Interactive Brokers API offers new shortable shares tick

Maria Nikolova

A new ShortableShares tick returns the exact number of shares available to short.

Electronic trading major Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IBKR) continues to update the IB API Software – its proprietary Application Program Interface (API) that can be used by users to build their own automated rules-based trading application in their favorite programming language or protocol. The broker has just posted some new release notes concerning the latest beta version of the IB API.

A new ShortableShares tick returns the exact number of shares available to short. When traders use generic tick type 236 in reqMktData to request data, the exact number of shares available to short is now returned, in addition to the previous ‘Shortable’ tick type which indicates whether there are more than or fewer than 1000 (and that is returned by itself in response to generic tick type 236 in TWS versions lower than beta 974.1).

There are a raft of other enhancements in this version of the IB API – ranging from Smart Depth to generic filters in the API scanner.

Regarding Smart Depth, let’s note that the API now provides aggregated depth of market (DOM) quotes from the level 1 and level 2 feeds to which a user has subscribed, instead of requiring the API client to make reqMktDepth requests to each exchange individually. This is requested by setting the new parameter isSmartDepth in reqMktDepth to True.

On top of that, the functions reqPositionsMulti and reqAccountUpdatesMulti will no longer accept an “account” parameter set as the empty string with Financial Advisor accounts, in order to prevent possible confusion. To request data from ‘all’ sub-accounts, the account parameter must be defined as “All”.

API messages sent at a higher rate than 50/second can now be paced by TWS at the 50/second rate instead of potentially causing a disconnection. This is now done automatically by the RTD Server API and can be done with other API technologies by invoking SetConnectOptions(“+PACEAPI”) prior to eConnect.

Furthermore, Generic filters (which are not fields in the ScannerSubscription class) are now available to use with the API scanner. The new filters can be found from the API reqScannerParameters function and are added through an additional parameter in reqScannerSubscription. This function requires TWS version 973 or higher.

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