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Analysis: IBM discusses Financial Markets Framework

The occasion of IBM's newly unveiled Financial Markets Framework leads to some ruminations on the build-borrow-and-or-buy equation.

The build-buy equation has always been at the heart of IT decision making. In fact it has been one of the toughest parts. Open-source software has further complicated the build-buy formula, providing development teams a head start by offering downloadable run times, but by no means getting you all the way to the finish line.

In the light of open source's ascendance, let's call today's dilemma the build-borrow-and-or-buy equation.

Domain architects today often use as their guide patterns concocted by the patterns software movement that set out lo many years ago to look for repeatable blueprints and best practices. Today these may take the form of frameworks that bottle up some reusable tools and known good code, but still leave it up to you to get the last few yards of the application built.

Various large vendors have tried in recent years to share some basic integration practices developed within individual industries. IBM, notably, has compiled ''playbooks'' for SOA that are targeted at specific verticals. Just this week, IBM formally described a new Financial Markets Framework that characterizes a high-speed market data feed format, an algorithmic trading program, a faster version of its MQ messaging infrastructure, and risk management capabilities.

People in financial services have been building these types of systems one by one for years. Will the IBM Financial Markets Framework save them some trouble? Maybe. Will they continue to customize portions of the trading applications in order to gain market advantage? Undoubtedly. Build-buy will always be with us. For some brief background on IBM's Financial Markets Framework, check out a recent video interview on low-latency middleware with IBM's An Chei.

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