OATS Report - November 2, 1999

November 2, 1999

The OATS Web interface is an alternative to e-mail, FTP (file transfer protocol), and Connect:Direct for sending new and repaired order data to OATS. Some firms may have recently experienced challenges using the OATS Web interface when sending large volumes (usually more than 100) of new and repaired ROEs. Such actions could result in information not being displayed in a timely fashion.

To illustrate why this occurs, it is helpful to understand how data is passed between your browser and OATS. When you first type new and repaired order data into the OATS Web interface, that data exists as separate elements, or fields. When you complete the new or repaired order data entry, all of these fields join a long HTML string that waits in the staging area of the OATS database. When you click the "Send ROEs" link, this string is translated back to fields in the "Send ROEs" window so that you can verify what you are sending.

The more records you have created or repaired, the longer that HTML string becomes, and the longer it takes OATS to display the "Send ROEs" window. If you create or repair more than 100 ROEs in a single OATS session, your wait for this display may be unacceptably long. Although you can ultimately transmit far more than 100 ROEs to OATS using the OATS Web interface, you should restrict each OATS session to batches of 100 or fewer. It is to your advantage to choose the OATS Web interface as a transit mechanism when you have a small number of ROEs to process in a single OATS session.

The transit mechanisms best suited to transmitting larger volumes of order data are FTP and Connect:Direct. FTP and Connect:Direct both require that you contract with MCI WorldCom to receive a direct connection to the OATS network. Once you have this connection, you may use any FTP interface and develop your own Connect:Direct scripts to send order data to OATS. Individual FORE files sent via FTP and Connect:Direct may not be larger than 4MB, but multiple FORE files may be sent at once.

Attaching a FORE to an e-mail message is an appropriate option for member firms that have a small number of ROEs to send in each FORE and/or do not have a direct connection to the OATS network. "A small number of ROEs" can be any number, since ROEs vary in physical size; a measurement applies only to the resulting file size of the FORE (a large number of ROEs may cause the FORE to exceed the OATS attachment file size limit of 1.5 MB).

Refer to the OATS Subscriber Manual for detailed procedures on using each of these transit mechanisms or contact Business and Technology Support Services at (800) 321-NASD or via e-mail.