ActivTrades is a well known online broker focused on FX, CFDs, and Spread Betting. May you please provide any further details on your business and offering?
Founded in 2001 as a small brokerage house, ActivTrades rapidly developed into an award-winning global derivatives broker for retail and institutional clients.
Our clients enjoy benefits associated with the fact that ActivTrades:
- Has its own innovative trading platform, ActivTrader. The intuitive and powerful platform allowed its customers to trade its products and services more efficiently on the web and mobile.
- Has competitive trading conditions with an easy to use proprietary trading platform as well as MetaTrader 4 and 5.
- Is affiliated with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects clients investing with its member firms;
- Has implemented effective internal controls to ensure that clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts and can only be used by ActivTrades to carry out clients’ trading and withdrawal instructions.
ActivTrades offers some of the tightest spreads in the industry with our 5-decimal-digit pricing, starting as low as 0.5 pips for EUR/USD. Clients enjoy leverage* as high as 1:400 in some markets, as well as minilots and microlots (minimum stake of 10p per point on Spread Betting, for example). Our deal-execution systems are fully automated; there is no dealing desk, and therefore no human intervention, resulting in fairer execution of clients’ trades.
May you provide a very high-level overview of your architecture?
The heart of our business are our trading platforms. ActivTrades has his own trading platform called ActivTrader. This platform is very fast and very competitive compared to the existing trading platforms on the market. It is on production environment since the beginning of October 2017. The other platforms are based on MetaTrader 4 and 5.
The blood of our business is our price updates infrastructure including price providers, which delivers price updates from external sources. Also, we have price engine and price prioritization service, which are responsible to deliver proper and reliable price updates to all our trading platforms.
One of the most important component is the front-end API, based on the Lightstreamer server. Its role is to communicate with the client applications from one side and with all trading platforms from another. Also, all the price updates are delivered to the clients applications through the Lightstreamer server.
The last part is the client applications. They are written on different programing languages, just to cover all client’s devices and operating systems, but the common part of all of them is the Lightstreamer client. Its role is to take care about the communication, authentication and all message processing between the server and the client apps. It is obvious that some of most important components and layers are based on the Lightstreamer technology.
What client technologies do you support?
Using the Lightstreamer client SDK the whole communication, authentication, notification and message processing part will be taken by the Lightstreamer client, so developing your client app you can concentrate on your business requirements and user experience, which is just great. You can be sure that no matter what is the client location or device used, the Lightstreamer server and the Lightstreamer client will take care to keep the connection between your app and the server stable. You guys, really know what the communication layer must work so I think this is one of the best benefits of your product.
What role does Lightstreamer play in your architecture?
When we started developing our own platform a few years ago, we wanted a solution which can be easily applied against different client devices and operating systems like iOS, Android, web, Java or .Net. We tried a few different options but finally we decided to use Lightstreamer.
The Lightstreamer server is our main front-end API delivering fast updates and notifications and easiest way to communicate with our trading platforms without to force the customer to choose specific operating system or application. The customers can choose what kind of application to use: web, Android, iOS mobile or iPad and all of them lay on the same technology which is the Lightstreamer client SDK.
Lightstreamer is based on the last best practices regarding to the security communication, authentication and authorization which is very important for us and for our customers. Lightstreamer technology will guarantee that your customer sessions and messaging are encrypted and secured.
The Lightstreamer adapters concept will give you an easy way to expose as many trading platforms as you want and all of them to be exposed to the end clients.
On some of our development environments we have more than 12 platforms exposed through one Lightstreamer server instance. The Lightstreamer server and clients are significant part of our point to point automation and load testing, which is very important. Currently on production we have 5 platforms exposed through load balanced Lightstreamer instances.
Lightstreamer is very fast. For example, our ActivTrader platform with combination with the Lightstreamer server can process the client trading requests for less than 1 millisecond from the moment of receiving the request in the Lightstreamer server, processing it from ActivTrader platform and sending the notification to the client, which is just great.
ActivTrades recently entered the cryptocurrency space. How did this impact your infrastructure?
These days, you should be very flexible to meet all the customer requirements and the market dynamics. To integrate new external price updates source takes a few days.
From the technical point of view the cryptocurrency space is just another bunch of trading instruments with their own specific configuration settings. I remember that we have exposed the first of them in two or three weeks since the moment when the management decided to start this process. Technically we did it for a few days. Nothing changed in our infrastructure at all.
How do you evaluate your overall experience with the Lightstreamer technology and its support team?
One of the best products I've ever met. If you need a secure and reliable realtime messaging solution for your business and you want your client apps to have easiest way to integrate with your back-end, Lightstreamer is the number one for me.
The support team is on the top level. To be honest, since we started using the Lightstreamer product (more than two years ago) we've had less than 20 technical questions to the team so we did not face too many issues or problems during the Lightstreamer integration and developing. But still if you need to contact them they will answer your questions fast and very accurately. Very good professionals and their technically depth is on the top level.
Thanks for the great product, guys!
Senior Developer at ActivTrades
* Leveraged products carry a high degree of risk to your capital.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the view of ActivTrades Plc. This commentary is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The decision to act on any ideas and suggestions presented is at the sole discretion of the reader. ActivTrades PLC is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA registration number 434413. ActivTrades PLC, 1 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1YN, United Kingdom.