The increasing focus on ergonomics among retail FX traders has resulted in platform providers adopting the practice of developing platforms which incorporate features, charts and ancillary software as integral components.
Today, Spotware Systems has made further steps in this direction by announcing to Forex Magnates that the company will include cBots within the cTrader platform.
This particular product is the firm’s designation for automated trading robots which traders can select from the cTrader Development Network (cTDN) and are coded and uploaded by independent developers.
Currently, the availability of cBots is restricted to the cAlgo algorithmic trading platform, however with the ability to download and integrate a particular trading robot of choice, and run it within the cTrader environment aims to provide a facility for users to select specific cBots via a tab on the platform, drop them into the chart, and control the functionality of them from within the platform.
In addition, should a trader wish to use a cBot which is not automatically pre-installed on cTrader, these can be downloaded from cAlgo or cTDN directly via the cTrader platform without having to access the website or separate platforms.
With such a variable array of third party software, including electronic advisers (EAs), trading signals and copy trading platforms having gained tremendous popularity over recent years, it is perhaps inevitable that a time would be reached at which full integration within platforms becomes de rigeur.
Certainly, rival platform provider MetaQuotes had arrived at a position during the middle of 2013 in which an entire ecosystem had been built around the ubiquitous MetaTrader 4 platform, however, rather than embracing this as a factor which serves to strengthen MetaTrader 4’s sustainability and secure its future among retail FX firms, MetaQuotes took a swing at many of the third party providers, resulting in the outflow of many, with the remaining ancillary developers being required to submit their applications, whether an EA or otherwise, to MetaQuotes in order to be vetted prior to availability.
This move may be perceived as one which intended to place the ball very much in MetaQuotes’ court, but indeed created a degree of animosity among ancillary software and copy trading platform companies, resulting in their rallying to develop platform-neutral solutions.
Within the industry segment itself, experienced developers of ancillary software hold specific views on these matters, an example being that of Leon Yohai, CEO and Founder of ZuluTrade, who explained in a discussion on the Forex Magnates Meet The Experts forum recently that he is witnessing a distinct trend toward open solutions across the board.
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There is a correlation between learning from the experience of others and the advancement of software development, and in the case of cTrader, along with other innovative platforms which are making inroads into the retail sector such as tradable, providing an open-source, fully integrated environment for robots and ancillaries where developers can upload them at will and traders can view them on just one platform, appears to be a favored path for the platform industry.
Ilya Holeu, Head of Sales at Spotware Systems, today discussed the considerations borne in mind when taking this decision in detail with Forex Magnates: “cBots can currently be run from our algorithmic trading platform, cAlgo. Because they’re written in C#, cBots have a foundational advantage over trading robots used by other platforms,” he explained.
“C# is one of the world’s most widely used programming languages, with almost no restrictions on what can be accomplished. This is contrast to a language which has been created specifically for the purpose of writing trading robots for a single platform, with no apparent logic behind that decision. It burdens the user with a steep learning curve which has to be surmounted every time a new version is released. It’s highly impractical.”
“The concept of a trading robot,” continued Mr. Holeu, “mainly the idea of not only ‘delegating’ hours spent watching the markets every day to a robot that will hit every entry point, but also automatically filtering out false signals is an extremely attractive proposition to every trader. And although we’ve seen incredible amount of volume going through cAlgo month by month since its launch 2 years ago, the practicality of it is still daunting to many users.
By introducing auto-trading functionality to cTrader, we’ve made it more accessible to the regular trader who may be intimidated by the mere mention of an algorithmic trading platform.”
Rivals Hot On The Heels
It appears that cTrader is not the only platform going down this route, as tradable has today announced the forthcoming incorporation of very similar functionality within its applications-based platform, in the form of a unitary algorithmic API which, according to a brief announcement by tradable is intended to allow developers to build their own products for algorithmic trading and then integrate them in the platform, as well as make them available via tradable’s appstore.
“Users will soon be able to import cBots directly into cTrader and run them from there. And for the majority of users who don’t know C#, they can download ready-made robots and indicators from our algo-trading resource, the cTrader Developer’s Network (cTDN.com), where they can also commission other users to build custom robots and indicators for them. This takes all the manual work out of auto-trading, and opens it up to virtually everybody,” confirmed Mr. Holeu regarding the next stage of the development process.
“For traders who are happy coding and trading with their own robots, cAlgo can still be used, with many exciting developments for the platform on the way,” he concluded.
With social trading heading toward unitary environments, as in the case of Tradesmarter and Leverate, simplicity and user-friendliness appear to be the current philosophy. It is estimated that cTrader’s new functionality will be available within approximately three weeks from now.