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Post From: The Story of IG Markets and Sierra Chart. Classic Breach of Contract

[2015-09-23 08:51:56]
Sierra Chart Engineering - Posts: 64937
In recent years, we have had many requests for Sierra Chart to be integrated with the Forex and CFD broker IG Markets in the United Kingdom. Many of these requests came in 2013 in some of them are here:

https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=2897
http://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=3954

We have not counted the total number of requests. There other requests that have come in by email as well. A rough estimate is that probably at least 20 of them. Although some of these could be from the same user asking more than once. There was one particular user of ours, who was very persistent about Sierra Chart supporting IG Markets and how it would be a very great thing.

We held off on this for more than a year because integrating to a new Data or Trading service is a substantial task, and generally is an unpleasant experience.

We would only consider using the FIX protocol because it provides the very best integration for reliability. And it reduces the development time.

This thread documents the failure of IG Markets to perform promises clearly made.


For those of you wanting Sierra Chart to work with IG Markets. It will not happen because IG Markets does not want it to happen.

This has been made public because the conduct of IG Markets is completely out of reason and wrongful. It is not so much the lost money, gratefully which was not that much because we were working with the established FIX protocol but the fact that a significant effort was done for absolutely nothing when they should have been very clear about their intentions from the very beginning.

If they do not want to perform, fine, we will each go our own way, but IG needs to acknowledge that they made a mistake and needs to compensate our efforts within reason. This is all we are asking.


Below is a series of email messages and also verbal communication. All messages have dates.
===================

2015-01-20

One of our clients has had some conversations with Alex Maslin about the possibility of adding IG Markets support into the Sierra Charts platform. We are at a point in time where we can now spend some time and get this done. We would need access to the FIX API documentation, symbol definitions, and a test account. Also, if you have any type of compliance protocol, it would be good to review that before starting as well.

I am the primary development contact on the Sierra Chart side. Thank you.

Al
Sierra Chart

----
Sent: 23 January 2015 18:14
To: Daniel Lawrance
Subject: Fwd: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support



Daniel,

I am a developer at Sierra Chart, and had sent the email below earlier this week not knowing that you had taken over for Alex. I believe you spoke to one of our customers today about getting IG support into Sierra Chart. We can very easily add support via a FIX interface, but obviously need access to the specs, test account, and any compliance info you may require. If you can send a spec to me or set up credentials for me to access online, I can take a quick look to see if there is anything that would cause concern or need clarification.

I am located in the Central Time Zone in the US, and can be reached via skype or phone. Just let me know when you are available, and we can set up a time to talk if required. Thank you.

Al
Sierra Chart

----
From IG

2015-01-26

Dear Al,

Please find attached our rules of engagement.

IG Financials

The IG financial results can be found on the below link.

http://www.iggroup.com/corporate/financial-results.html

IG is a global leader in online trading, providing fast and flexible access to over 10,000 financial markets – including shares, indices, forex, commodities and binaries.

Established in 1974 as the world’s first financial spread betting firm, IG’s aim is to become the default choice for active traders globally. It is already an award-winning multi-platform trading company.

It is a member of the FTSE 250 with a market capitalization of £2.2 billion (May 2014), and with offices across Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the US, where it offers limited risk derivatives contracts via the Nadex brand.

Testing


Attached you will find the rules of engagement for your technical team to review.

If you can send me a static IP address I can set you up with a demo API connection.

I have also attached our product offering that is available via our API.

Many Thanks
Daniel

DANIEL LAWRANCE
Senior Institutional Sales Manager

IG, Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, EC4R 2YA
D: +442075730555 | T: +442078960011
www.ig.com


----
To IG

2015-01-27

I have looked thru the info you sent and need clarification on connections/logon.

You requested a static IP addr. Is this required for all users or just the initial test account? Can we set up a dynamic addr in the short term?

I see that you do not send any kind of userid/password thru in the logon message. Do you only use the SendingCompID and TargetCompID to determine if a user should be connected? Is this the reason for a static addr?

We would like to use a model that has worked well for some other client interfaces. Basically, we run an instance of SierraChart on our server that would connect to IG and request market data for the common symbols. This allows us to provide historical data to the user in a seamless fashion. The users would then connect to the IG server for real-time data and trading, while our server would provide back fill data. Is this model reasonable?

