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Reuters technical development: Glossary

700 Terminals

IDR-designed and manufactured Intel-based terminals. Originally designed for the Rowgrabber network and then adapted for IDN.



Australian Associated Press. Australian news provider (a part owner of Reuters prior to flotation).



A software language, named after Ada Lovelace, developed under contract for the US Department of Defense to improve software development productivity and reliability. Ada Lovelace was Lord Byron's estranged daughter. She worked with Charles Babbage and is thought of as the first computer programmer. ADA was used in the development of the matching systems and some IDN components.



Australian Data Network. Designed by AAP for the Australian domestic market comprising Reuters-sourced components and AAP in-house developments.



Automated Data Processing. Information services company that took over GTEIS in 1983.



Automated Data Exchange. A messaging switching product based on DEC PDP/8s produced by STC.



Asian Marketfeed System. A client-facing system developed by the Hong Kong development group which acts as a local cache for broadcast services.



A Programming Language. A software language developed originally by IBM for applied mathematical applications. Further extended by IPSharp and used on their systems. Occasionally used in early Reuter PC developments.



Advanced Reuter Terminal. A PC and Windows based terminal. The first in the industry.



American Real Time Services. Small New York based consultancy acquired for its US domestic client site applications. Also used as a generic source of expertise for various client site improvements.



Backbone Concentrator. Takes US and European feeds and provides a composite feed to SGS.



British Computer Society.



Chicago Board of Trade. US Futures and Options exchange.



Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et des Télécommunications​. Coordinating body for European state telecommunications organisations.



Contributed Gateway Processor. A system to allow automatic contribution of client information to Monitor from the client’s own computers.



Chicago Mercantile Exchange. US financial and commodity derivative exchange.



Capability Maturity Model. A way of measuring progress in software development efficiency.



Contributor User Interface. RT application allowing the user to contribute data to Monitor.



(generic) User Interface. Small client site system receiving contributions directly from client's own systems and converting them before forwarding to IDN.



Combined Video Generator. Ambitious software project-based version of the Keyboard Display Driver (see entry) which takes feeds from terminal controllers and directs them to specific screen zones in a Pre-windows world. Overtaken by Windows. 



Colour Video Switch. Similar to VMS but in colour.



Distributed Array Processor. ‘Massively Parallel’ computer where a collection of separate processors (computers) can perform a set of simultaneous coordinated actions. Based on an invention by ICL and supplied to Reuters by Cambridge Parallel Processors for news search applications.



Digital Equipment Corporation. Massachusetts-based computer manufacturer. Arguably the most successful supplier of mini-computers in the 1970s to early 1990s. Underestimated the impact of personal computing and defunct by 1992. Principal supplier of central systems to Reuters for 20+ years.



Datafeed Transmitter. An IDN datafeed which provides all market data to anyone who can handle it.



Data Retrieval System. IDN component which stores data and news for retrieval by client terminals. See also Cricket review systems.



Electronic Broking Services. Competitor to Dealing 2000/2 developed by a consortium of UK Banks.



European Communications Satellite.



Australian acquisition providing application software for the Reuter Terminal.



Editorial Support Systems. An ambitious project to provide London editorial with state of the art video editing and to replace the ADX. Two attempts were made and only the terminal survived to be used.


Ethernet - see LAN



Frequency Division Multiplexer. A technique whereby the total bandwidth of a communications link is subdivided into a series of non-overlapping frequencies each carrying a separate signal.



Front Line Business Unit. Used to describe regional customer facing organisations supplying Reuter services.



News management system used by London Editorial.



General Post Office. UK state-run telecommunications and postal services. Abolished in 1969 and replaced over time by separate postal and telecommunications entities. 



Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London. Operations and development centre. 1979-1990 and later UK communications hub until closure in 2011.



General Telephone and Electronics Telnet Information Services.



High level Data Link Control. Industry standard protocol used for connecting IDN terminals to concentrators. State of the art when adopted in 1984.



High Performance Shared Network. A standard off the shelf TCP/IP-based network which provides a common network for connecting IP-enabled Reuter services to clients. Also used for connecting some data centres together.



