Excel

How Bloomberg Uses REST APIs

How Bloomberg Uses REST APIs

Bloomberg Industry Leaderboard Uses REST API for Financial Data Visualization; Imagine What You Could be Doing with Your Data Assets

If you have visited Bloomberg’s website lately you may have noticed a new tool called Bloomberg Industry Leaderboard, which is a part of their Visual Data site. The Leaderboard presents fundamental data about 600 leading global corporations in a visually attractive manner. Visualization techniques such as tree map, colored grid and rankings are all dynamically configurable, and results are sorted on the fly.

bloomberg-leaderboard

 

While the concept of presenting fundamental metrics in similar ways is not new, and there are many websites with similar data and visualization, the technical details behind the site are worth examining a bit closer.

Traditionally, data-driven  web pages respond to users input (clicks) by requesting from the web server a fully prepared page, coded in HTML for the browser to render. This typically results with reloading of the entire page upon each interaction or (more recently) with replacing fragments of existing HTML with new ones. In contrast, Bloomberg’s site uses REST/HTTP API to get raw data, which the browser then combines with a shell HTML page using Javascript and Cascading Style Sheets.

For us what is even more interesting is that Bloomberg seems to follow a very similar approach to that of SlashDB. Here’s an example of companies broken down industry and ranked by operating margin and estimated net income growth:

http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/industries/rank/margin:est-net (HTML representation)
http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/industries/db/rank/margin:est-net.json (underlying data)

By comparison, SlashDB links (to an unrelated data set) look as follows:

http://demo.slashdb.com/db/Chinook/Customer/Country/Brazil.html (HTML representation)
http://demo.slashdb.com/db/Chinook/Customer/Country/Brazil.json (underlying data)

Imagine what you could do by layering SlashDB on top of your data. Use it internally for data federation, database search and self-service reporting, or deliver data to the web and mobile apps, or even offer your data assets for sale. Either way, the time to market is about an order of magnitude shorter than custom developed solutions, as our customers have attested. SlashDB is also more versatile as it allows for reading and writing of data and provides alternative data formats. It just as easily integrates with Excel, R, Matlab and enterprise systems as it does with the web.

As you may know, the idea for SlashDB was conceived out of the issues with access to market data in large investment banks. Had Bloomberg used SlashDB, they could have saved a ton of time and money.

Try /db Risk Free

If you would like to learn more about SlashDB or to discuss REST APIs in finance or in general, please contact us. You can also register here to try our product risk free.

SlashDB Among Tech Partners to the Fintech Hackathon

Come hack with us April 6-7, 2013 at the Fintech Hackathon in NYC. Win $10,000 + exposure to thought leaders in the industry.

Fintechhack_small_logo

SlashDB is pleased to be a technology partner to the event among esteemed financial and web technology businesses such as: 10gen, Bloomberg, Caplin, CardFlight, Disqus, Dwolla, Estimize, Kaazing, Oanda, OpenFin, OpenGamma, StockTwits, Tradable, Xignite and Zipmark. Special thanks to Nick Gavronsky from OpenFin for inviting us to participate.

Although SlashDB has grown to become an industry agnostic database-to-web “middleware” the idea for it was actually conceived out of problems with data management observed in large financial institutions.

As you may know, SlashDB can create a mesh of all your database resources accessible in the same way, by referencing URLs. We call that a Resource Oriented Architecture (ROA). With the ROA approach there is far less of a need to use ETL processes and data warehouses. Instead of copying data, use a reference to data.

Data transparency and a capability for instant error correction naturally stem from this approach. Also, the fact you can use the same link to power an in-house trade processing service or a risk dashboard on a mobile device or even desk quant’s Excel workbook is for some just too good to be true. Except it is true and will become a norm.

SlashDB instance running on Amazon Elastic Cloud will be made available to the hackathon participants and will support any Amazon RDS databases (SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle) as well as SQLite files. If you have any questions for us ahead of the event, please send them to finhack @ slashdb.com.

We hope to see you there! Don’t delay, register now.

SlashDB ver. 0.7 Released, Improved UX and Admin Functions

SlashDB version 0.7 has just come out. This time, improvements focus on three things: user experience,  robust system administrator functionality and enhanced authorization mechanisms. Try the new SlashDB and you will appreciate the benefits of data accessibility from anywhere.

Here’s what’s new in 0.7:

For data scientists, business analysts

SlashDB has this dual personality. It is the API developer’s best tool to incorporate databases into his/her web or mobile apps but the equally important aspect of the system addresses the needs of data scientists, business analysts and rapid application developers.  Using SlashDB they get straightforward access to relevant data in its unobstructed form. Thanks to our latest GUI enhancements the web interface is now even more user friendly. New, responsive design allows for comfortable browsing through data on mobile devices while automatically generated, drill-down, filtering and sorting links help casual user discover the data and system’s functionality on the fly. As before you can use your favorite data analysis tools such as Excel, Matlab, SAS, R etc. to work with live data referenced by /db URLs.

For system administrators

Previously most settings would require editing configuration files on the server. We still have that option but since version 0.7 nearly all settings can be made in the web GUI or via a REST API. New authorization schemes now allow even greater flexibility in creating user segments with distinct permissions to data and system functions. Special users “admin” and “public” have been added. The former has full permissions to all system functions. The latter can be configured to offer limited access without requiring a login.

For CTO/CIO and software architects

Using SlashDB as a mobile enterprise application backend or to build an API is a sensible choice. Not only can you instantly leverage prior investments in databases but also remain in full control of your solution. That is because unlike SaaS offerings SlashDB can work in your data center or in your private cloud. See also this blog post.

User Experience in ver. 0.7

User Experience in ver. 0.7