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I'll be starting a MFE grad program in Fall, and some of the classes have a lab that use the IB TWS & API. I'd like to play around with it for fun this summer. Unfortunately, I don't have an IB account, and they require a funded account to even use their paper trading services.

Do you know if I could still effectively test code even though I can't use data from the TWS? I'd like to run in on Ubuntu, and test some C++ code (using Eclipse).

Any workarounds whatsoever? Suppose I could get the needed data from other sources. I don't even need real data or real tickers. I'd gladly synthesize data if that would work. I just don't want to go through all the trouble if it's going to be hopeless.

I'm not even trying to test trading strategies! I just want to test some code and brush up on my C++ while playing with the IB API before grad school.

Thank you!

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The DEMO account may be sufficient for you purposes? – Peter Gum May 24 '13 at 10:47
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The IB website have a demo version of TWS for download which you can use with their C++, Java etc API. The price feed is stale and orders are not cleared but it shouldn't matter for your purposes. The demo version doesn't require a account/username.

There are also active groups which can be very helpful for details on IB API. One large group is, for instance, on Linkedin.

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Awesome! Thanks! – Clark Henry May 24 '13 at 23:18

Some time ago I tested the IB C++ API with the free demo account: edemo-demouser. The market data is obviously far from reality, but its fine for getting to know the API itself.

Good luck with your project!

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Is the market data correct though? Or is it fake? – chrisaycock Jun 4 '13 at 1:24
@chrisaycock if I remember correctly it is just historic data posing as realtime. You won't see SPX trading at 50,000 or anything like that. – strimp099 Jun 4 '13 at 1:45

You can fund the account with the minimum account requirement for setup, then withdraw your funds immediately. You will then only need enough in your account to cover monthly data usage fees. (You don't have to maintain an account minimum to keep the account open.)

It's not an ideal solution but you may be able to borrow the funds off a family member for a week or so. It's all in the name of your education.

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I am building a Ruby app. I just tested the Tradier API. Got it wired in no time. Good Market Data and no fund minimums for 30 days.

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