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FIX can fix IT

What’s the difference between an application standard and a standard application? (I’ll let you ponder on that one for a moment).

All standards are developed by volunteers – practitioners who, as part of their day jobs, have to deal with the problems that the lack of appropriate standards has created for the financial services industry.  The volunteers who help to create the ISO standards come from across the industry, in the same way that the volunteers do who help to create new FIX standards.  Sometimes the same people work on both ISO and FIX standards development.  The difference isn’t due to a lack of volunteers – in fact, it seems that FIX standards get developed faster.

Do you withdraw standards when a new one comes out?  If you’re a vendor, you’d love to have that kind of opportunity to make lots more money from the changeover.  Some vendors would even force-migrate their customers if they could, even if there’s little or no practical benefit for their customers.  But if you’re a standards body or a standards user, you don’t necessarily replace standards that work well.

Does anybody out there still use a parallel printer?  Or a non-digital home phone?   Do they still do the job for you?

The reason for moving to FIX is because it works well.  The reason for upgrading from one version of FIX to a newer version of FIX is because the newer version does things that you want to do, but that the earlier version doesn’t.  FIX is backwards-compatible – FIX 5.0 can understand FIX 4.0, 4.4, etc.

And if you’re still using FIX 4.0 and want to handle MiFID, then just use the bits out of FIX 5.0 that you need – you don’t even have to upgrade everything.

FIX can fix IT – but only if you use it.


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