Thursday, January 7, 2016

Streaming OANDA with python and ZeroMQ

I have been looking at its REST API for OANDA, for potential use with an FX trading system I developed.

The API has two streaming endpoints, one for prices and one for account events such as trades opening and stuff like that.  

Asynchronous IO is always a bit fiddly, and I wanted separate processes for incoming tick data and events. This enables them to be managed separately, and generally makes handling disconnects or other errors a bit cleaner.

If you try and mash your various feeds, trade identification, trade management, logging, accounting etc all into one big process it gets a bit messy and convoluted. Sometimes you don’t have a choice due to the API available, but thankfully in this case it’s easy to separate everything out.


I use the requests library for streaming from OANDA, and ZeroMQ endpoints with the pub/sub pattern for passing data to the client(s).

Conceptually, it looks like this:

The prices feed connects to the OANDA prices endpoint, and publishes what it receives to a ZeroMQ socket. Likewise, the events feed does the same, publishing to another zmq socket.

The client connects to the respective sockets and subscribes to its feeds, and can do whatever is required with the data it receives. You are not limited to one client subscriber either.

I use JSON as the serialization format, as it arrives from OANDA. No real point in deserializing JSON to an object, then immediately serializing that with pickle or something for transport with zeromq. Your needs may differ of course.  

All up, a pretty painless process.


The single file of code (here) is the prices feed, events feed and client that just prints out what it receives. Just run it separately three times, passing either prices, events or client as a single argument. You will also need to fill in your OANDA details as well.

I use a 10 second timeout for the prices feed, and a 20 second timeout for the events feed, as per OANDAs recommendations. The feed streams will print heartbeats but not publish them to clients.

Thanks for reading and let me know how you go.