Information, Dissemination and Retrieval. A specialised development and production subsidiary based on Long Island, NY.



Integrated Data Network. Replacement system for Monitor and QRS based services. Uses the idea of logical data where the meaning of the data is carried alongside the data values.



Information Systems. New title for the Trading Room systems business of Triarch and datafeeds.



International Telecommunications User Group.



Intra Day Processor. System to source IDN updates to provide history for selected instruments.



IDN Pagination system. System to deliver delayed exchange data to IDN clients, replacing the Monitor hosted service.



IDN Reuternet Gateway. A system which provides client sites with access to Toronto-based databases via the IPSharp network Reuternet. Later modified to provide generic database access.



System for Japanese language support.



Journalists Assistant for Preparing Earnings Reports. An artificial intelligence aid to reporters writing routine earnings and dividend reports.



Compact object-oriented programming language which could be ported to many software and hardware environments. Created excitement in Reuters technical departments but was rarely used.



Kanjii Broadcast Reuter Terminal. A version of the RT supporting Kanjii.



Keyboard Display Driver. Enables a keyboard and corresponding display to be directed to one of several terminal controllers.



Unix-based workstation developed by the Effix subsidiary.



Local Area Network. Standard for using a shared coaxial cable to interconnect computers, initially at 10 million bits per second. Subsequent developments have greatly increased the speed.


Logical data

A standard for transmitting data as is and without conversion or reference to page position, etc.



Marché à Terme Internationale de France. A French exchange.



Monitor Contributed Database. A system which provides most of the Monitor functionality to IDN clients obviating the need for a separate connection to the Monitor Network.



IDR-produced Intel-based Monitor terminal controller. E is European, A is American version.


Message Switching

A system whereby text is input with (usually) 3-letter destination codes and a two-letter priority code. The text is stored (for retransmission if necessary) and routed to the designated destinations at the designated priority typically using direct lines or via telex.



Monitor Manipulation Processor. A system to produce composite and added value page displays made up of information sourced from different pages.



Multi-Port Access System. A system developed in Germany for clients with IBM-hosted internal networks providing access to Reuter information in a convenient form for those mainframes.



Multi-purpose Terminal. Generic terminal designed to handle Monitor, QRS and client-sourced services on one key station. Eventually only handled Monitor and QRS.



Monitor System Expansion. Concentrator layer added to Monitor Hosts to increase capacity.



National Cash Register company. Supplier of the first-generation Reference database.



News Processing System. An IDN system which gathers editorial outputs in the form of stories and headlines and broadcasts them over the IDN network.



New York Stock Exchange.


Packet Switching

A system whereby a message or data entity is split into small packets at the origin, each of which is transmitted securely and separately through a network, and reassembled in the correct order at the destination. The precise route taken by each packet is dynamic depending on loading and route availability.



Programme for Administrative Reform. An IDN-led umbrella project to address the many Administration inefficiencies.



A 12-bit minicomputer produced by DEC and used by STC in the ADX and Reuters in early Monitor and Dealing Terminal Controllers.



A 16 bit minicomputer produced by DEC and used by Reuters for most central systems until displaced by the VAX.



Programmable Integrated Switching Module. Final incarnation of the keyboard and video switching technology.



Postale, Telegraph et Télécommunications. Generic name for European national telecommunications authorities.



Quote Front Ends. Converts stock exchange tickers to a form suitable for processing by Reuter Quotation systems.



Quote Monitor Interface. System to inject SGS-sourced data onto defined Monitor pages.



Quotation Retrieval Services. Generic term for the many networks which delivered SGS-sourced services to clients, directly or via Monitor pages.



Reuter Application Environment. Published interface in the RT enabling message passing between applications.



Richards’ Computer Products. A small consultancy commissioned to develop a PC-based replacement for the Dealing 2000/1 PDP-8 terminal. Continued to evolve and support the terminal for the next decades.


They began by developing add-on applications for the Monitor terminal using BBC micro hardware and the BCPL language. These included graphics and charting analytics.



