Murex viewer – My 10 tips

Murex viewer, I still remember when it started being available in the very early production releases (2003 I think?). Concept seemed fantastic but it still needed to mature.

The concept is simple: rather than showing hardcoded/static screens to show results and/or to perform actions what about letting the users build their own and re-arrange them as wanted. The viewer was born with functions very similar to pivot tables. The source data being everything Murex static data and all computed data. Add filters, calculated fields, conditional formatting, linked views and you end up with a very rich environment.

Icing on the cake, Murex viewer comes with some preconfigured layouts simplifying everyone’s work as one only needs to modify as required. It is also a showcase of examples where one can see what can be done and how to try to harmonize the views together.

But with such a powerful tool, you won’t master it on day 1 (not on day 2 either). So let me give you 10 tips to become a pro with the viewer:

  1. Use the search function! The size of the data dictionary is staggering. Worse, sometimes fields appear multiple times and do not always display the same value (reason is usually that some fields are asset specifics). Ctrl-F and F3 are your friends. And remember that the search function works only one column of the data dictionary at the time
  2. Don’t over commit. Often I got calls from support teams unable to achieve what they wanted in the Murex viewer. Some functions and/or data might not always be available. Except if you’re 100% sure it works, don’t promise you will deliver it to the enduser
  3. GMPs are your friends when you need external data! This ones always come sooner or later when the traders want to access extra data/inputs. For instance, they wish to set a date limit for short dated bonds. This date could be entered through GMPs (rather than hardcoded). Best of all, when using simulation, the GMPs will be available in the loaded market data for easy access/input
  4. Viewer is not eTradepad! Typical example of being carried away, the viewer is a tool for displaying data and not a calculation engine. It is easy to be mistaken when opening the formula editor as it looks like the eTradepad formula editor but they are different!
  5. Be careful with your colors. This might sound obvious but actually I tend to find it the hardest part of the Murex viewer. When I was preparing demos, I usually ended up spending more time on the colors to use rather than on the data itself.
  6. Endusers should not be able to modify views. This is actually quite important. One would believe that giving everyone the right to create their own would alleviate the support team workload. Quite the contrary. The number of views will grow out of control and supporting users using different views is a nightmare.
  7. An extension to the point above: Try to limit the number of views in the system. As much as possible try to rationalize the views. For support it is much easier when the number of views is low. For upgrades, it is also less work.
  8. Try to limit the number of views on screen. Murex has a client-server infrastructure and most calculations are done one the server side. But the rendering of the screen is done on the client side. If you start to have many views with a large amount of data, you might end up with the ugly out of memory java error.
  9. Item formulas are great but don’t abuse. Items formula lets you use calculated fields as line breakdowns. I often ended up using them when I needed to aggregate 2 different breakdown fields.
  10. New functions. That’s the best part about the viewer. Each new Murex release comes with new features be it graphical or within the viewer, always inquire about the novelties are they’re usually great eye candy!

So here are my 10 tips about the Murex viewer. What about you dear reader? Any other ones?