News article Thursday Oct 27, 2022

Easy integration a key factor in implementing a new trading system

When putting a new trading solution in place, the importance of a smooth and swift integration cannot be overestimated

Trading Blog 3 Integration Still No1.1

Whenever a firm is looking to replace or augment its trading technology, there is always the question of how the new solution will integrate with the existing systems, workflows and environments that are currently in place. This is a critical issue, because a trading system is never a standalone solution; it cannot function without being connected to other applications and systems, both internal to the firm and external to the market.

This is why, when choosing a new trading solution, firms need to place a high priority on its integration capabilities. What kind of APIs and connectivity options does it offer to both internal and external systems, and how does it handle both inbound and outbound data flows to and from other applications and services?

 

These are key points, the importance of which cannot be overestimated. The more seamless the integration capabilities, the less headaches the firm will face not only when deploying the new solution but also - as their business and workflows evolve over time – as they keep it current and fully operational.

In today’s markets, clients are placing an increasingly high emphasis on seamless connectivity and automated data flow, which is why trading solutions need to be designed with ease of integration in mind. From an external perspective, this means that firms should be able to interface directly to their various counterparties not only for orders and trades, but also for transactions, holdings and portfolio data.

Internally - because every firm’s needs and workflows are different - APIs should be designed to enable custom, self-operated connections; to middle and back-office systems, risk and compliance systems, user authentication mechanisms, OMS/PMS platforms, and other applications such as Excel and CRM systems.

From a data perspective, firms are increasingly looking for trading systems that can ingest their own proprietary data (such as customer, investor or reference data, portfolio holdings, and pre-computed data) and combine it with real-time market data. They also want to control how all of that is displayed to the end user, via widgets in the user interface (UI) for example. Another important requirement is to seamlessly extract data from the trading system in real time, such as latest positions or updated portfolio valuations based on current market data.

An additional key aspect that firms need to consider around integration is how the system deals with user authentication and entitlements. How are permissions allocated to both end-user and third-party apps, for example? Can control access rights (to market and instrument coverage, for example) be defined not just through the UI, but also programmatically via an API? These are all important questions.

At Infront, we recognise the importance that firms place on integration capabilities when selecting a new system, which is why our trading solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly with our customers’ trading environments from day one. We offer inbound and outbound APIs that can be configured specifically to suit customers’ data flows to and from external parties, and to and from their own internal systems.

And as part of our implementation process, we offer consulting services to analyse our customers’ specific requirements, so that the solution can be implemented to meet their unique needs. We also train and support our customers so that they can self-operate, offer active maintenance and act as the primary support channel for any future customisation needs.

For any firms looking to deploy a new trading system, keep in mind that how the solution might integrate with their existing environment is just as important as its features and functionality.

 

By Meredith Sledd Lindquist

meredith.lindquist@infrontfinance.com