FISD sets six month market data standard goal

FISD sets six month market data standard goal

Financial Information Services Division members say they intend to develop an open XML standard for describing a security and its price within the next six months.

Moves to build an open Market Data Definition Language (MDDL) schema were agreed at an initial meeting of an FISD XML working group last week. A steering committee, technical committee and vocabulary committee have been created, with the aim of building a "practical and realistic" MDDL standard dealing with the product/price dimension of market data by Q3 2001.

The first meeting of the steering committee is scheduled for February 5 at Merrill Lynch in NYC. Participation on the technical and vocabulary committees is voluntary and open to all interested parties, says FISD, a neutral business forum created by the Software and Information Industry Association to deal with market data issues. For more information, contact Michael Atkin on 202-452-1600 x361 or e-mail,

User firms spend a lot of time and money translating market data formats and modifying applications for internal communication. The goal is to integrate data from multiple sources into disparate systems throughout the global enterprise without having to understand how information providers format and package data internally. The payoff, says FISD, is to shift the focus of internal resources from issues associated with the "formatting of data" to those associated with the "quality of data".

The FISD says that while good progress was made at the initial meeting, the full parameters of MDDL have not yet been completely defined/agreed. Refinement and agreement on the scope of the domain to be defined by MDDL will be one of the first objectives of the working group.

FISD says the "meta data" nature of XML will enable information vendors to personalise information by embedding descriptive data into their products to allow for seamless browsing and intelligent monitoring/filtering across related data such as prices, news, company information, and economic data. "Ultimately, the long-term benefits of interoperability and product enhancement appear to outweigh the short-term competitive benefits of proprietary data formats," states the FISD.

The initial focus is on end-of-day and intra-day snapshot applications that can be extended into real-time and into more interpretative data models if appropriate.

FISD is also encouraging exchanges and market centers to be involved in MDDL. Vendor and user participants say they want to ensure the exchange perspective is incorporated into the development at the earliest stages.

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