Clojure-friendly wrapper for InteractiveBrokers java API
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A clojure friendly wrapper around the Interactive Brokers java API.

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In project.clj:

(project my.project "0.0.0"
   :dependencies [[ib-re-actor "0.1.0"]]

You can use ib-re-actor either with IB Trader Workstation or with IB Gateway. Personally, I have the gateway running on a linux server that I use VNC to connect to when I need to start/restart the gateway component. I then run programs on that machine that connect to it locally. It would be nice if there were a way to run the gateway without X and without having to authenticate, but alas, that's not how it works.

Since ib-re-actor is basically a wrapper around Interactive Brokers' java API, the documentation for that library is often useful to have around. It describes all the codes, order types, and the types of errors you might get when using it.



ib-react-or maintains a connection to the interactive brokers gateway that you can share amongst many handler functions. To establish a connection:

user> (connect)
#<Agent@3a33517f: nil>

In order to get called back when a message is received from the gateway, use the subscribe function:

user> (subscribe prn)
#<Agent@76115ae0: (#<core$prn clojure.core$prn@d1af848>)>

To see the callback in action, you can call something like request-current-time. This sends a message to the gateway, then to Interactive Broker servers, and eventually returns the current time to our callback function via a :current-time message:

user=> (request-current-time)
#<Agent@275997e4: #<EClientSocket com.ib.client.EClientSocket@5fd78173>>
user=> {:type :current-time, :value #<DateTime 2012-12-20T12:37:41.000Z>}

Note that the messages is rudely placed after your prompt (or if you are using nrepl or swank in emacs, you won't see any response.) This is because the message is dispatched on an agent thread. (If you are using emacs, it's actually less rude, because your message will be visible in the *nrepl-server* buffer, or whatever the equivalent is in swank.)

To disconnect, simply call disconnect:

user=> (disconnect)
#<Agent@275997e4: #<EClientSocket com.ib.client.EClientSocket@5fd78173>>

Any commands you issue after that will get back a "Not connected" error message:

user=> (disconnect)
#<Agent@275997e4: #<EClientSocket com.ib.client.EClientSocket@5fd78173>>
user=> (request-current-time)
#<Agent@275997e4: #<EClientSocket com.ib.client.EClientSocket@5fd78173>>
{:type :error, :request-id -1, :code 504, :message "Not connected"}

Note that there can be only one connection to the Interactive Brokers gateway or TWS for a given client ID, so if you are writing an application that makes multiple connections (from different processes), you will want to come up with a way to keep the client IDs unique.


Errors generally come back from the gateway in a message. They can be request specific, in which case they will have a non-negative :request-id, connection wide, in which case the :request-id will be -1, and sometimes they may include an exception.

Requesting Contract Information

All tradeable instruments are referred to as "contracts" in the API documentation. Contracts are divided into a few types:

  • :equity : stock, common stock, preferred stock
  • :option : option contracts on stocks or other instruments
  • :future : futures contracts on commodities
  • :index : informational symbols, such as the value of the S&P 500. These are generally not tradeable, but you can use the same API functions to get information about them as you would for tradeable instruments.
  • :future-option : options on futures contracts
  • :cash, :bag: ???

When requesting information about the contract, you need to specify a symbol to lookup. Your options are the :symbol key for the general symbol, or :local-symbol for an exchange specific symbol. Generally, you also want to specify an :exchange, and maybe a :currency as well, unless you are not sure and want more results to look for.

user> (request-contract-details {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity})
;;; many, many results
;;; example: APPL trading in Mexico:

{:type :contract-details, :value {:next-option-partial false,
  :time-zone-id "CTT",
  :long-name "APPLE INC",
  :subcategory "Computers",
  :liquid-hours "20121220:0830-1500;20121221:0830-1500",
  :order-types [:ACTIVETIM :ADJUST :ALERT :ALLOC ...]
  :valid-exchanges ["MEXI"],
  :summary {:symbol "AAPL", :currency "MXN", :contract-id 38708077,
            :primary-exchange "MEXI",
            :local-symbol "AAPL",
            :type :equity,
            :exchange "MEXI"},
            :market-name "AAPL",
            :category "Computers" ...},
 :request-id 6}
{:type :contract-details-end, :request-id 6}

;;; more specifically, if we were interested in trading AAPL on

user> (request-contract-details {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity :exchange "ISLAND"})   

;;; only gets the one match

You can see all the valid exchanges for a security in the results from a broad search and then be more specific when you actually want to trade it.

