Bloomberg has opened up its market data distribution technology, letting developers use its API without any costs or restrictions.
The API, called BLPAPI, is used daily by more than 100,000 financial services professionals, pumping them market data. It has now been made publicly available under a free-use license meaning Bloomberg Professional subscribers, non-customers and vendors and software developers can use it as an alternative to proprietary technologies for data distribution.
The API interface works with a range of programming languages and operating systems, including Java, C, C++, .NET, COM and Perl. Bloomberg says it also provides users a comprehensive technical definition of a market data interface, an MIT-style license that allows users to copy and use BLPAPI interfaces for use with any data service, applications or adapter technology, and a simple and intuitive interface technology.
The decision to offer up BLPAPI is part of an open market data initiative from the company that began in 2009 with the release of Bloomberg Open Symbology, a system to identify securities across all global asset classes. The move opens a new front in Bloomberg's efforts to cirumvent the proprietary restrictions applied to market data codes and distribution from rival vendor Thomson Reuters.
Tom Secunda, founding partner and global head of Bloomberg's financial products and services division, says: "Today's global financial marketplace depends on the free flow of timely and accurate market information. By embracing open technologies for market data distribution, we remove layers of expense, erase restrictive license agreements and enable innovation."
Shawn Edwards, CTO, Bloomberg, adds: "We intend to evolve BLPAPI into an open standard with the help of an independent committee charged with managing the future development and stability of a truly open market data interface. Open technologies allow our customers, partners, and others to direct resources towards developing innovative services instead of coping with rigid technologies."