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Improvement Initiatives for Market Transparency Reporting Systems

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Trade Reporting Facilities Infrastructure Enhancements

Q: What is FINRA changing?

A: FINRA’s infrastructure supports the FINRA fixed income and equity trade reporting and quotation display facilities (i.e., TRACE, ORF, and ADF, and the back-end systems of the FINRA/Nasdaq TRFs and FINRA/NYSE TRF), relevant data vendor feeds, and related reference data. FINRA is upgrading the infrastructure supporting these facilities using state of the art technology for enhanced processing speeds.

The new platform is designed on a Linux-Based Operating System, which will utilize secure Cloud-Based technology for resilience and redundancy. The new platform infrastructure is also designed to support extensibility as market structure changes and transparency initiatives are introduced. By instituting Cloud Based Architecture, FINRA positions itself to utilize enhancements in cloud technology as they become available.

Q: What is the impact to FINRA member firms and vendors?

A: The project primarily focuses on updating the system infrastructure. FINRA does not expect significant changes for member firms and vendors who use the products affected by the upgrade. FINRA will introduce minor changes to the look and feel of the secure TRAQS website. Certain functional enhancements inherent in the redesign, including how users are entitled to access TRAQS and the FINRA API reference data will also be included and will require firms to make corresponding changes. FINRA will publish user specifications detailing changes that users may encounter from the new design.

Q: What are some of the changes affecting TRAQS and the API?

A: The main area of impact will be how users access the TRAQS secure website and the API. Multi-factor Authentication will be introduced for TRAQS and the API. This is explained in the API FAQ section.

Q: Are there legal or agreement changes for the continued use of the technical platform?

A: No. All current agreements will continue to be enforced and no additional user documentation will need to be submitted by member firms.

Q: Will this have any impact on reporting to the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT)?

A: No. This upgrade is only to the infrastructure of the FINRA trade reporting and quotation display facilities identified above. CAT is operated and managed separately by FINRA CAT, a subsidiary of FINRA. These changes have no effect on CAT participation or use.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns regarding the project?

A: These departments can answer most, if not, all questions related to the technical upgrade.

Timeline

Phase Description

Milestone

Expected Timeline

Client Impact

TRAQS website; (Includes the use of Multi)

Production

Q2 2021
(Completed)

Clients live with upgraded versions of TRAQS

TRF Code

Production

Q3 2021
(Completed)

FINRA TRF's live with upgraded software code

ADF Trade Reporting Code

Production

Q4 2021
(Completed)

ADF Trade Reporting live with upgraded software code

ADF Quoting Code

Production

Q1 2022
(Completed)

ADF Quoting live with upgraded software code

ORF Code

Client Testing

Q3 2022
(On Schedule)

ORF clients invited to test new platform

ORF Code

Production

Q4 2022
(On Schedule)

ORF live with upgraded software code

*Additional project timelines will be advertised as more FINRA products migrate.

Dates are subject to change. FINRA will issue updates as necessary.


API Downloads

Q: What does the FINRA API support?

A: FINRA makes reference data information, such as Security Master Files, Participant Master Files, and Security Daily List files, available via a Web Application Programming Interface (API). Queries for this data ensure users have the most up to date information required for trade reporting, retrieved directly from the source for that reference data.

Q: How does the API work today?

A: In order to access the site and download files, a user needs to present a valid NASDAQ Web Security Framework (NWSF) account/password and client certificate with access to the application. File downloads use the NWSF for authentication (proper client authorization for access to particular files must be in place).

Q: What API functions does FINRA plan to change?

A: FINRA plans to change the entitlement process by eliminating the use of digital certificates and replacing the process with Multi-factor Authentication (Multi). FINRA will announce the commencement of Multi in a distributed technical notice, which will include the Multi specification, in the near future.

Q: How does Multi-factor Authentication work?

A: Multi-factor Authentication (Multi) is a second layer of security to protect an account or system. Users must go through two layers of security before being granted access to an account or system. Multi increases the safety of online accounts by requiring two types of information from the user, such as a password or PIN, or an email account for example. The first factor is the password; the second factor is the additional item.

Q: What is FINRA Developer API (“DAPI”)?

A: As part of its multi-year Digital Experience Transformation, FINRA has launched an API Developer Center (developer.finra.org) to support automation. The API Developer Center website includes information designed to assist clients interested in using API technology to gain access to FINRA data.

Q: How does Developer API work and what types of messages can I receive?

A: The Developer API website contains information about the product, including the implementation process and which data products are currently supported.

Q: Are there plans to integrate FINRA’s other reference data into DAPI?

A: FINRA is considering using DAPI for TRACE, ORF, ADF, and TRF reference data. FINRA will make a separate announcement if DAPI is available for those reference data files.