As you can see, the response contains a :local-symbol which is the same as the symbol we requested. Even when the local-symbol and symbol don't match, you can use :symbol and just specify the exchange:

user> (request-contract-details {:symbol "BP" :type :equity})

;;; lot's of matches
;;; say we only wanted this one:
{:type :contract-details, :request-id 11, :value { ... 
   :long-name "BANCO POPOLARE SCARL", ...
   :valid-exchanges ["SMART" "BVME" "FWB" "MIBSX" "SWB"], ...
   :summary {..., :type :equity, :currency "EUR", 
             :primary-exchange "BVME", 
             :local-symbol "B8Z", 
             :exchange "SWB", 
             :symbol "BP", ...}, ...}}
;;; be more specific
user> (request-contract-details {:symbol "BP" :exchange "SWB" :type :equity})

;;; only gets the one match
{... :value {... :long-name "BANCO POPLARE SCARL" ...} ...}

;;; or:
user> (request-contract-details {:local-symbol "B8Z" :type :equity})

;;; actually gets 2 matches, because Banco Poplare's local symbol is
;;; the same on both the SWB (Stuttgart) and FWB (Frankfurt)
;;; exchanges.

For futures, I usually find it works best to use a local symbol with a built in expiration:

user> (request-contract-details {:local-symbol "ESH3" :type :future})

{... :value {... :long-name "E-mini S&P 500", :contract-month "201303",
             :summary {:multiplier 50.0, :expiry #<DateTime 2013-03-15T00:00:00.000Z>, 
             :type :future, :currency "USD", :local-symbol "ESH3", 
             :exchange "GLOBEX", :symbol "ES", ..., :contract-id 98770297}, 
             :market-name "ES", ...}}

user> (request-contract-details {:local-symbol "ZN   DEC 12" :type :future})

{..., :value {... :long-name "10 Year US Treasury Note", :contract-month "201212", 
              :summary {:multiplier 1000.0, :expiry #<DateTime 2012-12-19T00:00:00.000Z>, 
              :type :future, :currency "USD", :local-symbol "ZN   DEC 12", 
              :exchange "ECBOT", :symbol "ZN", :contract-id 94977350}, 
              :market-name "ZN"}}
;;; alternatively, specify the :symbol and an expiry:
user> (request-contract-details {:symbol "NQ" :expiry (date-time 2012 12) :type :future})

;;; same result

You can also use :contract-id, which is a unique identifier assigned by Interactive Brokers to identify securities:

user> (request-contract-details {:contract-id 98770297})

{... :value {... :long-name "E-mini S&P 500", :contract-month "201303",
             :summary {:multiplier 50.0, :expiry #<DateTime 2013-03-15T00:00:00.000Z>, 
             :type :future, :currency "USD", :local-symbol "ESH3", 
             :exchange "GLOBEX", :symbol "ES", ..., :contract-id 98770297}, 
             :market-name "ES", ...}}

Requesting Historical Data

To get historical bars, use the request-historical-data function:

;;; '1' is the request-id that will be part of all messages in
;;; response to this request
user> (request-historical-data 1 {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity :exchange "ISLAND"}
 (date-time 2012 12 18 20) 1 :day 1 :hour)
{:WAP 524.187, :close 521.69, :has-gaps? false, :trade-count 4538, :low 521.27, :type :price-bar, :time #<DateTime 2012-12-18T14:30:00.000Z>, :open 524.88, :high 526.35, :volume 8260, :request-id 1}
{:WAP 529.905, :close 530.79, :has-gaps? false, :trade-count 2563, :low 527.79, :type :price-bar, :time #<DateTime 2012-12-18T19:00:00.000Z>, :open 530.27, :high 531.64, :volume 3293, :request-id 1}
{:type :price-bar-complete, :request-id 1}

Note, all date-times are in UTC unless otherwise noted.

Interactive Brokers throttles historical data requests. The restrictions at the time this was written were:

  • bar size <= 30 seconds: 6 months
  • each request must be for less than 2000 bars
  • no identical requests within 15 seconds
  • no making more than 6 requests for the same contract+exchange+tick-type within 2 seconds
  • no more than 60 historical data requests in a 10 minute period

In order to remain within these limits we must throttle requests for large amounts of data. One way to do this is to break up the requests such that you are requesting less than 2000 bars every 10 seconds. This satisfies the second requirement above and insures that you will have a maximum of 60 requests in a 10 minute period, satisfying the last requirement.

For example, let's say we want 1 second bars for an entire day for DOW minis. 2000 seconds is about 33 minutes. YMZ2 trades almost all day, but let's say we want to start when it get's liquid all the way until the next time it stops trading:

user> (def ymz2 {:type :future :local-symbol "YM   DEC 12"
                 :exchange "ECBOT"}
user> (-> (get-contract-details ymz2) first :value
          (select-keys [:liquid-hours :trading-hours])
{:trading-hours "20121021:CLOSED;20121023:1700-1515",
 :liquid-hours "20121021:CLOSED;20121023:0830-1515"}

So let's request 1 second bars from 8:30 to 15:15 EST (13:30 to 20:15 UTC). That's 9 hours and 15 minutes, or a total of 19 requests.

