FIX Protocol Ltd (FPL) is proud to announce the release of the FIX Adapted for STreaming (FAST) Protocol Version 1.2. FAST 1.2 offers incremental improvements to previous releases, enabling the industry to benefit from even greater efficiency gains.
Working with existing adopters of the FAST Protocol, the FPL Market Data Optimisation Working Group (the team responsible for developing the FAST Protocol), has sought opportunities for improvement and has included enhancements in this latest release that enable greater compatibility for the use of FIX with FAST, specifically with regards to enumerations, time stamps and boolean data types. Based on the feedback received from the user community, the enhancements included within FAST 1.2 have also been developed in a manner to enable full compatibility with version 1.1. FAST 1.2 is now publicly available and downloadable from the FPL website, at www.fixprotocol.org/fastspec.
The FAST Protocol is a data compression methodology that has been developed in response to ever-increasing electronic trading volumes and market data messaging rates. The FIX Protocol has achieved very wide adoption, and it was clear that it would benefit from additional facilities to deal with high-volume messaging situations that would normally require greater network capacity. Other alternatives that had been developed to address this issue presented performance limitations with respect to compression and latency. By leveraging concepts including implicit tagging, field encoding and binary representation of data, the FAST Protocol offers a solution that optimises communication in the electronic exchange of financial data and in particular when used in combination with the FIX Protocol. FAST provides greatest benefits when handling large quantities of data that share similarities in content and structure, and it is now actively used by a growing number of execution venues globally.
Commenting on the launch of FAST 1.2 Greg Maynard, System & Product Strategy Officer at the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and contributor to the FPL Market Data Optimisation Working Group, stated, "The development of the FAST 1.1 standard presented a fantastic opportunity for the industry to benefit from reduced message size, reduced bandwidth requirements and improved latency. FAST 1.2 offers enhanced computing performance and I believe this will drive even greater adoption of the standard."
Rolf Andersson, Co-Chair FPL Market Data Optimisation Working Group, CEO of Pantor Engineering added, "The incremental improvements that we have included to create FAST 1.2 present an excellent example of the value that FPL brings to the future development of the electronic trading industry. FAST 1.2 was created through close collaboration between industry experts to improve the functionality available and to advance the global trading process for all market participants."