Buy-Side Technology Awards: Best Buy-Side CEP Product/Service─Progress Software

20-bst2012-cep-progress
Shane Holland, Theo Hildyard and Scott Mitchell of Progress Software picked up the award.

Back in the late 1990s, two Cambridge University computer science graduates conducted research into new data structures for pattern matching in high-velocity streaming data. That research became the foundation of a software company that the two founded. Although the research and the product have been refined, that original work is still the secret sauce behind Apama’s complex-event processing (CEP) engine.

Today, Apama CEP is offered through the Capital Markets Platform, an operating unit of Progress Software, which bought Apama in 2005. Included is the Capital Markets Foundation (CMF)─a kit for market-data processing, order routing, risk management, simulation, and back-testing─and more than 50 adapters to market data systems, trading venues, and thirdparty applications.

Even though functions like price aggregation, algorithmic trading, and smart order routing in high-data volume situations are naturals for Apama CEP, product manager Theo Hildyard says his customers are using it outside of the front office as well. "A CEP-based monitoring platform, if implemented correctly, can efficiently gather information from across the business and detect interesting patterns," he says. "In risk and compliance, our clients make use of this capability across a broad range of business functions, including market surveillance, fraud monitoring, rogue-trader monitoring, anti-money laundering (AML), pre-trade risk, and more."

Although Progress clients preferred not to go on record, they did share their use-cases: a London-based proprietary trading firm is generating buy-sell signals in UK equities based on real-time analytics, such as correlations, from a Level 3 market data feed, and displaying them on screens developed in Apama's dashboard technology, while a Brazilian asset manager uses Apama CEP with the risk firewall component of the CMF to develop and enforce pre-trade risk rules across a number of automated trading systems. Proprietary trading houses in Brazil and China have made up a significant portion of the vendor's new business.

Upgrades to version 5.0, released in October, include next-generation Event Processing Language (EPL), optimized for the concise expression of business and temporal logic. There is a catalogue of components for building applications, including position services, profit-and-loss (P&L) services, and consolidated virtual order book services, while in the first quarter of next year, the Apama platform will include support for market surveillance of derivatives.

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