Openness and Innovation in Self-serve Stock Brokering

The banking and finance industries, as you may know, are not on the top of the list for openness.  "TradeKing has aimed to be the most innovative and transparent broker from the beginning," CIO Dan Raju said when I spoke with him recently about the TradeKing API and the strategic reasons for providing it to the marketplace. TradeKing deserves credit for taking this bold stance. I ran quick check against other popular online brokers.  None of the following offer an API as far as I could tell:  Fidelity, Scottrade, Schwab, ShareBuilder, ML Direct.  The only other broker APIs: TD Ameritrade API and E*TRADE API. So there you have it, my brethren of the API consulting business.  A list of brokers that will need to develop an API strategy in order to remain competitive.  Let the strategy sessions begin. TradeKing really is working hard to make its API attractive to developers because it sees investors of the near future "trading their own way" on whichever device or interface that might be.  The TradeKing strategy is to "rely on innovation to create market space," Raju said. He jokingly claimed that TradeKing "eats its own dog food" when explaining that it has developed an active trading Platform in HTML5 on top of its own API.  So not only is this broker creating a well documented API, it is using it internally to build live production-ready trading interfaces. The TradeKing API takes requests in XML format through HTTP POST.  Responses are returned in either XML or JSON format.  The Documentation comes complete with example implementations in Ruby, Python, Java, VB.NET and for extra credit, Node.js ( JavaScript).  Security is key for a financial API.  TradeKing is using OAuth to secure API access.

Be sure to read the next API article: Semantinet Graphs Almost All Human Knowledge, Provides API