AutEx, a Thomson Financial-owned company that supplies its U.S. buy-side clients with a routing system called TradeRoute, is revamping its system and releasing the new AutEx Connect to the European and Asian markets starting in May or June. AutexConnect integrates several componentsorder routing, trade advertisement and indications of interest---and makes these components available in a 24-by-7 atmosphere, says Bob Moitoso, general manager, BlockDATA, part of the AutEx Group. AutEx Connect will first be rolled out in Europe, followed by Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. Japan will follow soon after.
To roll out the system and to handle expected increased capacity, Autex spent two years rearchitecting its messaging host. Joe McGill, Autex vp of products and operations, says, "The new host gives us increased capacity and performance by taking advantage of a lot of new technology. It is more flexible, easier to support, and allows us to add new message types much more easilysuch as changes in FIX messaging."
At first, TradeRoute and AutEx Connect will work from the same host, until all clients are transitioned to the new host. Magill notes that clients will not notice anything other than improved performance. After the transition is complete, Autex will begin to augment the system with increased functionality and then will roll it out to its U.S. clients.
The host system will be based on Sun Microsystems hardware and Sybase. It will use Tuxedo middleware, and Sun servers, with Javelins FIX engine, known as Coppelia. Previously, Autex did all of the FIX programming itself, but decided to use Javelin to handle the "real nuts and bolts of FIX connectivity." It will also help it remain current with the FIX commmunity and relieve some of the internal FIX work that had to be done in-house, Magill notes. As far as the desktop goes, clients can use what they want"which is more often than not NT" says Magill, also noting that AutEx has some Web clients, as well.
After rolling out the Connect product, Autex will roll out a fully functioning Autex GUI. He explains, "Today, we have both FIX and an API application programming interface... If they dont want to use our GUI they can use the FIX protocol."
The new host will be rolled out through the rest of this year. Once all clients are on, AutEx will retire the old host, and introduce a new software GUI and new server to take advantage of the new functionality that the new host allows. "We will start to introduce new features and functions, as well as roll out the Javelin piece to the U.S. clients," Magill adds.
He explains that today the host system has been developed internally by AutEx. "We have been using it for five to 10 years. Although it has been enhanced, the core structure hasnt changed over that time." We will be getting rid of a lot of limitations that old technology has hampered us with." The former system was based on Sybase and used Strattis.
Separately, in the U.S., Autex is working on increasing its links with alternative trading systems. Autex already has ATS clients that include Lattice, Optimark, Arizona Stock Exchange, Posit, Tradebook and, recently, Archipeligo. It is close to deals with Readibook, Instinet and MarketXT, notes John Spensieri, vp of sales and marketing.