[R-SIG-Finance] Interactive Broker API

Jeff Ryan jeff.a.ryan at gmail.com
Sat Jun 6 04:32:07 CEST 2009

The OSS issue:

>> You can now (with IBrokers and R) pull data from a secondary source
>> (of your own API/etc) and use IB to execute.  This is probably the
>> smartest route if you require top-notch feeds.  Coding this isn't
>> entirely trivial, but is easy enough.  I may (or may not) be making a
>> DTN interface available, though the structure of the terms on that
>> from DTN make open-source not possible.  Contact me off list if you
>> are interested.

[Very off topic...]

The problem isn't in making it open-source per se.  That I would tend
to agree is OK.  The problem is that DTN requires a API developer
subscription at $x per year, plus they need to _approve_ all API
before use.  This is to protect the integrity of their service I
suspect, as well as the other customers they have.

Essentially the R code would be available, but unusable without this
developer registration 'key'.  If one distributes the key (which
likely is not to be made "public" per the developer agreement --- so
this is moot) then others could use it.

So the basic code could be GPL'd (most likely) but to use it you would
need to pay a developer fee.  It is more economical for each user to
pay one developer to use his code (which is OK --- that is the model
they are employing), than for each to pay the full fee.

A small example of divergence between OSS theory and practice. :)

> Of course, I am not a lawyer, but at least in the United States, courts have
> repeatedly held that API's for a commercial software product cannot be held
> to be "confidential", and that writing your own code to interface to those
> API's is legal.  Thus Samba for connecting to windows-style file shares.  As
> such, an open source connector to the DTN API would likely violate no law in
> the United States.
> Regards,
>  - Brian
> --
> Brian G. Peterson
> http://braverock.com/brian/
> Ph: 773-459-4973
> IM: bgpbraverock

Jeffrey Ryan
jeffrey.ryan at insightalgo.com

ia: insight algorithmics

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