OATS Technical Specifications

The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications document covers the requirements and procedures for clock synchronization; system access requirements for supplying OATS files to FINRA; order reporting scenarios that describe, from a business perspective, responsibilities for reporting to OATS; details regarding the required layout of OATS files; procedures for providing corrections to OATS data and for receiving feedback from FINRA; and the procedures for registration, self-administration, and testing and certification. It also contains a data dictionary that describes all of the data elements in OATS files; a list of report formats, including field names, data types, and lists of permissible values; examples of order reports; and a glossary.

The OATS Reporting Technical Specifications is not intended to provide information about how to develop an electronic system that reports order information; it is only intended to describe what such a system must deliver to FINRA.

FINRA published a new edition of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications dated June 26, 2015. This edition includes additional information on the new reverse linkage summaries described in the May 18, 2015 edition of the OATS Reporting Technical Specification.  Further, this edition reflects the addition of a Destination Code for the NASDAQ OMX BX Options Market. There are no other changes from the May 18, 2015 edition. The changes mentioned below have been added to the May 18, 2015 version.

  • Added the following permitted values for Destination Code:
    • OT     NASDAQ OMX BX Options
  • Added the description for the following feedback files related to the reverse linkage process in Chapter-6:
    • Unlinked Trade Reports.
    • Unlinked Exchange Orders
    • Unlinked New Order Reports
  • Added the format for the following new feedback files related to the reverse linkage process in Appendix-C:
    • Unlinked Trade Reports - Header, Description and Trailer
    • Unlinked Exchange Orders  - Header, Description and Trailer
    • Unlinked New Order Reports  - Header, Description and Trailer

FINRA has published a new OATS Report to provide additional guidance related to the new OATS reverse linkage process.

The changes described in this document are scheduled to be available for testing in the OATS Certificate Test environment on August 17, 2015 and are scheduled to go into the OATS Production environment on September 28, 2015.

The following changes were included in the May 18, 2015 version of the OATS Reporting Technical Specifications:

  • Repurposed the Receiving Terminal ID field for the new Trading Session Code
  • Updated validations related to the Time in Force Code and Trading Session Code fields
  • Added FORE Memo and ROE Memo fields
  • Updated allowable values for the Originating Department ID, Time in Force Code and Special Handling Code fields
  • Repurposed and renamed the Originating Broker/Dealer Number field to Originating MPID
  • Increased the datatype of the following fields to Alphanumeric 9:
    • Routing Firm MPID
    • Sent to Firm MPID

Additionally, OATS will implement the following new firm feedback features with this release:

  • Earlier publication of initial matching statistics- OATS will publish initial matching results no later than 8:00 a.m. T+2 based on data received as of 8:00 am T+1.
  • Additional Matching Through T+30 - OATS will attempt to find a match for the OATS Route and Execution reports marked as unmatched as of T+3 against any additional OATS new type orders or TRF/ORF data received through T+30. Route Reports and Execution Reports with additional matches found through T+30 will be credited to the firm and will appear as reconciled events in the matching statistics on the OATS website. Refer to Chapter 6 for additional details.
  • Reverse Matching Linkage Summaries- OATS will begin publishing reverse matching linkage statistics with the September 28 release.

View OATS Reporting Technical Specifications (PDF 1.41 MB)

View our archive of past specifications.

If you are having problems accessing these files, please contact FINRA Business and Technology Support Services at (800) 321-6273.