Tick42, the May 2012 rebrand of Dealing Object Technology, has made its first foray into open-source software with the release of a bridge from the NYSE Technologies originated OpenMAMA middleware agnostic messaging application programming interface (API) to the Bloomberg Open API. The bridge enables OpenMAMA users to bring Bloomberg data directly into their applications without having to code each application to the Bloomberg Open API and supports access to reference data, and both real-time and delayed market data from Bloomberg via the Bloomberg Terminal, Server API or a managed B-Pipe.
Having started as a NYSE Technologies initiative, the OpenMAMA project is now hosted and supported by the Linux Foundation. Its aims is to address the industry problem of increasing complexity and cost arising from proprietary software, vendor specific data models and non-standard APIs by introducing an industry standard, open, vendor neutral messaging and market data platform. Tick42 connects this open source effort with the industry’s other major open source project, Open Bloomberg headed by Bloomberg.
Tick42’s Bloomberg Bridge is available immediately either as a component of OpenMAMA or as a binary download from the company’s website. As open source software, the bridge is free to download and use. Tick42 hopes to monetise the solution with commercial support contracts, although it is still in discussion with NYSE Technologies about where support lines should be drawn around open source software and how support should be delivered.
Tick42 CEO, Les Spiro, explains: “The Bloomberg Bridge is providing the functionality that the market wants and allows companies with applications written to the OpenMAMA API to work directly with Bloomberg data. By delivering technologies like this, we are placing ourselves at the forefront of the market debate on how commercial offerings from multiple companies that are both competing and cooperating can be handled in an open source environment. OpenMAMA is gaining signification traction in the financial services industry, proving that to survive and thrive in the future, competing firms need to develop business models that allow them to work within an open-source ecosystem.”
As an active member of the OpenMAMA steering committee, Tick42 says it is gaining interest in the bridge from other members including banks and hedge funds that are keen to feed apps with an OpenMAMA API with Bloomberg data.
“We have experience of Bloomberg APIs and offer products and services that use them, so it made sense to build the bridge,” says Spiro. “The decision then was whether to package the software and sell it in line with our business model of selling software that bridges gaps, or offer it under an open source licence. We believe in open source so we decided on the open source approach, but I don’t know if this was the right decision. Bloomberg Bridge serves as a commitment to OpenMAMA and could lead to development projects, but it will take a year before we will know whether it is possible to make money out of open source solutions.”
Whatever the long-term contribution of Bloomberg Bridge to Tick42, Spiro says the company – named for the association of real time with tick and for Douglas Adams’ suggestion of 42 as the answer to everything – will build more solutions for OpenMAMA but has yet to decide how to market and monetise them.