Sun bundles up to Fix financial services industry

Sun has teamed up with two software companies to offer low-cost financial information exchange (Fix) bundles for the financial...

Sun has teamed up with two software companies to offer low-cost financial information exchange (Fix) bundles for the financial services community running on Intel-based Linux or Sun Solaris platforms.

Fix is a messaging protocol based on XML that was developed for the financial industry so that users could conduct securities transactions in real-time.

David Littlewood, director of financial services for Sun, said that Fix is becoming the de facto standard.

"The more people that use it, the easier it becomes for different parties in the securities industry to communicate," he said.

"So if you want to place a trade you can use a standard messaging protocol because you can assume that the exchange at the other end will receive messages in a Fix format."

Fix is commonly deployed by sellers, large securities firms that conduct trades such as Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, but the same level of adoption has not been seen on the buyer side, Littlewood said.

"The buyer side customer hasn't invested in technology the same way the sell side has. They are typically looking for a lower cost solution. They don't need the same scale and levels of throughput the Merrill Lynches of this world require," he said.

That is why Sun has worked with two software partners - B2Bits , and Financial Fusion - to create low-cost Fix products, he said.

B2Bits and Financial Fusion are competitors in the Fix market. "They compete openly, but for the purposes of this they have both worked with us to provide a solution, and the price for both is the same," Littlewood said.

Rebecca Reid writes for IDG News Service

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