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Integration via FIX Protocol to IBKR

FIX Integration efforts are handled by the Interactive Brokers (IBKR) Client Integration team (who can be reached at ci@ibkr.com). For a basic understanding of FIX protocol, its history, and its uses, please review this link: https://www.fixtrading.org/what-is-fix/ 

To view the IB FIX Specification Guide, go to www.ibkr.com/fixctci and select “I agree” under the section “FIX/CTCI Users’ Guide Disclaimer” at the bottom of the page. 

Interactive Brokers’ FIX offering is described below: 

FIX Order Routing Basics – 

Interactive Brokers offers connectivity via FIX protocol for the purposes of routing orders. Market data and account data subscriptions are handled by the TWS API. If a client prefers to route orders via FIX and market data/account data is a requirement, they will need a second TWS configured user linked to that account.  

Note that all FIX integration testing is done in the IB QA system. IBKR’s Paper Trading accounts are not compatible with FIX. 

A client is encouraged to review the $1500/month minimum commission requirements that IB imposes on clients with a FIX session linked to their production account.  Please review the special connections section of the Required Minimums page.  More details can be found here

FIX Integration Testing in QA: 

The general procedure for implementing a FIX connection is as follows: 

  1. The Client Integration Team creates a test FIX session for each client in our QA system. 
  1. The client will begin independent message testing to identify what message configurations, formats, values etc., if any, need to be changed. 
  1. When both the client and the Client Integration Team are comfortable with the FIX messaging, a supervised FIX certification test with a Client Integration Team member is scheduled. The certification test will replicate all order types, instructions, etc., that the client plans to send in production. The test will also include unsolicited cancels, simulated trade busts, and recovery testing (simulated line failure). 
  1. Upon successful completion of the certification test, IBKR will begin converting an existing production TWS user to FIX. Once converted, connectivity is tested to the FIX session to verify that heartbeats are successful following the connectivity test, the client will place a handful of small test orders, resulting in executions. If everything works correctly, production order flow can continue at the pace chosen by the client. 

Supported Network Connectivity Options for FIX clients in Production

  • Equinix Cross Connect (must be approved by IB management): IBKR supports intra-datacenter cross-connects at Equinix’s global datacenters: NY5 in Secaucus NJ, HK3 in Hong Kong, ZH4 in Zurich, and CH4 in Chicago. Clients who have a presence within these datacenters can order a cross-connect from the datacenter to IBKR’s cage there. The client is responsible for the costs of the cross-connect. Once the client orders the cross-connect, IBKR’s network engineers will work with the client and the datacenter. 
  • VPN (must be approved by IB management): IB supports hardware VPN tunnels from the client site to IBKR. Network engineers on the client side will work with the IBKR network group to share keys, and configure routers. VPN connections are for FIX clients only. IBKR does not support VPN connectivity for TWS users. 
  • Leased line/Dedicated line: A dedicated network line from the client site to IBKR. The client must contact a local telecommunications company to get pricing and place an order. The IBKR network team will assist the telecommunications firm with the installation. IBKR’s global datacenters with client points of presence are: NY5 in Secaucus NJ, HK3 in Hong Kong, ZH4 in Zurich, and CH4 in Chicago. 
  • Extranet: A network firm such as Radianz or TNS controls privately owned networks of dedicated lines to manage a connection from client site to IBKR. The IBKR network team will work with the extranet firm on the installation. The client is responsible for contacting the extranet providers, owning, and paying for the line. 
  • IB Gateway client: A lightweight java application that the client installs on the machine that houses the FIX engine (or another machine on the client’s network), and that connects to IBKR via a tunnel created over the internet, with data encrypted. The client connects their FIX engine to a port that the IB Gateway client is listening on, and the connection is passed through the tunnel created by the gateway to IBKR. The IB Gateway client does not have an auto login feature. It requires a manual login each day with a username and password. Here is a link containing information on the IB Gateway client: https://www.interactivebrokers.com/download/newMark/PDFs/gateway.pdf 

Important Notes:   

  • IB FIX sessions are order routing sessions only. Market data and account data subscriptions are handled by the TWS API.  
  • Clients who wish to begin FIX integration with IBKR are required to have a minimum funded balance of $10,000 USD. 
  • Client’s IBKR account will be subject to IB’s per-session monthly minimum commission fee of USD $1,500 per month for the first FIX session and USD $1,000 per month minimum commission for any subsequent session(s). Meaning – if the trading commissions do not add up to $1,500 (or monthly fee based on how many sessions you have), IBKR will assess any shortcoming up to $1,500 (or monthly fee based on how many sessions you have).  Details are listed here
  • FIX Integration is limited to IBKR Pro clients. IBKR Lite clients are not permitted to route orders via FIX, which some exceptions for introducing brokers.  Please inquire with the Client Integration team if you are an IBKR Lite broker seeking to route orders via FIX. 
Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

The analysis in this material is provided for information only and is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad-based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation by IBKR to buy, sell or hold such investments. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interactive Brokers LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Any trading symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray recommendations.

In accordance with EU regulation: The statements in this document shall not be considered as an objective or independent explanation of the matters. Please note that this document (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination or publication of investment research.

Disclosure: API Examples Discussed

Throughout the lesson, please keep in mind that the examples discussed are purely for technical demonstration purposes, and do not constitute trading advice. Also, it is important to remember that placing trades in a paper account is recommended before any live trading.

Disclosure: Order Types / TWS

The order types available through Interactive Brokers LLC’s Trader Workstation are designed to help you limit your loss and/or lock in a profit. Market conditions and other factors may affect execution. In general, orders guarantee a fill or guarantee a price, but not both. In extreme market conditions, an order may either be executed at a different price than anticipated or may not be filled in the marketplace.

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