This example breaks the requested period up into retrievable chunks.

user> (def prices (atom []))

;; we can subscribe this function with request-id curried in
user> (defn store-price [request-id msg]
        (when (and (= request-id (:request-id msg))
                   (= :price-bar (:type msg)))
          (swap! prices conj msg)))
user> (def end-times (->> (iterate #(plus % (secs 2000)) (date-time 2012 12 18 11 30))
                     (take 19)))
user> (prn (first end-times) (last end-times))
#<DateTime 2012-12-18T11:30:00.000Z> #<DateTime 2012-12-18T21:30:00.000Z>

In order to avoid pacing violations, we will make each request, then sleep for 10 seconds:

;;; Get a unique request id
user> (def my-request-id (get-request-id))
user> (subscribe (partial store-price my-request-id))
#<Agent@76115ae0: ()>
user> (doseq [t end-times]
        (request-historical-data my-request-id ymz2 t 2000 :seconds 1 :seconds)
        (Thread/sleep 10000))

Requesting Real Time Data

FIXME: write this

Market Scanners

FIXME: write this


To see all the active orders on a connection, use the request-account-updates function. If subscribe? is true, a message will be sent each time any attribute of the account changes. An :account-download-end message will be sent when all the changes are made.

Account Management

FIXME: write this

Synchronous Wrappers

There are several wrapper functions in the ib-re-actor.synchronous namespace that make the process of interacting with the gateway synchronous and more interactive. This is useful when doing exploratory coding in the REPL, where you don't want the hassle of creating functions and managing their subscriptions for simple requests.

;;; wrap request-historical-data
user> (get-historical-data {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity :exchange "ISLAND"} 
                           (date-time 2012 12 20 20) 1 :day 1 :hour :trades true)
({:has-gaps? false, :volume 3507, :trade-count 2687, :close 524.77,
:low 521.14, :high 525.41, :open 522.58, :time #<DateTime
2012-12-20T19:00:00.000Z>} {:has-gaps? false, :volume 4545

;;; wrap request-current-time
user> (get-time)
({:type :current-time, :value #<DateTime 2012-12-21T01:42:58.000Z>})

;;; wrap request-contract-details
user> (get-contract-details {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity :exchange "ISLAND"})
({:type :contract-details, :request-id 38, :value {:next-option-partial false, 
:time-zone-id "EST", :underlying-contract-id 0, :price-magnifier 1, 
:industry "Technology", :trading-hours "20121220:0700-2000;20121221:0700-2000", 
:long-name "APPLE INC", :convertible? false, ...

;;; wrap getting the current price for a security (request-market-data)
user> (get-current-price {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity :exchange "ISLAND"})
{:open-tick 530.15, :bid-price -1.0, :close-price 526.31, :last-size 3, :low 518.88, :ask-size 0, :bid-size 0, :last-timestamp #<DateTime 2012-12-21T00:59:54.000Z>, :last-price 520.17, :ask-price -1.0, :high 530.2, :volume 170569}

;;; wrap executing an order and blocking until it's filled
user> (execute-order {:symbol "AAPL" :type :equity :exchange "ISLAND"}
                     {:transmit? true :action :buy :type :market :quantity 100
                      :outside-regular-traiding-hours? true})

; FIXME: make an example while the market is open

;;; wrap getting all open orders (request-open-orders)
user> (get-open-orders)
({:order-state {:maximum-commission 1.7976931348623157E308, :minimum-commission 1.7976931348623157E308, :commission 1.7976931348623157E308, :equity-with-loan "1.7976931348623157E308", :maintenance-margin "1.7976931348623157E308", :initial-margin "1.7976931348623157E308", :status :pre-submitted}, :order {:time-in-force :day, :order-id 3, :client-id 101, :discretionary-amount 0.0, :action :buy, :quantity 100, :sweep-to-fill? false, :limit-price 0.0, :outside-regular-trading-hours? false, :transmit? true, :stop-price 0.0, :hidden? false, :type :market, :all-or-none? false, :block-order? false, :permanent-id 1644329200}, :contract {:put-call-right :unknown, :include-expired? false, :type :equity, :currency "USD", :local-symbol "AAPL", :exchange "ISLAND", :symbol "AAPL", :contract-id 265598}, :order-id 3})

Other Things


Copyright (C) 2011 Chris Bilson

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as Clojure.