CSK Micrognosis, Danbury, Conn., is testing new software designed to help traders gather market data in a timely manner.
Banks and trading firms can rig the software, called Invision Plus Arena, to search and retrieve data from a wide range of news services, and from the Internet's World Wide Web.
Invision Plus Arena is based on object-oriented technology, which simplifies the process of customizing computer applications by giving programmers ready-made, reusable units of computer code, known as "objects."
Using object technology gives firms looking to improve their data gathering a fresh start and frees them from having "to drag forward a lot of legacy code," said Richard Sigiello, a director of marketing at CSK Micrognosis.
"We believe that the future lies in satisfying trader demands to have greater control over their desktop environment," added Pieter Hamman, a vice president with the firm. "Arena delivers that control.
Mr. Sigiello said many existing trading systems are "monoliths" that are unable to be altered quickly enough to meet the changes in the way information is delivered.
"We basically see that model changing," he said.
"We believe integration of applications should occur at the desktop, and should not be proprietary" in nature.
One of the benefits of the new system, which uses object linking technology from Microsoft Corp., is that it can let trading firms change the way they process information without making heavy investments in the back room.
Jeffrey Cooperstein, a partner with J. Paul Leppert Inc., Holmdel, N.J., said the software "has potential as a common user interface," but he qualified his comments, noting that he has only seen a demonstration of the software.
J. Paul Leppert is a consulting firm specializing in digital market data and trading room systems.
"From looking at the demo, its looks like clients can benefit," he said. "But there is a big difference between a demo and full production," Mr. Cooperstein said.
Mr. Sigiello said the software is being tested at several undisclosed locations in Europe and North America.
He declined to discuss pricing of the software. Invision Plus Arena is one of the fruits of a two-year effort by Micrognosis to revamp the way it approaches the software business.