Application Control provides a ‘Functionality Bus’ allowing independent applications to provide an integrated user experience including established products like Fidessa’s FTW and in-house application. It also provides a cross platform way to interact with servers over a range of transports, for example connecting to servers on production networks.
Remotely change logging levels, metrics and other application functions....
Why do you want it?
Trader screen real estate is at a premium, and Trader focus is even more scarce. This means adding new services that require new display applications is a struggle to find room for the new GUI's on the Trader's desktop and in the Trader's attention. Tick42 Application Control allows independently produced (in-house or 3rd party) applications to 'donate' functionality that can be accessed from the Trader's existing desktop applications. When this functionality is invoked (eg from Right Click menus) the appropriate context is passed to allow the application to work with the current instruments or orders, and to pop-up at a sensible location. The converse is also true, by publishing functionality from an existing application, new applications can easily call on existing services for example order tickets. This reduces the development time for new services, and providing a more integrated experience for new applications.
Application Control is not only useful on the desktop. Tick42 Metrics uses Application Control to allow users to dynamically change what metrics are published and where they are published to. The two important features of Tick42 Application Control in this context are; the support for different languages (.Net, Java, Streambase, C++) and the ability to run over a wide range of transports. For example there are often restrictions on making TCP connections from support desks to servers running in production, whereas other transports such as TIB RV, or an MQ product might be available.
How it works.
For those with long memories, some of the concepts of Application Control refer back to ideas that Tick42 helped Reuters deliver with the RACE environment in the RTW and PTW. More recently we see these concepts appearing in the Intents feature of Google’s Android environment.
The key concept is about publishing the availability of methods that define the context in which they are valid as well as information about the input and output parameters. This allows the client side GUI to think in terms of Objects (specified by what the user has right clicked on) and then display the set of Actions that are valid for that object - this allows the GUI to auto discover services and to adjust itself to reflect the services available. Services can also be defined via configuration in addition to, or instead of, auto discovery over the transport.
Tick42 App Control is defined via a set of Interfaces, and an implementation that can load a number of alternative drivers to run over different transports including the full set of transports supported by Tick42 (TIB RV, Informatica UMX (LBM), TCP, MQ servers) and also existing standards such as REST and XML-RPC.
Application Control and the Tick42 Architecture