Thank you.

----
To IG

2015-01-28

Sent: 28 January 2015 17:40
To: Richard Elston
Cc: Daniel Lawrance
Subject: Fwd: Re: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support



Daniel is out of the office. Can you help by answering any of the following questions?

----
From IG

2015-01-29

Hello Al


Dan is back tomorrow so I won’t intervene too much. However I can help with the below questions…….


I’m afraid we do need a static as opposed to a dynamic IP. This is simply so that we can permission your connection on our side, hence the lack of password and username etc.. The good news is that we only need that static IP for you. We would not need an IP for any underlying client

I’d like to investigate the model a little more and understand the technical aspects before I confirm your suggestion definitely works for us, though I do see where your angle is coming from.


Dan will revert upon his return


Thanks and regards

Richard Elston

----
To IG

2015-01-29

Any status on this?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:   Re: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support
Date:   Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:07:32 -0600
To:   Daniel Lawrance <Daniel.Lawrance@ig.com>


I have looked thru the info you sent and need clarification on connections/logon.

(Remaining email removed because it is already included above)

----
To IG

2015-02-04

Daniel,

We are still waiting to see if our proposed model will work for IG. Have you had a chance to review this?

Once we are all in agreement on the model, I can get you a static IP to set up our test account.

Thanks

Al

----
From IG

2015-02-05

Dear Al,

What is the best number to call you on in relation to the below?

Many Thanks


Daniel



DANIEL LAWRANCE
Senior Institutional Sales Manager

IG, Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, EC4R 2YA
D: +442075730555 | T: +442078960011
www.ig.com

Sent: 04 February 2015 03:21
To: Daniel Lawrance
Cc: Richard Elston
Subject: Re: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support



Daniel,

We are still waiting to see if our proposed model will work for IG. Have you had a chance to review this?

Once we are all in agreement on the model, I can get you a static IP to set up our test account.

Thanks

Al

----

Internal Sierra Chart communication


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:   Fwd: RE: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support
Date:   Wed, 04 Feb 2015 10:44:50 -0600
CC:   Daniel Lawrance <Daniel.Lawrance@ig.com>


Anthony,

I talked with Daniel today, and I think we are good from a technical perspective, but he would like to talk with you about the business side to be sure it is a good match for both parties. He is copied on email, and his number is below.

Al
-----

In relation to the above, this was the understanding of the Sierra Chart developers:


From one Sierra Chart developer:

"When we started looking at SierraChart support for IG Markets, we first started by discussing the model that would be used to connect Sierra customers to IG. That model was to provide all real-time and historical data to customers via SC servers, and direct connection of customers to IG for trading. The Sierra servers would connect to IG for data via their current model of using a static IP address and the FIX protocol. Customers would connect to SC servers for data, and connect directly to IG for trading via FIX with a login/password instead of the current static IP addr requirement. This model was not supported by IG at the time, but IG agreed that they would be able to support that model. Further discussions were held between Anthony and IG. Once everyone was satisfied with the proposed model, we went ahead and implemented IG support in SC and started collecting data on our servers."


From a senior Sierra Chart developer and the management:

"I communicated both by voice and written communication many times our proposed connection model to Daniel at IG Markets, and it was clearly expressed by Daniel that they can support that connection model. During a call I had with Daniel, they made it clear that they can support the connection model and it is not a problem other than relating to CME data.

During that voice call, I once again reiterated that we require one or two market data connections to our own server and we will redistribute the market data to IG Markets users when they get a successful connection to the trading server. Each individual user will use a single trading connection to the IG Markets FIX server.

Although during that same call Daniel did express a concern about setting up a large number of accounts on FIX connections. I had the understanding that this was an internal concern relating to the effort to provision a FIX account.

Based upon what they said, there was not a concern that they would not do this at all, but based upon our experience with FXCM, they may not be happy to do it with small accounts and only might be comfortable doing it with accounts with more substantial balances. So I offered that they could put a minimum €5000 balance as a requirement.

They never said they would do this. And it was just a suggestion by us in order to create a good working relationship to filter out very small accounts that do not trade. Once again, they never said that they would not perform or required us to be a broker. No such communication took place. It was quite clear that they would be providing the FIX connections to users.

