These days, trading takes place in nanoseconds. But the process of setting up the mechanics of that trading process has remained cumbersome manual work.
That is changing now for traders of CME products. The Chicago-based exchange has released the CME Reference Data API that contains detailed specifications on all available products including futures, spreads, strategies and options, making it possible for much of this information to be uploaded automatically.
Clients can pull the product definitions from the API to their systems, reducing the manual work involved in setting up new products and the chances of data entry errors.
The API contains CME's entire catalog of current products, including contract specifications, product codes and symbols for CME Group venues, trade and order type eligibility, and instrument life cycle data for the first and last trade dates, notice dates, delivery dates, and settlement dates.
"Our customers have been asking us for a web-based API solution for some time, and after developing and testing the product, we were pleased to be able to deliver," said Elizabeth Gisch, CME's managing director, global market solutions and services.
So far, the response has been strong, according to Gisch. More than 60 firms have requested onboarding or training already. "Customers have said that this is a solution that saves them significant time and resources," she said. "Because we provide completely free access to the API on CME Group's website, we expect the number of users to continue to grow."
The Reference Data API is the first real-time API for every CME Group product and instrument as well as one of the first cloud-based APIs that the company has offered.
Gisch hopes that the API will also be useful for the CME internally, too. "Eventually, the API will also allow CME Group to be more nimble when it comes to innovation," she said. "Because market participants are able to access CME Group markets and products faster, we'll be able to launch new products and make adjustments to existing products more quickly."