I encountered some unexpected behavior this morning concerning the order confirmation dialog box with automated trading. Assume that I have an automated strategy that's applied to two charts, Symbol A and Symbol B. For whatever reason, the "require order confirmation" option is turned ON for Symbol A, but turned OFF for Symbol B. Under these circumstances, order confirmations should only be required for Symbol A. Any strategy orders for Symbol B should be transmitted immediately to the broker, without requiring order confirmation.
The unexpected behavior occurs when a "place this order?" dialog box for Symbol A is being displayed on-screen. When this happens, the dialog box temporarily blocks any additional orders for other symbols -- like Symbol B -- from being transmitted to the broker. Instead, those orders for other symbols are queued up, but aren't transmitted to the broker until after the dialog box is dismissed -- delaying those orders.
This happened to me this morning and caused a serious problem. I have several charts (@ES, @NQ and @TFS) that trade at the 09:31 AM market open based on an automated strategy. These orders should be transmitted automatically, without order confirmation. However, due to a mistake on my part, the "require order confirmation" option was turned ON for the @TFS chart. The following events occurred at the market open, in this order:
The strategy initiated a trade for @ES. Since the "order confirmation" option was turned off for this chart, this order was transmitted immediately to my broker (as expected).
A few seconds later, the strategy initiated a trade for @TFS. Since the "order confirmation" option was mistakenly turned ON for this symbol, MultiCharts correctly displayed a "place this order?" dialog box, rather than transmitting this order to my broker. I was not at my computer to either confirm or cancel this trade, so the dialog box remained open on screen indefinitely.
A few seconds later, the strategy also initiated a trade for @NQ. Since the "order confirmation" option was turned OFF for @NQ, this order should have been trasnmitted immediately to my broker. Instead, MultiCharts didn't do anything -- apparently because the "place this trade?" dialog box for @TFS remained open.
About an hour later, I discovered that the "place this trade?" dialog box was open for @TFS. I hit "cancel," since the time for opening that position had passed.
As soon as I closed that dialog box for @TFS, MultiCharts then immediately transmitted the @NQ order to my broker. In other words, MultiCharts had apparently queued up the @NQ order, but did not actually transmit that order to my broker until after the dialog box for @TFS was dismissed. This was very undesirable, since the order was filled an hour late.
In situations like this, the "place this trade?" dialog box should only block trades for symbols that require order confirmation (like @TFS, in this example). If there are other symbols that have order confirmation turned OFF (like @NQ, in this example), then those trades should be transmitted immediately to the broker -- even if a "place this trade?" dialog box is open on the screen for other symbols.