FAST protocol

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The FAST protocol (FIX Adapted for STreaming) is a technology standard developed by FIX Protocol Ltd., specifically aimed at optimizing data representation on the network. It is used to support high-throughput, low latency data communications between financial institutions.

In particular, it is a technology standard that offers significant compression capabilities for the transport of high-volume market data feeds and ultra low latency applications.[1][2]



  • 2004 Market Data optimization Working Group (“mdowg”) was formed
  • 2005 Proof of Concept (“POC”) project
  • 2006 FAST 1.0 released
  • 2007 FAST 1.1 released
  • 2009 FAST 1.2 proposed

In November 2004, Mike Cormack (then CEO Archipelago Holding) spoke at the FPL (FIX Protocol Ltd) conference in New York regarding a call for action to meet the challenges of the increased market data volumes. The increasing volumes of market data were causing delays, preventing market data from reaching traders in a timely fashion, thus disrupting their ability to trade. The classic FIX tag value format was considered to be too verbose and had a high processing overhead. A working group was formed within FPL shortly after the conference.[3]

Current version of FAST[edit]

The approved standard is currently at version 5.0, and is used in commercially available products. There are Open Source implementations of the Protocol available.

Exchanges that have adopted FAST[edit]

Open source implementations[edit]

Source code for implementations of the FAST Specification are available from the following sources:

Description Language URL License Notes
FPL Reference Implementation C (not C++) W3C Software License. Not a complete implementation. Reference only.
FPL Reference Implementation C# W3C Software License. Not a complete implementation. Reference only.
OpenFAST Java Mozilla Public License Includes SCP 1.1
OpenFAST.NET C# Mozilla Public License Includes SCP 1.1
QuickFAST C++ New BSD License Includes C# (.NET) wrapper
goFAST Golang Apache License 2.0 Not a complete implementation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CME Expands Views of Order Book Data". Advanced Trading. 2009-03-26. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  2. ^ "Exchange Plans for FAST". Inside Market Data. 2006-02-13.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "FIX Protocol releases market data streaming test results". Finextra Research. 2005-09-07.

External links[edit]