When Daniel was asked by me about providing Sierra Chart 1 or 2 FIX data feeds which we can use to redistribute market data to the IG Markets users once they get a successful connection to the IG Markets trading server, that was agreeable to them but they could not allow us to get access to futures (CME) data.

I said I understand that kind of restriction and that was not a problem. We were only interested in the Forex data and CFD data. No concern at all was raised about us providing the Forex data and I do not think there was any problem with the CFD data to my knowledge.

I was also asked about how we would be marketing IG Markets, although I did not really see the relevancy of that. We said that it would be listed on our Data and Trading services page. We would make an announcement on our Support Board about it, and word would get around among our users and IG Markets customers.

Once there was a clear understanding on all sides, we were then provided with the actual FIX test accounts for market data and trading, by IG Markets.

These had to be provided to a static IP address and we gave them that static IP address and gained access. "

----
From IG

2015-02-06

Dear Anthony,

It might be better if you look at our web API to integrate with as you will have multiple users.

http://labs.ig.com/

I just wanted to find out a little more about how you promote new brokers you connect with.

Are we just looking to integrate this for one client or have you had demand from multiple users to connect with IG?

Many Thanks

Daniel

----
From SC

2015-02-06 10:48 PM

Hello Daniel,

I just gave you a call but was told you are away from your desk.

There will be multiple customers. There does seem to be significant demand for Sierra Chart to use IG Markets.

We would rather use FIX because that is the most straightforward and most reliable method of integration. We would have to look at the web API but normally what we see, this type of model does not fit so well and generally is confusing.


IG Markets will will be listed on this page:
https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/data.php#Services

And word will also quickly get around that we are now supporting IG markets.

Thank you,


----
To IG

2015-02-06

Hello Daniel,

Can you let me know what business related questions you have about our integration to IG Markets.

We only require you provision us with 2 FIX connections for us to receive the market data to provide the data to IG markets users and to maintain the historical data. Trading connections will be from each user to your FIX server.

We are not a broker and we have no expectation to receive any income from this from you.

Thank you,

Anthony | Sierra Chart | Software Developer

-----

From SC

2015-02-16 9:31 PM

Hello Daniel,

I really would like to talk with you when you are back to settle the final details of integration of Sierra Chart to the IG Markets trading and market data system.

Thank you,
-----

Comment from Sierra Chart:

At this time, we had not begun any integration to IG Markets. We needed to be very clear they would understand the connection model we require and that they can perform according to that required connection model. We would never have proceeded doing any programming until there was a clear understanding on both sides, which was clearly reached again during the call.


-----
From IG

2015-02-20

Dear Anthony,

Please can you supply me with a static IP address so I can set you up with some demo UAT credentials for you to begin the integration on your side for testing.

Many Thanks

Daniel

----
Comment from Sierra Chart(2015-10-18):

What is the purpose of this request above from Daniel with IG Markets if they have no intention of performing? They are leading us along into completely useless programming to their systems. This programming costs us, Sierra Chart, money.


----
From IG
2015-02-26

Anthony,

I just want Mrs to confirm I have received your static IP you will have your demo UATs tomorrow morning UK time.

Many Thanks

Daniel

Sent from my iPhone

> On 25 Feb 2015, at 20:27, SierraChart.com wrote:
>
> Hello Daniel,
>
> Use this static IP:
>
> ds4.sierracharts.com [204.11.49.26]
>
> Thank you,
----
From IG
2015-02-26
Dear Anthony,


We are now ready for you to begin testing with our FIX API. You will require two FIX connections: one to receive market data and one to trade. Please find attached the rules of engagement.


DEMO FIX OTC Trading

[session]

(Connection details removed)


DEMO FIX OTC Market Data

[session]

(Connection details removed)



Please contact FIXTradingsupport@ig.com by email if you have any technical questions, connection problems or need help to configure your FIX software.


Many Thanks
Daniel
----

Comment from Sierra Chart (2015-10-18):

IG Markets have now given us the ability to rely upon their promises to our detriment with the above connection information.

-----

From SC

2015-06-12 5:24 PM

Hello Daniel,

We are ready to go to release support IG Markets using the FIX connection.

We will also need one production market data connection for our server.

How will existing and new IG Markets customers obtain the FIX connection to use with Sierra Chart? We need to know the procedure for this.

