Bloomberg equity trading platform
The Bloomberg Terminal is a computer software system provided by the financial data vendor Bloomberg L. It is well-known among the financial community for its black interface, which is not optimized for user experience but has become a recognizable trait of the service. Most large financial firms have subscriptions to the Bloomberg Professional service. Many exchanges charge their own additional fees for access to real time price feeds across the terminal.
The same applies to various news organizations. All Bloomberg Terminals are leased in two-year cycles in the late s and early s, three-year contracts were an optionwith leases originally based on how many displays were connected to each terminal this predated the move to Windows-based application. Most Bloomberg setups have between two and six displays. Sales from the Bloomberg terminal account for more than 85 percent of Bloomberg L. The terminal implements a client-server architecture with the server running on a multiprocessor Unix platform.
The client, used by end users to interact with the system, is a Windows application that typically connects directly through a router provided by Bloomberg and installed on-site. The server side of the terminal was originally developed using mostly the programming languages Fortran and C. Each server machine runs multiple instances of the server process. Using a proprietary form of context-switching, the servers keep track of the state of each end user, allowing consecutive interactions from a single user to be handled by different server processes.
The graphical user interface GUI code is also proprietary. Michael Bloomberg 's autobiography contains a chapter entitled Computers for Virginswhich explains the differences in the design of the terminal and its keyboard from the standard IBM PC keyboard layout that was popular at that time. The terminal's keyboard layout was designed for traders and market makers who had no prior computer experience.
While the look and feel of the Bloomberg keyboard is very similar to the standard computer keyboard, there are several enhancements that help users navigate through the system, from the idea for a user-friendly system when originally designed in the early s. The function keys names were replaced from the technical name, e. Similarly, the History key will populate the command-line with previously used functions in reverse chronological order, as the Up arrow key function does in certain command prompts.
The yellow hotkeys along the top of the keyboard are used to enter market sectors, and are generally used as suffixes to allow the terminal to correctly identify a security. A detailed option list related to Vodafone UK stock will pop up, the person can then choose different options by pressing related keys or using the mouse to select the option.
The current Starboard Keyboard 4 version is 1. Self-contained operating system running on custom hardware—commonly referred to as a Bloomberg Box  —the Bloomberg Terminal now functions as an application within the Windows environment. From a user's perspective, there are essentially 3 distinct levels to the system:.
Core Terminal refers to the original Bloomberg system; typically consisting of four windows, or Panelseach Panel contains a separate instance of the terminal command line. As the user enters tickers and functions, they can call up and display the real-time data of the market, with each different screen simultaneously running a program to analyze other tickers, functions, values and markets in real time.
This use of multiple screens with user-demanded, specific pieces of differing data—across all relevant markets—allows the user to view diverse and countless volumes of information in real-time.
Accessing market data, as it develops, allows the user to make trades and investments in all markets across the world, without having any lag in information. Users can run all four windows on a single monitor or spread them out amongst many monitors, maximizing the information shown on each, to effectually create up to four terminals.
Launchpad is a customizable display consisting of a number of smaller windows, called componentseach dedicated to permanently displaying one set of data. A typical user would be a stockbroker who wishes to keep a list of 30 stocks visible at all times: Launchpad allows the user to create a small component which will show these prices constantly, saving the user from having to check each stock independently in the 4 terminal windows.
Other functions, such as email inboxes, calculation tools and news tickers can be similarly displayed. A user might wish to use Bloomberg data from the Terminal to create their own calculations; by accessing streaming, historical, and reference market data from another program, they can build these formulae.
The Bloomberg Terminal installation ships with Excel add-ins which facilitate building spreadsheets which consume market data. Other major competitors include LevelTradingField.
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