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Tickerplant publishing

Publishing data to a tickerplant is almost always a necessity for a kdb+ feed-handler process. Java, as a common language of choice for third-party API development (e.g. Reuters, Bloomberg, MarkIT), is a popular language for feedhandler development, within which is used to handle the asynchronous invocation of a publishing function.

Publishing rows

In general, publishing values to a tickerplant will require an asynchronous query much like the following:

qConnection.ks(".u.upd", "trade", data); //Where data is an Object[]

The parameters for this can be defined as follows:

The update function name (.u.upd)

This is the function executed on the tickerplant which enables the data insertion. As per the norm with this API, this is passed as a string.

Table name

A String representation of the name of the table that receives the data.


An Object that will form the row(s) to be appended to the table. This parameter is typically passed as an object array, each index representing a table column.

In order to publish a single row to a tickerplant, typed arrays consisting of single values might be instantiated. These are then encapsulated in an Object array and passed to the ks method:


//Create typed arrays for holding data
String[] sym = new String[] {"IBM"};
double[] bid = new double[] {100.25};
double[] ask = new double[] {100.26};
int[] bSize = new int[]{1000};
int[] aSize = new int[]{1000};
//Create Object[] for holding typed arrays
Object[] data = new Object[] {sym, bid, ask, bSize, aSize};
//Call .u.upd asynchronously
qConnection.ks(".u.upd", "quote", data);

Publishing multiple rows is then just a case of increased length of each of the typed arrays:


String[] sym = new String[] {"IBM", "GE"};
double[] bid = new double[] {100.25, 120.25};
double[] ask = new double[] {100.26, 120.26};
int[] bSize = new int[]{1000, 2000};
int[] aSize = new int[]{1000, 2000};

In order to maximize tickerplant throughput and efficiency, it is generally recommended to publish multiple rows in one go.

whitepaper Kdb+tick Profiling for Throughput Optimization.

Care has to be taken here to ensure that all typed arrays maintain the same length, as failure to do so will likely result in a kdb+ type error. Such errors are especially troublesome when using asynchronous methods, which will not return KExceptions in the same manner as sync methods! It is also worth noting that the order of the typed arrays within the object array should match that of the table schema.

Adding a timespan column

It is standard tickerplant functionality to append a timespan column to each row received from a feed handler if not included with the data passed, which is used to record when the data was received by the tickerplant. It’s possible for the publisher to create the timespan column to prevent the tickerplant from adding one:


//Timespan can be added here
c.Timespan[] time = new c.Timespan[] {new c.Timespan()};
String[] sym = new String[] {"GS"};
double[] bid = new double[] {100.25};
double[] ask = new double[] {100.26};
int[] bSize = new int[]{1000};
int[] aSize = new int[]{1000};
//Timespan array is then added at beginning of Object array
Object[] data = new Object[] {time, sym, bid, ask, bSize, aSize};
qConnection.ks(".u.upd", "quote", data);

This might be done, for example, to allow the feedhandler to define the time differently than simply logging the time at which the tickerplant receives the data.