Thursday, October 15, 2015

FIX Log Viewer - Tool to view FIX messages in Readable format

It's been a long time, I wrote anything related to FIX protocol, my last article was about FIX protocol dictionaries, also known as Fixionnary, one of the most important tools of the trade for Java developers and support personnel working in FIX. Today, I am going to share another useful tool called FIX Log Viewer, which allows you to view FIX engine logs in a much more readable format.
If you have been working in FIX based application e.g. Client Connectivity, Order Management or Exchange Connectivity systems, then you know, how difficult is to analyse a sequence of FIX messages for something specific. Though grep command helps a lot in finding right lines of FIX messages from a humongous log files, it fails to serve its purpose if all the FIX messages are written as one long line.

For example QuickFixJ, an open source FIX engine writes FIX messages in its session persistence file in just one line. It's not the only one, though. Now with this FIX log viewer, it's a lot easier to analyse a bunch of FIX messages to spot any issue quickly. Though it didn't replace usefulness of find and grep command, it's still a handy tool to visualize FIX messages in more readable format, you can take a look by yourself.

The good thing about this FIX log viewer is that it's totally client-based, which means your log is not transferred to any unknown server on Internet. Since FIX messages contain sensitive information, to be on safe side, I still don't recommend any internet-based utility to view production logs, but they are good for viewing test logs. There nice and clean log format is much more clear than reading a String of FIX messages, separated by ^A character.

How to use FIX log viewer to see FIX messages

This tool does require your FIX tags to separate by  either "|" or "^A" character. Once you have required log, you can just copy and paste in FIX log viewer from and click View FIX button. This will break your FIX messages into a nice tabular format with Tag Number, Field Name, Value and Descriptions, as shown below:

How to see FIX logs

So, what are you waiting for, play with your test FIX logs by copying them into FIX log viewer and analyzing them in nice tabular format? This will also help you to understand the working of FIX protocol better. You can analyse FIX messages much better than in black and white window of putty, connected to your development server.

Further Learning
The Fix Guide: Implementing the FIX Protocol 2nd Edition
Building Winning Algorithmic Trading Systems
Trading Systems and Methods by Perry J. Kaufman
Linux Command Line Interface (CLI) Fundamentals
TCP/IP Networking for Developers

Related FIX Protocol tutorials
If you like this nice little tip and interested in learning more about FIX protocol, you can also check out my following articles, which contains some tip, overview and interview questions.
  • FIX Protocol Interview Questions Part 1 (answer)
  • FIX Protocol Interview Questions Part 2 (answer)
  • FIX Protocol Interview Questions Part 3 (answer)
  • Common issues with FIX Connections and how to solve them (guide)
  • How to solve FIX Session disconnection error? (solution)
  • Basics of FIX Protocol and FIX Engine (overview)
  • How to write your own FIX Engine? (answer)
  • How to handle Repeating groups in FIX protocol? (answer)
  • What is the difference between FIX 4.2 and FIX 4.4 version? (answer)
  • What is the difference between Session level reject and Business level reject message in FIX? (answer)
  • FIX Protocol Phone Interview Question (answer)
  • How to handle replay of FIX messages? (answer)
  • What is FIX Engine in FIX Protocol? (answer)

Further Learning
If you are looking for a good book to learn more about FIX protocol and electronic trading, I suggest you take a look at The Fix Guide: Implementing the FIX Protocol 2nd Edition (see here)  and Architects of Electronic Trading: Technology Leaders Who Are Shaping Today's Financial Markets (see here), two of the good book I found on FIX and electronic trading.

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