past few years, most software suppliers of trading platforms have been struggling with many of these issues. However, things may be looking brighter. The Fidessa trading platform now supports a new kind of automation engine that allows the addition or removal of automations simply by changing a configuration screen. Using the power of Java plug-ins, the customizations can also be easily updated/deleted even in a running platform, making it easier to test in UAT.

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If you’d like to learn more about how Fidessa platforms are built and designed, then please get in touch.