Programming the IB API

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by DocHolliday, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. (Crossposted from Software, as I'm trying to pick up feedback from as many IB users as possible. -- Doc)

    Getting kinda tired of Cybertrader here.

    I talked to one of their top honchos last year and said, "Look, I don't want 99% of the bells and whistles you provide. I can code, and what I would pay for is for your app to expose an API. I can then write an app of my own that tickles that API to get data, and execute trades, via your system. Think about it."

    This elicited about as much response as the one-a-week bug reports I was sending in, to wit: totally null, down the memory hole.

    But I still want now what I wanted then. And noticed recently that IB apparently have just such an API.

    Has anyone used this? How capable and extensive is it? Could one actually build an L2 automated trading system (or Island-centric system) using IB as a vehicle?

  2. TGregg


    It's pretty good, not much to figure out. You can read the docs at

    Two cautions for you, however. First, I think it is still officially Beta. Second, there is no routing(!) You can only send orders via "SMART", which chooses where to send your order.

    I'm using VB .Net through their ActiveX control. There is no additional charge to use their APIs.
  3. Cyber does have an API.
  4. Hendrix


  5. how fast are the fills when you write to IB's API?
  6. They are as fast as if you put the order in yourself. So they are just as fast, but not faster than manual orders.

  7. Ouch, smart routing only, groan. Hopefully this will change.

    Hendrix, thanks for the lead, I'll go take a look at the Yahoo group. With luck they can point me to a similar one where the Java version of the API is discussed. (I am allergic to Microsoft VB.)

    Anyone know which languages and platforms that Cyber are targeting with their API version?

  8. You can use only smart order with the IB API, no routing available.
  9. My experience with the API is good. Works as well as entering manually. SMART routing has not caused my any problems lately. I now never route myself anymore. I get virtually all of my fills on the ECNs for nasdaq and NYSE/TMBR on NYSE. Haven't had a terrible fill in about 2 months.
  10. stevet



    i am a futures person, but keen to do some arbitrage with stocks, why do u think that u are so happy with "smart" and others so frustrated by it?

    i know the api works great with futures, but never went further with stocks as its not my world and felt i would be further up against it with the smart routing - so would be good to hear your view
    #10     Aug 22, 2002