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PFS TraderTools Releases Streaming Market Data Transport Mechanism

Date: Aug 3, 2001
Publication: WST
By: Cristina McEachern

PFS TraderTools has developed a data transport mechanism to enable real-time streaming of financial information to a standard Web browser. The new PFS Trillian technology uses a proprietary HTTP tunneling methodology to stream the data through a constant open connection without requiring the download of Java applets or other applications for viewing.

"Right now to stream data users have to download a Java applet or an application, which is problematic in a lot of worlds because of the firewall issues and being able to access that information," says Mark Mayerfeld, executive vice president of international sales at PFS TraderTools. He adds that many firms don't allow employees who would potentially view this data to download Java applets or other applications for the streaming technology at the desktop level. In addition, Mayerfeld explains that because firewalls ensure the security of a network, it is difficult to get through using other communications protocols without a specific port dedicated to the transmission of data.

Trillian is aimed at financial Web sites that want to provide streaming data including quotes, news and graphics to their end users. "There is nothing to install on the end user side," says Mayerfeld. "We provide the technology for the server at the companies' site." The Trillian technology is a three-tiered architecture covering contribution, distribution and display. The contribution tier accepts request from end users and publishes updates of the data content to the distribution tier, which sends updates to the client application. The display tier receives continuous information and uses Graphical User Interface (GUI) components to allow users to interact with it.

"Normal Web browsers close the connection after two minutes," says Mayerfeld. "Trillian keeps the connection open and doesn't need to refresh the entire page, so it's very economical from a resource perspective because it doesn't have to refresh the entire page every second." Trillian is sold with a per server fee and a per user fee and includes a set of implementation libraries. This toolkit allows data to be requested and displayed in Web pages on Web browsers that support JavaScript.

Mayerfeld says that current clients include divisions of SunGard and Thomson, which use part of the Trillian technology. Although he wouldn't name them, Mayerfeld adds that a number of other potential clients are in the process of evaluating the product or are in negotiations for the product.