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New OpenMAMA project releases open source middleware messaging spec

Oct 31, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

NYSE Technologies and several financial services firms have launched the OpenMAMA project to deliver an open-source messaging API for financial services and telecommunivations. OpenMAMA 1.1 for x86-based Linux platforms has been released, and additional messaging middleware for high-volume, high-speed transactions on Linux and other platforms will follow, according to the Linux Foundation.

The Linux Foundation and several leaders in the financial services industry have joined forces to announce an open source project called OpenMAMA. The project's aim is to deliver a high-performance messaging interface for financial services software via a Middleware Agnostic Messaging API (MAMA). The OpenMAMA API is said to provide a common, consistent layer over a variety of message-oriented middleware stacks.

OpenMAMA is hosted by the non-profit Linux Foundation (LF), which will provide a neutral framework and governance infrastructure. Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, EMC, Exegy, Fixnetix, J.P. Morgan, and NYSE Technologies form the steering group.

OpenMAMA 1.1 architecture. Orange components are available at launch while blue components are planned for open source launch "soon." Gray components are said to be proprietary.
Source: OpenMAMA project
(Click to enlarge)

OpenMAMA 1.1 was released under LGPL 2.1 license for x86-based Linux systems on Oct. 31, the same day the group was announced. OpenMAMA is based on the MAMA API, which was conceived in 2002 to enable banks and hedge funds to distribute market data throughout their ticker plants regardless of the underlying middleware. The API is said to have resulted in reduced development times, lower costs, and broader support for a range of interconnected systems and applications.

The OpenMAMA group says it intends to gradually open source the entire MAMA code base, including C++, Java (JNI), and .NET bindings, and will also offer Windows and Solaris support over the next few months. Additional components and functionality will be added incrementally, with the goal of completing the process in the first quarter of 2012.

Until now there has been no common open source API that connects multiple transports to applications, says the LF. The move to high-volume, low-latency messaging — especially in the financial services industry — is said to have created the need for an open source project and standard. The OpenMAMA project aims to provide a way for companies to collaborate across industries and accelerate adoption of its common API for any architecture.

As a middleware-agnostic project, OpenMAMA enables users to embrace new middleware technologies and applications as the market changes, says the LF. It also helps organizations speed time to market for "event-driven" applications, and aims for high performance, both in terms of throughput and message latency, says the foundation.

Linux has become the dominant operating system in the financial services industry due in part to its ability to support the largest number of complex transactions in real-time, according to the LF. For example, the NYSE, which is the world's largest exchange and runs on Linux, is said to generate 1.5 million quotes and process 250,000 orders every second. Other industries, including telecommunications and high-performance computing (HPC), may also be interested in OpenMAMA, says the foundation.

OpenMAMA is complementary to the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP), which JPMorgan Chase and many of the OpenMAMA backers also support. AMQP is a message-oriented middleware while MAMA is an abstraction layer that allows the same code to leverage multiple middleware stacks, potentially at the same time. If AMQP provides a MAMA bridge, then existing and new MAMA applications will be able to use AMQP as a transport without any code changes, says the LF.

Linux Foundation Labs loads up on projects

OpenMAMA joins a variety of projects hosted by the LF as part of Linux Foundation Labs. These include FOSS Bazaar, which aims to help companies comply with open source licenses, along with the MeeGo project, the new MeeGo-derived Tizen project, and the Yocto Project, which last week released Yocto 1.1.

Stated Doug Fisher, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Systems Software Division, "The OpenMAMA Project will help foster strong adoption of a common messaging API starting in financial services followed closely by other industries, such as telecommunications and high-performance computing."

Stated Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, "By providing support and infrastructure for important projects like OpenMAMA, we can help advance Linux and open source software."

Stated NYSE Technologies CEO Stanley Young, "By open sourcing our MAMA API and collaborating with so many of our respected peers on the steering group, NYSE Technologies is proud to help shape a capital markets community that can share the most innovative technologies from a range of service providers alongside its market participants."


The OpenMama announcement may be found here, and more information on the newly available OpenMAMA 1.1 spec may be found at the OpenMAMA website.

In other Linux Foundation news, the group announced a course entitled "Practical Guide to Open Source Development", which is said to help companies understand the open source process.

Last week the LF also published a white paper called "Making UEFI Secure Boot Work With Open Platforms", which aims to head off a possible attempt by Microsoft to block Linux installations in Windows 8. The white paper informs developers how to properly implement Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) code to accept third-party installations.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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