An Overview of the IG Index API

Introduction

IG Index, the UK based spread betting firm, launched it’s trading API (http://labs.ig.com/)  in 2014 to enable clients to build their own applications to connect to the IG trading infrastructure. Apps that can be built on the platform include automated trading applications, charting and sentiment tools, as well as integrations with Excel and other applications.

IG provides API access for most of its tradeable instruments, including foreign exchange (FX), individual equities, commodities, crypto currencies (such as Bitcoin) and equity indexes. Data includes real-time/streaming prices and chart data, historical prices, account information such as open trades and balances and sentiment data.

There are some restrictions with the API: Direct Market Access (DMA) and live streaming share prices are not currently available. Also the API has some standard usage quotas, related to maximum requests per minute, historical data downloads and number of concurrent subscriptions to the streaming API.

The Technology

On the technical side, the API is composed of a Streaming and REST API. Data for the REST API is provided in standard JSON format; The Streaming API uses Lightstreamer as the underlying publish/subscribe technology.

Getting started

The first step is to sign up on the IG Index website for a live trading account. Once you have a live account you can open a demo account which is very useful for experimenting with the API and testing anything that you build. You will also need to generate an API key; full instructions are on the Getting Started section of the IG website.

IG provide useful web based testing interfaces (for both the streaming and REST APIs) which can be used to see how the API works. Using these interfaces you can send and receive data to/from your account and view the structure of various requests and responses. This enables you to quickly get a feel for how the API works by seeing real requests/responses with live data. You can, for example, submit a trade through the test interface on the website and see the trade appear in the dealing platform together with the JSON payload of the request and response.

My experience

I’ve been using the IG Index API for a couple of years now, both the REST and Streaming API, and have found it to be fairly easy to use with comprehensive coverage of functionality and financial products. I have built several .net applications as well as some Excel add-ins which use the API for automated trading, portfolio valuation etc.

If you are interested in using the IG Index API to build your own application and require some development assistance or consultancy we would be delighted to hear from you.

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