While organized futures exchanges have existed for hundreds of years, the futures trading industry has undergone major shifts in the past 20 years, notably in the move towards electronically traded markets. Patsystems was founded in the early 1990s as the era of electronic trading was beginning to skyrocket. In 1992 the first electronic futures trades were made on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Globex electronic trading platform. In 1997 CME developed and launched the first mini-sized, all-electronic futures contract: the E-mini S&P 500. The E-Mini S&Psoon became the most popular equity index futures contract in the world.

Naturally, with pit trading, also known as open outcry, fast becoming a thing of the past, the role of futures trading front-end software has grown increasingly important.

The need for traders to access the markets electronically has pushed front-end platforms such as J-Trader, to become increasingly sophisticated and competitive.

For short-term traders or "scalpers," features such as the Depth of Market (DOM) and single-click trading are critical.

Along with the front-end software, vendors often provide software for strategy creation and backtesting as well as charting, as we see in the case of Patsystems. Other leading front-end trading software vendors include Trading Technologies, NinjaTrader and CQG.

SEE: The Death Of The Trading Floor


Next: Beginner's Guide To J-Trader: Getting Started »

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