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KDB+ FIX Engine

FIX is one of the most common protocols used within the finance industry. This repository provides a shared library implementation of a FIX engine. The accompanying document also describes how to use this library to communicate with the FIXimulator tool for testing purposes. The implementation is currently in an alpha state and has not been used in a production system to date. Bugs and features requests should be made through GitHub.

The PDF documentation for this resource can be found here and also on the AquaQ Analytics website.

Installation & Setup

Extra Resources

This project uses CMake 3.2+ to support building across multiple platforms and has been tested on Linux. The CMake toolchain will generate the build artefacts required for your platform automatically.


A recent version of kdb+ (i.e version 3.x) should be used when working with the FIX engine. The free 32-bit version of the software can be downloaded from the Kx Systems website.

Building on Linux

Install Quickfix

$ sudo apt-get install g++ automake libtool libxml2 libxml2-dev
$ git clone
$ cd quickfix
$ ./bootstrap
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

Install FIX Library

This project provides a simple shell script that will handle the build process for you. It will compile all the artifacts in a /tmp folder and then copy the resulting package into your source directory. You can look at this script for an example of how to run the CMake build process manually. Whilst inside the quickfix repo, run the following.

$ git clone
$ cd kdb-fix-adaptor
$ ./

A successful build will place a .tar.gz file in the fix-build directory that contains the shared object, a q script to load the shared object into the .fix namespace and some example configuration files. Unzip this file.

**Note on dynamic exceptions:

In kdb-fix-adapter/src/main.cxx, the dynamic exceptions on lines 54, 55, 57, 127, 132 and 137 have been left in despite being depreciated in the current C++ 11 standard. This is because the parent functions in quickfix, which define the functions, contain exceptions. Therefore, instead of altering a 3rd party library, the depreciation errors that are produced have been suppressed by lines 34, 35 and 142 in order to allow the script to run. The dynamic exceptions and suppressing lines may be removed once quickfix is updated.

Building for 32 bit

In order to build a 32 bit binary on a 64 bit machine you will need to install the following packages for Debian/Ubuntu systems (there will be equivalent steps to get a multilib environment set up with other distributions):

$ sudo apt-get install gcc-multilib g++-multilib

Install Quick Fix (32-bit Build)

Append -m32 to both the compiler and linker flags in quickfix/UnitTest++/Makefile since this is not handled by the ./configure step. The updated flags should resemble the versions below:

CXXFLAGS ?= -g -m32 -Wall -W -Winline -Wno-unused-private-field -Wno-overloaded-virtual -ansi
LDFLAGS ?= -m32

Then at the configure step for the quickfix library, you can pass in some flags to build and install the 32 bit versions of the library. If you are building in the same directory as you built the 64 bit version, then ensure you 'make clean' first:

make clean
./configure --build=i686-pc-linux-gnu "CFLAGS=-m32" "CXXFLAGS=-m32" "LDFLAGS=-m32"
sudo make install

Install FIX Adapter (32-bit Build)

Change the BUILD_x86 option in the CMakeLists.txt from "OFF" to "ON" and then rebuild the package to get a 32 bit binary.

Starting Servers (Acceptors) and Clients (Initiators)

The .fix.create function is common to both starting Acceptors and Initiators.

The Acceptor is the server side component of a FIX engine that provides some sort of service by binding to a port and accepting messages. To start an acceptor you need to call the .fix.create function with acceptor as the first argument. The second argument may be either an empty list or a specified configuration, e.g :sessions/sample.ini. The .fix.create function called as an acceptor will start a background thread that will receive and validate messages and finally forward them to the .fix.onrecv function if the message is well formed.

/ q fix.q
q) .fix.create[`acceptor;()]
Defaulting to sample.ini config
Creating Acceptor

The Initiator is the client side component of the FIX engine and is intended to be used to connect to acceptors to send messages. To start an initiator you need to call the .fix.create function. This will create a background thread that will open a socket to the target acceptor and allow you to send/receive messages.

/ q fix.q
q) .fix.create[`initiator;`:sessions/sample.ini]
Creating Initiator

Sending a FIX Message

In order to send a FIX message from an initiator to an acceptor, you can use the .fix.send function. The send is executed synchronously and will either raise a signal upon error, otherwise you can assume that the message has been received successfully by the counterparty.

In order to determine who the message will be sent to, the library will read the contents the message dictionary and look for a session on the same process that matches. The BeginString, SenderCompID and TargetCompID fields must be present in every message for this reason.

/ Session 1 - Create an Acceptor
/ q fix.q
q) .fix.create[`acceptor;()]
Defaulting to sample.ini config
Creating Acceptor

/ Session 2 - Create an Initiator
/ q fix.q
q) .fix.create[`initiator;()]
Defaulting to sample.ini config
Creating Initiator

/ We can create a dictionary
/ containing tags and message values
q) message: (8 11 35 46 ...)!("FIX.4.4";175;enlist "D";enlist "8" ...)
/ Then send it as a message
q) .fix.send[message]


This product includes software developed by ( This software is based on (pugixml library). pugixml is Copyright (C) 2006-2015 Arseny Kapoulkine.


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