Interactive Brokers enables traders to get Futures Open Interest data via API

Maria Nikolova

Interactive Brokers allows traders to receive more data via its API, effective with TWS version 965.1b or above.

Electronic trading firm Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IBKR) has just enhanced the TWS API, so that users can obtain additional information.

Effective with TWS version 965.1b and above, traders can receive Open Interest data for Futures via the API. This can be done by sending reqMktData() and including “588” in the genericTickList parameter. Through the tickSize() callback, the futures open interest will be returned in tick type 86.

In order to receive live quotes, one must first make a request call via IBApi.EClient.reqMktData within the API program. Every request needs a unique identifier for the returned data. The most common tick types are delivered automatically following a successful market data request. But there are other tick types, called generic tick types, available by explicit request. When invoking IBApi.EClient.reqMktData, specific generic ticks can be requested via the genericTickList parameter.

The TWS API aims to be simple and powerful interface through which the clients of Interactive Brokers can automate their trading strategies, request market data and monitor their account balance and portfolio in real time. The TWS API targets experienced professional developers who would like to enhance the current TWS platform functionality.

In April this year, FinanceFeeds reported that Interactive Brokers had made a new API available for Python programmers. The launch of native Python API by the company was important, as it helped users avoid the risks associated with using third-party solutions for the purpose. When comparing various programming languages for the TWS API, Interactive Brokers nevertheless highlights Java as the most popular one.

The TWS platform has been undergoing regular updates, with one of the foci being IBot, the natural language interface to trading developed by Interactive Brokers. The use of “natural language” implies that traders may avoid the disadvantages associated with a standard interface, as they are able to speak (or type) commands without having to worry about the precise wording. Typical commands supported by IBot are “Buy 300 more shares” or “Show my account margin”.

The latest version of the TWS platform for desktop provides IBot with additional capabilities: one of them is the integration of Interactive Brokers’ website search with IBot to allow educational and task-based returns. Thanks to this integration, IBot can answer such queries as “How do I fund my account?” and “How do I transfer funds?” by returning the top five best information links from Interactive Brokers’ website.

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