Working with RocketSheet Functions

Traders and others using RocketSheet to publish quotes or other data directly from Excel utilize simple, easy-to-remember, RocketSheet functions for this purpose. These functions are readily accessible in their Excel worksheets as soon as RocketSheet is successfully installed by the RocketSheet administrator.

RocketSheet functions resemble and work in the same way as native Excel functions. They begin with an "equals" symbol, followed immediately by the function name. Enclosed in parentheses immediately after the function name are cell references that refer to worksheet cells containing the data on which the function operates.

For example, a properly-constructed RocketSheet formula for sending to Bloomberg an offer price for a given instrument would appear as follows, if worksheet cell A2 contained the instrument's security identifier (e.g., its CUSIP) and cell B2 contained the trader's offer ("ask") price for the instrument:


Follow RocketSheet syntax to avoid publishing errors

All RocketSheet functions have a simple syntax, or set of rules, governing their proper construction. The syntax requires that functions begin with the symbol for equality ("="), followed immediately by a RocketSheet function name, followed immediately by the open-parenthesis character, followed then by two or more cell references (as appropriate for the function used) with each cell reference separated by a comma and at most one space after a comma, and then followed finally by the close-parenthesis character.

Though the syntax is simple, failure by the user to adhere to it may result in the transmission of erroneous or mischaracterized data. For example, RocketSheet uses the computed results of several of its Excel add-in functions to compose messages in MPF format for transmission to Bloomberg. If a user employs the "SendBidPrice" function for what he intends as an offer price, RocketSheet will construct and send a "bid price"-typed message to Bloomberg, which will then display the contents of that message as a bid price.

Similarly, the ordering of cell references specified in RocketSheet function syntax is important and must be followed in order to avoid publishing errors.

Using Excel's "Insert Function" dialog

Excel's "Insert Function" dialog is an excellent resource for RocketSheet and all other Excel functions. You can access the dialog in several ways:

Excel's "Insert Function" dialog will help you find and use proper syntax for RocketSheet functions.

Choosing the right function

The RocketSheet functions index is the best starting point for choosing right function for a particular task. It provides a summary of each function in an easy-to-use format, followed by a link to detailed information on that particular function.

Choosing the right function for MPF-publication purposes is a matter of (a) deciding how you wish to shape your data stream to Bloomberg and (b) whether the price data you maintain in Excel is in decimal or fractional form. You may send just price data or both price and size data. Additionally, you may update one side of the market at a time or both sides at once.

Please note that in keeping with MPF protocol, RocketSheet does not support the publishing of size data alone. Sizes may be updated only in conjunction with price updates.

Functions for use with fractional-price-notation data

For each function for use with decimal-form price data RocketSheet offers a corresponding function for fractional-form price data. These fractional-price-notation functions are provided to accommodate traders of government bonds quoted under a fractional-price convention. Under this convention, bond prices are expressed as a percentage of par value, with fractional values expressed first in 32nds of one percent of par value and then in eighths of one 32nd of par value. By further convention, the value for one-half (or four 8ths) of one 32nd is called a "plus" and may be represented as a "4" or the symbol for addition ("+").

In order to use fractional-form bond prices in cells to which RocketSheet functions refer traders must:

RocketSheet parses fractional-price-notation inputs from left to right. Its parsing rules are as follows:

  1. A hyphen (and only a hyphen) tells RocketSheet to interpret what comes after the hyphen as 32nds of one percent or eighths of one 32nd of one percent.
  2. A blank cell will be parsed as a price of 0.00000000.
  3. Characters other than numbers or hyphens are ignored and any data appearing after such characters may also be ignored; data appearing before such characters will be interpreted according to these parsing rules.
  4. Up to the first two numeric characters after a hyphen are parsed as 32nds of one percent. Leading zeroes are optional. Thus, immediately after a hyphen, "5" and "05" are each interpreted to mean five 32nds of one percent.
  5. If used, the third numeric character after a hyphen is parsed as one or more eighths of one 32nd of one percent.
  6. Only the first three characters after a hyphen will be parsed. Any additional characters will be ignored.
  7. Whether in the digit places for 32nds or for eighths of one 32nd, RocketSheet literally parses those digits as a numerator in a fraction. Thus, if the first two characters after a hyphen are "32", RocketSheet interprets the value as "32/32". This means an entered price of 101-32 will compute to the same decimal value as 102-00. Similarly, if the third character after a hyphen is "9", RocketSheet interprets the value as "9/8". This means an entered price of 99-239 will compute to the same decimal value as 99-241.
  8. The addition symbol ("+") will only be interpreted as "4" (as in four eighths of one 32nd of one percent) if it appears as the third character after a hyphen.

To avoid erroneous publishing results and as a matter of best practice, traders are well advised to adhere to market conventions when using fractional prices as inputs to RocketSheet functions, even though RocketSheet allows them greater flexibility. To express 32nds of one percent of par value, traders should use appropriate values ranging from "00" to "31" inclusive. To express eighths of one 32nd of one percent of par value, traders should use appropriate values ranging from "0" to "7" inclusive (except that they may substitute a "+" for a "4" to represent prices "at the plus" in government-bond-market parlance.

Please note that even when fractional-form prices serve as inputs to RocketSheet functions, RocketSheet converts these fractional forms to decimals for transmission to Bloomberg via MPF. This conversion is required by the MPF protocol. At your direction, Bloomberg will convert these decimal forms back into fractional notation for Bloomberg terminal display purposes.

Good practice, especially for new users, is to compare their intended price results from Rocketsheet functions with the computed results reported in their RocketSheet Dashboards.

Return values: the results of execution of RocketSheet functions

When and as properly-constructed RocketSheet functions are executed, they return in the same cell in which they reside one of the "return values" specified in the table below.

A return value of "Successful" refers only to the most recent attempt at execution of a RocketSheet function and means that data was successfully sent to the RocketSheet MPF Gateway (and not necessarily to Bloomberg). If, for example, a trader switches off price contribution using his Dashboard or loses connectivity to the MPF Gateway, the state of the most recent publishing attempt prior to those events would still be reported as "Successful" (presuming that it was, in fact, successful). The return value of the cell will only be updated, e.g., to "Not Contributing" or "Connection Failure" as the case may be, upon the next attempt at execution of a RocketSheet function.

The possible return values for Bloomberg contribution functions are:

Data successfully sent by Agent, upon initialization or most recent data update, to MPF Gateway for forwarding to Bloomberg. Per the MPF protocol, data may be in queue at MPF Gateway, awaiting acknowledgement of prior messages by the Bloomberg MPF parser.
Connection Failure
Data submission is prevented by a connectivity outage. This outage may be (i) between the Agent and MPF Gateway, (ii) between MPF Gateway and Bloomberg, or (iii) both between the Agent and MPF Gateway and between MPF Gateway and Bloomberg.
Not Contributing
The user has disabled data contribution in his Dashboard. Data will not be contributed to Bloomberg.
Unknown Instrument
The user has attempted to contribute data for an instrument not configured by the RocketSheet administrator in the MPF Server's instruments file ("Instruments.csv"). Contact the RocketSheet administrator to request configuration of the instrument.
Unhandled Function
RocketSheet no longer supports this function.

Users should refer to their RocketSheet dashboards for contribution and connection states.

To see the possible return values for each RocketSheet function, go to the detail page for the function of interest. Each of these is accessible through the RocketSheet functions index.

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