And I want to confirm there is a minimum balance. Something like €5000 or pounds?

Thank you,

Anthony |

-----

From SC

2015-06-20

Hello Daniel,

We are ready to go to release support IG Markets using the FIX connection.

We will also need one production market data connection for our server. We would like to get that as soon as possible so we can begin maintaining historical data.

How will existing and new IG Markets customers obtain the FIX connection to use
with Sierra Chart? We need to know the procedure for this.

And I want to confirm there is a minimum balance required for a user to use the FIX connection? I need to know what that is.

Also one of your customers was asking whether they could use their spread betting account with the FIX connection?:
http://www.ig.com/uk/spread-betting

-----


From IG

On 2015-06-25 1:40 AM, Daniel Lawrance wrote:
> Dear Anthony,


Unfortunately we are make some changes to our API that will take around 6 weeks to implement.

We will not be able to move forward until then.

Many Thanks

Daniel

-----Original Message-----
From Sierra Chart

Sent: 19 June 2015 22:34
To: Daniel Lawrance
Subject: Re: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support

Hello Daniel,

We are ready to go to release support IG Markets using the FIX connection.

We will also need one production market data connection for our server. We would like to get that as soon as possible so we can begin maintaining historical data.

How will existing and new IG Markets customers obtain the FIX connection to use with Sierra Chart? We need to know the procedure for this.

And I want to confirm there is a minimum balance required for a user to use the FIX connection? I need to know what that is.

Also one of your customers was asking whether they could use their spread betting account with the FIX connection?:
http://www.ig.com/uk/spread-betting

Thank you,

-----

From SC

2015-06-25 5:43 AM

Hello Daniel,

Could you at least provide us the FIX data feed to our server so that we can start building the historical data over the next six weeks?

This is the Sender Comp ID we are using for market data:
DEMO-CLIENT9

This is the address:
demo-fixmd.marketdatasystems.com:55230

Our server IP address is: 65.182.172.164

Could you please allow this connection from this IP because your firewall is not currently allowing the connection.

-----

From SC

2015-08-20 7:59 PM

Hello Daniel,

Could you please provide an update about your progress on this (See below).

If I have not already introduced you to the DTC Protocol, I would like to do that. This is an initiative we have started:

http://www.dtcprotocol.org/

We hope that you can join us with supporting this.

Thank you,



On 2015-06-25 1:40 AM, Daniel Lawrance wrote:
> Dear Anthony,
>
> Unfortunately we are make some changes to our API that will take around 6 weeks to implement.
>
> We will not be able to move forward until then.
>
> Many Thanks
>
> Daniel



----
From IG

2015-08-24

Dear Anthony,

Apologies in the delay in coming back to you.

Unfortunately we are still not in a position to move forward.

We have a number of legal, IT and data redistribution issues to resolve before we can look at supporting a connection that you require.

We are currently working with single entities that require one connection only as we launch this product.

As it stands we cannot support your connection for multiple underlying clients.

Many Thanks

Daniel

-----Original Message-----
From Sierra Chart

Sent: 23 August 2015 00:39
To: Daniel Lawrance <Daniel.Lawrance@ig.com>; Rainer@Hartl.com.au
Subject: Re: Adding Sierra Charts IGMarkets Support

Hello Daniel,

I sent you an email a few days ago asking for an update regarding what you said below. As of yet I do not have a response. The reason for that email is because our customers are asking about when Sierra Chart is going to work with IG Markets. I am following up for them.

Also your statement below is unusual in this industry for a FIX API which should already be well established. We invested thousands of dollars, to integrate to IG Markets and then we are just told we have to wait without any detailed explanation.

While we are very busy, and personally we are not in a hurry to release support for IG markets, I was disturbed by what you have said because it reveals some unknown functional problem with your systems.

The development to integrate to IG Markets was not our own initiative. This was requested by many of your existing customers and potential customers and one customer of yours in particular. I have included a copy of this email message to them as well.

It is routine, that messages we have sent to you and others at IG Markets, are often not responded to. If you would like to talk on the phone instead, then just say please give us a call. But not responding, when we have invested thousands of dollars of development, is concerning.

Previously I asked you for the data connection so we can start maintaining historical Intraday data ahead of release. There was no response to this request. Therefore, when we release support for IG Markets for Sierra Chart, there will be no historical data.

