What is FIX (Financial Information Exchange)?
The FIX protocol was originally developed in 1992 as a way for large equity trading companies to exchange information between broker-dealers and clients. FIX is now the messaging standard for the global equity markets, and is even expanding into foreign exchange, fixed income, and derivatives markets.
How does FIX work?
Clients and brokers use software called FIX engines to connect using the FIX protocol. In order to begin a FIX session, Client A and Broker B connect their engines at a predetermined start time using a predetermined host and comp ID.
Once a session begins, FIX messages are classified into two groups: Admin (or session level) messages, and Application messages. Application messages include trade, pre-trade, and post-trade messages. After exchanging the relevant information, both the client and the broker disconnect their FIX engine at the same time to keep their wheeling and dealing secure.