UPDATE: FIX Online Specification

The FIX Global Technical Committee is happy to announce an update to the baseline version of the normative FIX Specification, initially published under https://fixtrading.org/online-specification in early December 2019. The update includes a number of enhancements described below. It does not yet include Extension Packs beyond EP97 but is intended to facilitate the understanding of FIX concepts and enhance navigational support inside both the document and the online version.

Component Descriptions

The business areas pre-trade, trade, post-trade, and infrastructure now contain a description of all components in addition to the description of messages that was initially present. The components in each area are either specific to a single category or used in more than one category of the given business area. The latter are called common components and described in their own section ahead of the individual categories.

The descriptions will eventually also be made available in FIXimate (https://fiximate.fixtrading.org/) when its production is migrated from the FIX Repository to FIX Orchestra (see https://www.technical-fixprotocol.org/standards/fix-orchestra/). Note that some of the descriptions are already available in FIXimate.

Message Diagrams

The structure of FIX messages is now available as a diagram to visualize its components. Note that FIX 5.0 SP2 as of EP97 already provides more than 100 different message types!

FIX groups related fields into components to show a semantic relationship between them, e.g. to represent a business concept. The group can either be a single instance, e.g. DisplayInstruction (for reserve orders, aka iceberg orders) or a repeating group with one or more instances, e.g. Parties (for actors and/or accounts).

Required components are shown with a red outline and repeating groups contain an arrow symbol. Some messages do not have any components.

Links to Descriptions of Categories, Components and Messages

The introduction to the business areas pre-trade, trade, post-trade, and infrastructure contains a list of all components and a list of messages in this area. The lists show the related category of a component or message. The category names as well as the names of components and messages are now clickable links to the corresponding sections in the specification.

Links to Component and Message Layouts

The description of components and messages now include a direct link to the corresponding layout in the appendix. In the online version this will open a new tab in your browser and automatically jump to the appropriate table.

Direct Access to Appendix in Online Version

The introduction of each business area starts with a list of categories offering direct access. Access to the appendix in the online version was previously a two-step process, i.e. the first click took you to the end of the page where you had to click a second link to get to the appendix. The first click now takes you directly to the appendix and it also opens in a new tab and no longer in the same tab by default.

PDF Bookmark Navigation Pane

The PDF documents offered for download already provided this capability in the initial baseline. This is to point it out again as PDF documents do not have this capability in general and some users may not be familiar with it. The Acrobat Reader can display different panes for navigation (e.g. thumbnails, bookmarks) inside the document. The FIX Specification uses bookmarks for all headings down to the fourth level. The bookmark navigation pane can be displayed in the Acrobat Reader by clicking on the bookmark symbol on the left-hand side or by pressing F4.

Some browsers also support PDF bookmarks directly. Look for the following symbol:

We welcome any feedback from the FIX Trading Community and have added a thread to the FIX discussion forum to engage with you on your thoughts and ideas.