ZenFire (part four)

Questions about MultiCharts and user contributed studies.
kh_model
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ZenFire (part four)

Postby kh_model » 20 Aug 2009

Everybody has a different approach to trading and analysis. For me, I prefer not to try to do all of my analysis and trading on the same computer. However, that can cause datafeed costs to skyrocket if one is not very careful about implementation. Computers may not be as expensive as datafeed costs, especially if one builds computers from parts.

Personally, I plan to use other related software tools such as "Global Server", "HistoryCentre", "TS Data Hub", and "MetaServer RT" in conjunction with MultiCharts and a venerable old copy of "TS 2000i" to manage a historical database of price and volume information on one computer and then share that with other computers across a local area network. With the tools mentioned above, it is possible to designate just a single computer as a data server, so all of the necessary database maintenance can get done in one place and then can be pushed out across the network automatically whenever charts are opened in MultiCharts on the client side.

On the local computers in a network, MultiCharts can handle incoming realtime data from a wide range of datafeeds, and also backfill history from GlobalServer on demand. Obviously, realtime feeds such as ZenFire are offered for free nowadays and their quality is very good. Expensive historical feeds need not be duplicated on each and every computer thanks to the innovative tools mentioned above. I can even collect my own ZenFire data in realtime, and import it to GlobalServer if I am in a pinch using a tool such as "HistoryCentre", but I prefer to let a program like "MetaServer RT" automatically update GlobalServer so I don't have to. It looks like eSignal, IQFeed, and TS Network are all available, and even InteractiveBrokers if I am not concerned about the accuracy of my data. I think InteractiveBrokers is "good enough" for minute based resolutions, and the coverage is very broad at a low price per month for customers. The others may or may not be of similar quality to ZenFire but I will have to find out by testing.

Needless to say, I love the way that NT collects ZenFire history and makes it available on demand, but I don't want to do duplicate database maintenance for each computer on my network, so for now I plan to limit my use of NT to the one computer where I actually execute trades. For all the other computers where I need to calculate and display a lot of indicators in near-realtime, I suspect that MultiCharts may run faster as a charting platform because it has deeper support for multiple processing cores, but I have not tested that assumption yet.

The data import and export features in QuoteManager are very robust, and one can even automate the user interface with third-party task-automation software if necessary.

Each week I tend to import the previous week's data from a text file into a recent copy of the database that was saved just before the previous week started. That way, I can control the rollover process whenever that job becomes necessary. When it comes time to roll futures symbols, I usually just rename the existing symbols as needed, and that keeps my data collection relatively continuous. Of course, I also do a little bit of editing before I import the data for the previous week, so I may take three days worth of data from a prior expired contract and paste it into another textfile with two days worth of data from the current contract.

It may not seem obvious at first, but there is an advantage to importing text data on a weekly basis, because one is encouraged to keep separate records of one's very valuable tick data for each week, and store them offline every now and then in compressed zip files or some similar format. Have you ever noticed how big a database of tick data can become if you just keep adding to it forever? It will eventually become corrupted after too much use, in my humble opinion.

GlobalServer seems to have a nice feature that automatically discards tick data that is older than a user-specified date. So that is another reason why I like the idea of using "TS Data Hub" in conjunction with GlobalServer to push historical data out from a central data server to remote MultiCharts clients over a network.

On the local client side, the incoming realtime data that gets temporarily stored by MultiCharts in QuoteManager is very useful because it provides a "smart cache" that helps keep gaps from appearing in the local database, at least on the client side. History backfills from the central database or even from the datafeed are only requested for the data that is not already in the local "smart cache", and the database files can be discarded each weekend prior to starting a new week of trading. I have not seen the "smart cache" feature anywhere else, and in my opinion it is very useful.

For anyone who has read this far, I hope that you have found some food for thought and I wish you success in your trading.

kiasom
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Re: ZenFire (part four)

Postby kiasom » 01 Jul 2010

...
Personally, I plan to use other related software tools such as "Global Server", "HistoryCentre", "TS Data Hub", and "MetaServer RT" in conjunction with MultiCharts and a venerable old copy of "TS 2000i" to manage a historical database of price and volume information on one computer and then share that with other computers across a local area network. With the tools mentioned above, it is possible to designate just a single computer as a data server, so all of the necessary database maintenance can get done in one place and then can be pushed out across the network automatically whenever charts are opened in MultiCharts on the client side.

On the local computers in a network, MultiCharts can handle incoming realtime data from a wide range of datafeeds, and also backfill history from GlobalServer on demand. Obviously, realtime feeds such as ZenFire are offered for free nowadays and their quality is very good. Expensive historical feeds need not be duplicated on each and every computer thanks to the innovative tools mentioned above. I can even collect my own ZenFire data in realtime, and import it to GlobalServer if I am in a pinch using a tool such as "HistoryCentre", but I prefer to let a program like "MetaServer RT" automatically update GlobalServer so I don't have to. It looks like eSignal, IQFeed, and TS Network are all available, and even InteractiveBrokers if I am not concerned about the accuracy of my data. I think InteractiveBrokers is "good enough" for minute based resolutions, and the coverage is very broad at a low price per month for customers. The others may or may not be of similar quality to ZenFire but I will have to find out by testing.

....
GlobalServer seems to have a nice feature that automatically discards tick data that is older than a user-specified date. So that is another reason why I like the idea of using "TS Data Hub" in conjunction with GlobalServer to push historical data out from a central data server to remote MultiCharts clients over a network.

On the local client side, the incoming realtime data that gets temporarily stored by MultiCharts in QuoteManager is very useful because it provides a "smart cache" that helps keep gaps from appearing in the local database, at least on the client side. History backfills from the central database or even from the datafeed are only requested for the data that is not already in the local "smart cache", and the database files can be discarded each weekend prior to starting a new week of trading. I have not seen the "smart cache" feature anywhere else, and in my opinion it is very useful.

For anyone who has read this far, I hope that you have found some food for thought and I wish you success in your trading.
kh, I don't know if you are around anymore, but it would certainly be interesting to learn more about these efforts!


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