Bloomberg has recently launched https://openfigi.com/ as the long-term replacement for the Bloomberg Open Symbology portal at http://bsym.bloomberg.com/sym/.

At first glance, openfigi.com looks like an amazing source for freely available security identifiers and symbology information. However, if you dig a little deeper, as I have, openfigi.com is intended for use by big institutions, and goes so far as to actively discourage retail investors, such as myself, from using openfigi.com.

Through repeated inquiry, I’ve learned that openfigi.com only allows potential institutional users to create an account. The reason creating an account is so useful is because the openfigi.com API is rate-limited to ***5 requests per minute*** if used without user authentication. If one authenticates against the API with a valid openfigi.com user account, then the API will allow you 100 requests per minute, which is still *horrible*, but it’s much better than the default limit of 5 requests per minute. Furthermore, the openfigi.com’s website search facility is intentionally limited (as I’ve learned through e-mail correspondence with the team that responds to openfigi.com’s feedback submissions) to restrict users from accessing more than 5000 results per search query - for example, if paging through search results in increments of 100, one cannot navigate past page 50 - also, the export to excel feature limits the number of exportable search results to the first 5000 results from any given query.

With the severe limitations that the openfigi.com website imposes, I’ve concluded that openfigi.com is not really usable as a source that I can populate my personal securities master database with symbology data.

Now I just need to either find a truly open symbology data source, or build my own.

I definitely don’t want to build my own, so hopefully I’ll find a good alternative.