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Integration & IT Modernization

Faster Than Light

I got curious about the acronym FTL in TIBCO FTL product. Digging a bit, I found that it stands for “Faster than Light”.

lightning pic

This product name is so appropriate as we live in an age of Digital Transformation and IT Modernization where information must be readily available.

It is the relatively newer messaging TIBCO platform primarily aimed at Capital Markets. A brief synopsis of the product features follows:

So, what is different about TIBCO FTL?

FTL messages do not carry explicit destination information like TIBCO’s older messaging platforms Rendezvous and JMS. Instead, FTL subscribers can specify interest in messages based on their content i.e. based on message fields and their values. There is no need to establish in advance which parts of a message guide its delivery. There is also no need to duplicate message content in a subject name.

How does it work?

A content matcher selects a subset of messages from a message stream according to the fields and values in those messages. A subscriber uses a content matcher to express interest in the subset of messages that the content matcher specifies.

The content-based addressing approach (in contrast to subject-based addressing) encodes destination information right into the data payload itself, reducing data volumes and, therefore, the latency of the platform.

How fast is it?

In its product announcement in 2011, TIBCO claimed that TIBCO FTL is

  • more than 40% faster than any competing product currently on the market
  • average application latency is 384 nanoseconds for intra-host communication
  • 1 microseconds for inter-host communication.

Who is it for?

TIBCO FTL is aimed at:

  • high-speed data handling for capital markets
  • data distribution to front-office and back-office operations
  • trade execution
  • algorithmic trading
  • management and compliance

And what is TIBCO eFTL™?

TIBCO eFTL™ extends TIBCO FTL messaging to platforms such as web browsers and mobile phones that cannot support the full FTL bus and can communicate with FTL-based back-end infrastructure. TIBCO FTL provides high scalability at human-scale performance which gives adequate throughput and latency for cell phones and browsers.

Where can customers use TIBCO eFTL™?

TIBCO eFTL messaging middleware provides native integration with TIBCO FTL. Digital applications can leverage this low latency to provide bidirectional communications to the mobile devices. We no longer live at broadband pace, we want things Faster than the speed of Light.


TIBCO Product Site:

InformatinWeek – Faster Than Light:


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