Celer Technologies Has a Winning Trading Strategy

 

August 2012

Celer Technologies is a global financial software company with extensive knowledge in the financial technology sector. Inspired by clients locked in rigid third party trading systems, Celer’s management was determined to create a flexible and reliable software framework optimized for speed and adaptability. The resulting product was an end-to-end Java-based financial trading framework featuring a rich client interface developed in JavaFX, within six months of choosing the RIA technology to be used in this project. Given the opportunity to build a new client application from the ground up, Celer chose JavaFX after evaluating other RIA technologies. Both Swing and Adobe Flex were discarded, since Celer did not want to invest in technologies with limited growth prospects. Google Web Toolkit (GWT) was another contender Celer looked at closely. However, given the fact trading systems need to process tens of thousands of orders on a daily basis, GWT and other browser-based solutions were discarded as they don’t offer the same level of performance as desktop applications. Celer decided to start evaluating JavaFX in December 2011, and an initial prototype reached completion in March 2012. The final product, based on JavaFX 2.1, became available in May, just 5 months after the initial decision to evaluate a Java solution; it has already been updated to take advantage of new features and bug fixes introduced in JavaFX 2.2.

 
 Figure 1 The Celer trading platform


Critical elements that have helped Celer meet such an aggressive schedule, in addition to the quality of the JavaFX APIs, are a very active developer community combined with an ever-present JavaFX development team. Questions posted on the JavaFX OTN Forum have often been answered in a matter of hours, and weekly Developer Preview builds have played a key role by helping Celer to quickly validate bug fixes. “Our experience with JavaFX has been quite positive”, said Scott Sue, co-Founder and CTO, Celer Technologies. “The turnaround time from the JavaFX team is amazing, whether responding to questions on the forum or by providing fixes in a weekly developer release.” They will focus at first on the design of simple and mostly static UI components, such as deal tickets and pop-up windows, which should reduce the overall development effort. As Scene Builder evolves and Celer’s experience with JavaFX and FXML grows, they will look at the possibility of using Scene Builder to simplify the design of complex and constantly changing windows, such as the Price Viewer or Order Blotter windows.

Deal ticket         







Celer custom control
Figure 2 - Deal ticket   Figure 3 - Custom control


Celer has not felt limited by a set of UI controls that is still evolving. Whether it is specialized trading controls, or other complex UI controls that are not yet available, the developers at Celer have tapped into their experience with Swing and the compatibility between JavaFX and Swing. A good example is the docking framework typically used in trading applications. Rather than developing a docking framework from the ground up, Celer developers leveraged an open source docking framework written in Swing, and integrated JavaFX content using the JFXPanel component. The result is a fully functional docking framework combining the reliability of Swing, and the polished aspect of a JavaFX-based UI. In other cases, JavaFX’s flexible UI control APIs have allowed Celer to build compelling custom controls that fit the needs of their unique use cases. Celer’s experience is a perfect example of one of JavaFX 2’s target segments: experienced Java developers looking at future-driven technologies, willing to deal with some exceptions as the JavaFX platform keeps evolving, and producing a tangible deliverable after just 6 months. This is also a company that has put a vote of confidence in JavaFX. The demands a trading software market put on the underlying software platform are among the highest in the industry, since any downtime can translate in sizeable losses. Here in the JavaFX product team, we are looking forward to working closely with Celer Technologies to help them keep evolving their application successfully.