The London Stock Exchange has launched a real-time information broadcast system based on Microsoft .net technology and a SQL Server 2000 database.
The exchange said it was the first stockmarket to exploit a Microsoft platform to run a market-facing mission-critical system.
The launch of the Infolect service is a landmark nearly three years in to the stock exchange's four-year transition to next-generation trading technology.
The system sends out about 10 million separate pieces of market information a day, including share prices, to 97,000 terminals.
The stock exchange said Infolect was a major improvement on its previous London Market Information Link system, principally because it increases by a factor of 10 the speed at which users receive data.
"As our customers use the latest technology to upscale their trading strategies, Infolect gives them access to real-time information faster than any other exchange," said David Lester, the London Stock Exchange's chief information officer.
It is also more scalable than the exchange's previous system.
London Market Information Link used a proprietary Tandem system, and Lester said the move to Intel-based 32-bit HP Proliant servers had brought savings. He said upgrading the legacy Tandem system would have cost several million pounds, whereas the 100-strong HP server-farm cost less than £1m to bring in.
Ensuring the resilience of the system was a key challenge, said Lester. This was done by operating across two sites, with each site having further resilience capability built in.
Infolect is accessed by most of the exchange's member organisations via its privately managed IP network, Extranex.
The stock exchange's technology upgrade programme has one major project left - the replacement of its Sets electronic trading platform in early 2007. Lester said building the new platform was on course to be completed by the end of this year, allowing about 15 months for testing.