Holiday Greetings from the GTC

We would like to wish you all happy holidays and season greetings from the FIX Global Technical Committee leadership.

The main FIX holiday mailing listed the accomplishments of the Global Technical Committee (“GTC”), so we have chosen to look forward to 2018.

May your stockings be full of MiFID II Compliance using the enhancements to FIX. Remember you can use any of the fields, components, and messages defined in the latest version of FIX within your existing FIX implementation.

While the industry continues its European regulatory response, members of the GTC are working now to help ensure that the Consolidated Audit Trail (“CAT”) in the United States is implemented in a FIX compatible manner as possible. We expect some gaps, but the richness of the latest version of FIX provides significant coverage for the CAT.

Speaking of the latest version of FIX, we plan to release FIX “Generation 6” in 2018. Please stop the moaning; please keep reading our holiday blog post! The sixth generation of FIX will have a single application layer subject to continuous enhancements based on Extension Packs. It will have as its session layers: FIX.4.4 (what we call FIX4), FIXT1.1 (FIX Transport Independence), and FIXP (the new high performance session layer). It will have as its encodings: tagvalue (classic FIX), FIXML, FAST, SBE (the new high performance binary encoding), GPB, ASN.1, and JSON. We refer to this next generation of the FIX standards as “FIX Latest”. We hope this will end version issues once and for all, and permit FIX users to be able to easily benefit from the rich features available now in FIX.

As you listen to your favorite Christmas carols and holiday songs, we hope you will take some time to appreciate the next two releases of our FIX Orchestra, which is intended to be a standard for machine readable rules of engagement. The Orchestra Working Group led by Mr. Donald Mendelson, the FIX Technical Architect, is working diligently to provide an implementation of a protocol specification that can support any messaging protocol, not just FIX, in a way that is simple to use and deploy. We look forward to our Asia Pacific Technical Committee’s initiative for a proof-of-concept to use FIX Orchestra to support algorithmic trading between buy side EMS and sell side OMS platforms.

After the holiday parties, it is time to do some clean up and put the house back in order, for us in the GTC this will mean migrating the FIX Repository to the FIX Orchestra format and rebuilding the FIX build process around Orchestra, using continuous integration and a Git repository. This new platform will permit us to refactor the FIX Specification, which has not been updated in over five years. Ms. Lisa Taikitsadaporn, the FIX Technical Project Manager, and her team are ready to take on this monumental refactoring task while continuously improving the quality of our standards’ documentations. Look for enhancements to both FIXimate as our quick look up service and FIXwiki, which will be the online FIX Specification. Always up-to-date. Always available.

Members of the GTC will work with Chinese markets to create ISO versions of the FIX standard. This will help ensure that FIX is readily available globally in countries that require ISO compliance. As part of our commitment to interoperability, FIX will continue to support the industry multi-standard semantic portal, which will promote interoperability of various standards in the financial services industry.

FIX will continue to extend our technical standards to support industry requirements. We anticipate the next release candidate of our JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) encoding for FIX. We also have a variety of proof-of-concept projects on the FIX GitHub site that may be of interest.

To foil the Grinches out there we have released FIX-over-TLS, the FIXS technical standard. We plan to complement this with a FIX User Authentication (“FIXUA”) standard. Further, FIX continues to look at adoption of advanced, quantum resistant encryption that supports fine grained differential access to content, which means you can determine who can see what and for how long within business messages.

Much is planned for 2018, but the GTC will not lose sight that our community of users will still need enhancements to the FIX Protocol.  We continue to encourage our members to submit gap analysis proposals and discuss their requirements in their respective working groups or committees or directly with the GTC.

All in all a busy year is planned. Please join us and get involved.

Warmest Regards,

Hanno Klein, GTC Co-chair, EMEA Region

Damian Bierman, GTC Co-chair, Asia Pacific Region

Jim Northey, GTC Co-chair, Americas Region