-----

From SC

2015-08-24

Hello Daniel,

Just so that we are clear. Sierra Chart only needs to support the Forex and CFD markets. Not any futures or other forward markets. In our experience we are not aware of any redistribution issues involving this category of data.

These kinds of issues typically involve futures and stocks.

We only require one data connection and the data will be redistributed to the IG Markets users through our own systems.

Each user will connect directly to your FIX trading server for trading. We think it is better for trading for each user to connect to your own server directly because the bandwidth requirements are next to nothing and this has the highest level of security and reliability.

We will be patiently waiting until you can support the above model.

-----

Sierra Chart comment (2015-10-18):
As we have indicated, the above connection model was already communicated to IG Markets in writing and by voice multiple times. They said that they can do this and it is not a problem.

-----

From IG

2015-08-25 2:07 AM

Dear Anthony,

For redistributing indices there are issues for example if you wish to redistribute any CME product you need to have a CME agreement in play if you require live data.

Many Thanks

Daniel

-----

From SC

2015-08-25 5:41 AM

Hello Daniel,

So are you referring to CFD cash indices? We can leave those out for now. Although we do redistribute the ones that FXCM provides. They allow us to redistribute them to all of our users. Not just FXCM users.

We have no need to redistribute CME data. And I do understand the issues surrounding that. It is also possible to allow our users direct FIX connections for market data.

Thank you,


-----

From IG

2015-09-23 8:28 PM

Dear Anthony,

At this stage whilst we roll out our API offering an internal decision by senior management that we will only connect to regulated brokers.

When this changes I will be in contact.

Many Thanks

Daniel


-----

From IG
2015-09-23

Dear Anthony,

If you can provide me a business case to push this internally then I am more than willing to do so.


IG cannot be expected to move forward with an integration with any entity without a business rationale.


Can you provide me some details such as the below?





· Average volume

· Average number of trades

· Unique clients trading

· Ideally a spreadsheet that details;

· Date

· Time

· Client ID (anonymised, but unique)

· Trade size (either normalised to a single currency, or with a currency identifier)

· Trade direction

· Trade price

· Markets



This is standard information we require all entities to provide us. We have no understanding on the number of clients that Sierra Chart have that wish to use IG as an executing broker.

At no point has anyone confirmed to Sierra Chart that IG will integrate or conform with Sierra Chart for a full integration.

Many Thanks


Daniel


-----Original Message-----
Sent: 23 September 2015 09:54
To: Daniel Lawrance <Daniel.Lawrance@ig.com>
Subject: Sierra Chart and IG Markets



Hello Daniel,

Thank you for these details. I need to prepare a formal response in order to formally offer to settle this matter and bring it to a close.

There cannot be an indefiniteness leaving this matter to some unknown future date. I suspect this is a tactic to avoid responsibility to some unknown future point in time where we will just hopefully forget about it. I can assure you, that is not going to happen.


It is important we close this matter in a mutually agreeable way and move forward. This email does not close the matter. Please wait for our formal response.

Also the decision that your senior management came to is totally inconsistent with industry norms. I have been in this business for 20 years and I have never seen such a decision with the kind of working relationship which was understood and agreed to from the beginning.


Take Interactive Brokers for example, they have a very large number of external applications, many of them commercial, using their proprietary API and their FIX API. Sierra Chart currently supports connection to 10 different trading services using FIX where the connection is a direct connect from the user to the FIX server.


Thank you,

-----

From SC

2015-10-09

Hello Daniel,

I apologize for the long delay. I am still putting together the response. I need to go through all of our emails to get a clear understanding of all of the communication.

In general, we do not have access to the information you are requesting since we are not a broker and never will be. With the kind of working relationship which was agreed to in the beginning, what you are asking is not relevant and we are not asked these kinds of questions from other Trading services we work with.
Sierra Chart Support - Engineering Level

Your definitive source for support. Other responses are from users. If possible please keep your questions brief and to the point. Please be aware of support policy:
https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?l=PostingInformation.php#GeneralInformation

If your question/request has been answered and you do not have anything further, then it is easiest for us if you do not reply again to say thank you.
Date Time Of Last Edit: 2015-10-25 23:18:26