GL Trade clients hit by Liffe API glitch

While most of the independent software vendors (ISVs) providing Liffe connectivity said their clients did not experience problems, a source familiar with the situation said the problems began when the exchange rolled out version 7.1 of its application-programming interface (API) for Liffe’s electronic trading platform, Liffe Connect. These sources said some Liffe members found themselves without connectivity to – and thus unable to trade on – the market as a result of the release on February 24.

The new version of the API was different from the specification Liffe had given to ISVs beforehand to facilitate connections to its market price feed, leaving some ISVs – such as GL Trade – and their clients without live price feeds from Liffe.

In a statement released to market participants at the time, Liffe officials said: "… a configuration error caused certain erroneous additions to the Liffe Connect standing data [baseline data for all members]. As a result of this additional data, users of some front-end trading software applications are experiencing difficulties retrieving market price information."

Liffe officials said the problem was related to the standing data rather than the software upgrade, and only a few users were unable to receive prices. The problem was fixed overnight and the exchange has not encountered any subsequent problems. A Liffe spokesperson said the additional data was related to the forthcoming French and Belgian markets – Liffe will host Euronext’s Belgian and French derivative products starting Monday March 24, and Monday April 14, respectively. This caused problems for some end-user applications. Liffe officials declined to specify how many ISVs or user firms were affected.

A source familiar with the situation says GL Trade had to pull staff from other projects to quickly identify the problem, recompile code, test the new systems and deliver the fixes to clients.

"For GL clients who thought the 24th would be a normal day, suddenly it became an upgrade day," said the source. GL Trade circulated a statement to customers saying it had released a patch to correct Liffe’s configuration error.

In the meantime, client firms had to access the market via working ISV systems, or to trade via other brokers that still had connectivity. User firms contacted either declined to comment or did not return calls by press time.

Liffe subsequently delayed another launch of the API to be certain of a problem-free transition, and only last week released the API for financial index derivatives.

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