Reference Database. Historical Database. Massive undertaking to provide a home for all historical data to stand alongside the real time systems such as IDN.



Reuter Data Network. Unsuccessful attempt at the replacement of QRS and Monitor by Rowgrabber-based technology. Confusingly then used for the first phase of the next attempt which was quickly renamed Integrated Data Network (IDN).



Reuter Dealing Trading System. Generic matching platform which splinters into D-2000/2 and GLOBEX.



Project name for a mid 1990s IDN renewal attempt.



Reuters Executive. Reuters addition to the standard PDP-11 operating system of the day (RSX-11).



Rowgrabber Multiplexer. Interface to the cable companies/satellite distribution equipment.



Reuters Identification Code. Reuter standard for the naming of traded instruments.



Reuter Monitor Dealing Service. Also known as Dealing Conversations allowing dealers to agree trades using structured text communication.



Reuters North America. Generic term for managing entity for North America based in New York.



Reuters/Rich Reliable Data Protocol. Network standard for connecting servers and workstations in a Triarch network.



Retrieval System Replacement. An ambitious project to replace Monitor in 1979. It did not come to fruition.



Real Time Feed. A datafeed system which provides client computers directly with Monitor Pages.



Standalone Cable Head. Data stream compiler for Row Grabber.



Service Machine Database. A component of the Dealing 2000-1 system which holds details of all subscribers to the service.



Secondary Data Centre. A secondary storage point used in some geographies so that information can be located closer to the client avoiding long line inefficiencies and costs.



Small Dish Service. Services delivered direct to clients using very small aperture technology, i.e. a broadcast system received by clients using small satellite dishes.


SDS3 and SDS4

Broadcast systems with associated receiving terminals. Successors to SDS1 and 2 as more bandwidth became available, increasing the size of the database which could be cycled out while maintaining acceptable retrieval times.



(London) Stock Exchange Automated Quotations (system). London Stock exchange system for the trading of stocks.



Securities and Exchange Commission.



Software Engineering Institute. A US-based initiative to enhance software development efficiency via its Capability Maturity Model.



Second Generation Slave. Enhanced version of the first generation of Ultronic technology deployed to Europe.



Systems Integrators International. Manufacturers of the System 55 video editing and message switching system.



Structured Query Language: ISO standard language to reference a relational database.



Source Sink Library. Published interface for connecting applications in Triarch workstations (including third party or client’s own) to service providers.

Also Secure Sockets Layer - the protocol underlying secure transactions carried over the Internet.



Standard Telephones and Cables. A British telecommunications company and supplier of message switching systems to Reuters in the 1970s.



Software Multiplexing. A Reuters-developed packet switching network intended for generic use but only deployed for the RMDS dealing system.



Transatlantic and Pacific TDM-based communications system.



Terminal Controller. A minicomputer controlling a number of keyboard and screen positions with connection to a central computer. This allowed some extra intelligence to be incorporated locally rather than in a central system, e.g. flashing news alerts for a period of time. 



Time Division Multiplexer. A method of transmitting and receiving separate signals over a common path by means of synchronised switches at each end so that each signal appears on the line in an alternating pattern.



Teknekron Information Bus. LAN-based Architecture connecting clients and information sources through standard interfaces. Initially developed for dealing rooms but later used over the wide area too. Designed and developed by Palo Alto-based company Teknekron later TIBCO.



Triarch Intelligent Workstation.



Ticket Output Feed. Application in the Dealing 2000/1 client site which analyses dealer to dealer conversations and produces an electronic ticket for the back office.



Trading Information Architecture. A range of products for clients’ Trading Rooms using digital rather than switching technology to connect keyboards and screens to information sources.



Virtual Address eXtension. A 32 bit computer developed by DEC as a successor to the PDP range. Widely used in Reuter systems from 1985 onwards.



Very Small Aperture Terminal. Two-foot diameter dish which allows a client to receive broadcast data directly from a satellite.



Video Matrix Switch. Enables a screen to receive a display from any one of several video sources. Also the acronym for DEC's VAX operating system. ■