A year ago, the Certification Working Group was evaluating proposals from vendors interested in being certifiers. In February, FPL announced the certifiers selected and began implementing the Certification Program. Brook Path Partners was retained by FPL to build the test suites and scripts in support of FIX 4.4. By June 2004, the test scripts were developed and by September the certifiers were deploying these scripts and beginning to cross certify.
The Certification Program aims to provide the fixed income community with a level playing field in disseminating message information using the FIX 4.4 protocol. In addition, the program hopes to lower the barrier of entry towards implementing FIX by creating an agreed upon and verified way to transmit information between counter-parties. In continued efforts to enhance the member value proposition, the Certification Program services will be offered to FPL member firms free of charge through the selected vendors. The vendors may, in their sole discretion, charge fees for the FIX Certification Services to non-FPL member firms. FPL will provide via its website a central listing of firms' certification status, subject to each firm's approval. Finally, the Certification Program remains open to vendors who wish to enter the program as a Certifier.
The Certification Program will introduce additional phases to the program by expanding the coverage and cross certification of fixed income products and, eventually, certification beyond fixed income. The Certification Working Group is in the process of prioritizing the next set of products.