Opening Cross: Digging for Gold in the Data Sandbox


Article by Max Bowie, Inside Market Data

The emergence of "sandbox" organizations and development environments are fostering a climate of innovation.

As a child, one of my friends had a sandbox in his garden. At first, this was a pristine environment, where all the kids longed to play, and would share their toys, digging and frolicking in the sand, basically experimenting with new textures and activities. But over time, the novelty soured as kids focused on their favorite toys, as parents withdrew their children because of other kids’ (lack of) personal hygiene, and eventually the remaining toys became rusty, weeds overgrew the sand, and the neighbor’s cat began using it as a king-size litter box.

In the data world, a sandbox represents pretty much that same philosophy—call it experimentation through plug-and-play—with organizations creating environments designed to nurture innovation, where developers have access to everything they need to create next-generation data services, from easily accessible datasets to connectivity and hosting, all generally at preferential rates or entirely free of charge. 

Then there are also initiatives like the aptly-named FinTech Sandbox or New York Fintech Innovation Lab, which offer a formal program of subsidized services and structured mentoring by experienced fintech executives. For example, web services data provider Xignite is providing APIs for accessing market data free of charge to nine FinTech Sandbox participant startups, three of which demonstrated solutions leveraging Xignite’s data at last week’s FinTech Sandbox Demo Day.

“A lot of developers coming out of school don’t really know the financial industry, and data is expensive. So the idea [of sandbox initiatives] is to reduce friction and provide data and so on free of charge for six months for testing,” says Dinesh Chheda, advisory board member and data executive in residence at FinTech Sandbox.

But sandboxes aren’t just for complete newcomers: Swedish market data vendor Millistream has launched its Millistream Sandbox, a test environment that allows clients to experiment with delayed data from its products in an unashamed attempt to get them “hooked” on Millistream’s data and delivery mechanisms. Because Millistream does not require Sandbox users to sign contracts, users are not restricted to how they can use the data within the broad condition that it be used for testing purposes, or for how long they must subscribe. So if the client tests something that doesn’t work out, they can move on and try out something else without having to continue paying for something they no longer use.

The participation of vendors and founder sponsors who are willing to subsidize—or eat entirely—the cost of market data is key, because it legitimizes the model of free or affordable tiers of data delivery, and points the way to a more flexible model for data licensing; and importantly, flexible yet standardized, so that it ultimately becomes easier to gain buy-in for new models from across the industry.

More often than not, exchanges are cast as the bad guys of data licensing and fees. However, some exchanges like Deutsche Börse are already taking it on themselves to support the next wave of financial technology and data newcomers, using their extensive infrastructures and datacenters to host and support startups with limited resources, and to help them connect—both in terms of data connectivity and from a business partner perspective—with other data sources and service providers.

The enormity of the task facing financial firms to not just update their infrastructures and applications, but implement the requisite architecture to support true Data-as-a-Service delivery means that, as Chheda says, firms will need to enlist those innovative startups—in which case, the spirit of innovation and the fee tiers that support it may become more pervasive, more standardized, more accepted, and more common across other areas of business, perhaps ultimately enabling truly open, plug-and-play and pay-as-you-go data platforms, which is what consumers have been requesting for a long time. 

Source: Inside Market Data


In the foreign metal market and the world of international rates, currencies play the crucial role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are commonly used around the world in order to get a metal rate. Some companies that offer precious metal live and historical rates have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate current and historical metal rates, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.

In order to know about precious metals live and historical rates, there’s a lot of APIs available online, and if you want to try one, Barchart is going to be one of your first options. But if you take a look at what else is in the market, you’ll find alternatives so many great alternatives:

Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform

Xignite Market Data as a Service was one of the first market data services built to run in AWS and they are one of the few vendors that is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with a Financial Services Competency.

With more than a decade of cloud expertise in building, scaling and operating cloud-based market data technology, it is no surprise that leading financial services and capital markets firms rely on this company to empower their journey to the cloud. Their Metals API Service offers real-time prices and quotes for metals including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and other base metals. In addition to real-time precious metals prices, the service provides daily London Fixing prices as well as historical precious metal prices and metal news. 

Xignite Cloud APIs are sourced from leading providers such as FactSet and Morningstar as well as Xignite’s own curated, high-quality data.

Read the article Top 3 Alternatives for Barchart Precious Metals Rates


Each year, Bobsguide asks the market to vote for fintech companies they believe stand out from the competition – those who have gone the extra mile in terms of development and servicing their clients. Xignite is proud to be listed as the "Best API Management" vendor on the Bobsguide 2020 Rankings.

Read article on Bobsguide


Web services data provider Xignite captured the AFTAs judges’ attention on the infrastructure front with its release of Xignite Enterprise Microservices in July 2020, a suite of cloud-based microservices for data management, storage and distribution in the cloud, designed to help financial firms migrate from monolithic legacy data architectures to more agile and less expensive cloud services and data sources.

Requires subscription to read the article on WatersTechnology


Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today revealed the results of its collaboration with StockCharts, a leading technical analysis and financial charting platform for online retail investors. The collaboration involved a move from an on-premise market data provider to Xignite’s cloud-native technology hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Download the case study containing the full results.

StockCharts requires vast quantities of financial data to power its visualization, charting and tracking tools, which investors use to analyze the markets to help with investment decisions. The company was frustrated by the limits of its on-premise market data center, which was forcing the team to make architectural decisions based on what its data center could handle in terms of speed and storage, not on their technology. Its previous market data provider was just starting to build out some cloud offerings, but they were far away from what the business required. StockCharts decided to migrate its infrastructure to the AWS cloud and partner with Xignite to gain access to endlessly scalable market and financial data delivered through innovative cloud APIs.

The collaboration made an immediate impact as StockCharts was able to expand its offerings and customer base by pursuing growth strategies enabled by Xignite’s cloud-based approach, which provides easy access to data and eliminates architectural limits on storage and speed.

The pandemic provided further validation. Seattle-based StockCharts was in one of the first areas hit by COVID-19 and was forced to quickly shut down its office. Pandemic-driven market volatility followed and StockCharts customers wanted to visualize what was happening. The company’s ability to scale quickly and accommodate a high volume of new requests would not have been possible without Xignite.

“The move to the AWS cloud and Xignite has unlocked tremendous new potential for us in a lot of architectural ways, and has given us a lot of data options that we could not even consider before,” said Grayson Roze, Vice President of Operations at StockCharts. “It relieved us of the burden of figuring out how to source things. Instead, we know exactly where we need to go to get the data and can access it instantly. That is a huge, huge benefit for our business.”

“We are proud to have played a role in transforming how StockCharts approaches data,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder of Xignite. “The events of this year unleashed a massive spike in retail trading and a host of other unexpected forces that reinforced the need for financial services firms to leverage the cloud. Despite the disruption of this year, StockCharts was positioned for success, and we look forward to continuing to deliver our financial and market data solutions to the industry at large.”


Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit or follow on Twitter @xignite