Eze Castle Software (booth 1815), a Boston-based provider of buy-side order management systems, has been doing some remodeling of its core Traders Console OMS over the past year. Specifically, the company has spent a number of months rationalizing its OMS by moving to a Web services and services-oriented architecture.
The move, according to company president David Quinlan, will allow Eze Castle's OMS more-dynamic access to third-party entities. The changes were initiated "so that when we bump into something in the market, we can truly integrate it so that it feels like it's becoming more and more part of the core system," he says.
An SOA approach might allow greater integration of transaction cost research (TCR) into Traders Console, Quinlan relates. For example, as soon as an order appears in a trader's blotter, an SOA mechanism could reach out and communicate with a third-party TCR application, he explains. "In a sense, you could add a column right into the blotter," Quinlan says.
Eze Castle also has been focusing on providing more mobile functionality for its money manager clients that want access to their OMSs, or pieces of their OMSs, from on the road, Quinlan adds. Typically, they want to see a number of portfolio views - profit and loss views and trade input views such as tickets, he relates. According to Quinlan, traders and analysts have been clamoring for access to those views on a handheld device for when they are not in the office. "They might be sitting in a meeting at the Ritz-Carlton, hearing about some company management presentation, and they want to be able to put in an order for 50,000 shares on the spot, remotely," Quinlan says. "Those are the kinds of things we've built and delivered in the first quarter, so we can have people look at the portfolios, make a decision or be sitting in a meeting, and buy or sell some stock."
The new functionality also addresses disaster recovery concerns, Quinlan points out, as traders can use the remote tools to stay in business during a crisis. According to Quinlan, Eze Castle clients say a fractious desktop is creating a crisis in the market. He says traders are asking for a converged desktop on which the different pieces of the trading cycle are brought together. Currently, traders, for example, often have to work simultaneously in an OMS, a direct-market-access (DMA) system, and another application for transaction cost research and analysis - sometimes all from different vendors.
"When an order pops onto the blotter, how do all these other things come into motion and give the trader information about that trade right away?" Quinlan asks. "Then, as an execution report is coming back, how do I get better, more real-time analysis of how I'm doing and what adjustments I need to make?" The answers, in terms of integration with third-party solutions, are not easy ones, Quinlan acknowledges. Software companies typically are uneasy about deep integration when source code is involved, he says.
However, Web services and the use of a services-oriented architecture make the process far less sensitive, Quinlan asserts. Through these new technologies, he says, "You can communicate certain aspects of data without having to hand over source code and really share the inner secrets of all your development, and that is helpful."