MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

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MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby Lenar » Thu May 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Hi everybody,

Michal asked me to introduce our trading terminal and strategy developing IDE.

MetaTrader 4 Client Terminal
Terminal possesses both analytical and trading abilities. In trading, there is three execution technologies and full set of trading orders. Along with trading there are about 50 analytical tools: 30 technical indicators and 20 line studies. And its very important fact. From one application you can analyze markets and conduct trading operations immediately. This also allows automating your trading activity with MQL4 (listed below) and Expert Advisors. For those who worrying about where he can use these advantages, I want to inform that now about 85 brokers and banks worldwide using MetaTrader 4 under different labels.

MQL 4
If you fell that there are not enough built-in technical indicators you can write your own with MQL 4. For each indicator you can use 8 indicators` arrays, i.e. in each indicator you can use 8 lines. For example, you can create an indicator which will draw 8 different Moving Averages. Using abilities of MT4/MQL4 you can even built new charts (for example, heiken ashi). From one indicator you have access to any security and period in terminal. If indicator is applied to D1 period chart, it can use data, for example, from H1 or M15. Also using MQL 4 you can work with any data. Some traders are need to use exotic timeframes (2,3,6-hours, 2,3,5-days and so on). Using period converter (its a MQL4-Script) and lesser periods they can get these timeframes. This ability also allows to build new securities basing on the data of existing in terminal financial instruments. For example, Alex Silver builds USD Index.

MQL 4 IDE allows Experts to contact each other in the frame of terminal. Such feature brings, for instance, a synchronization function - if several experts are trying to conduct trading operations at the same time, there will be errors. But it possible to avoid this situation when synchronization is on. As against to Custom Indicators, Expert Advisors and Scripts can not only use data from any secucurity/period, but also to trade in any different securities/periods. If one using very complicated strategy which is analyzing data from several securities and can open positions on any of them, this ability is indispensable. MQL 4 allows to use several functions in body of one expert.

Usage of DLLs broadens the abilities of MQL4 greatly. For example, the same period converter script appends HST-file opened as offline-chart and sends to terminal command using PostMessage WinAPI function to refresh chart. Second example, is to use Speech API.

MetaTrader 4 Terminal got built-in strategy tester. Everybody knows what is it and whats its purpose. So I will take you attention to main features only. Except of testing abilities there two types of optimization: step-by-step and optimization based on principles of genetic algorithms. Both of them allows to find the best input parameters for your Expert. There is a limitation on genetic optimization: if there are less that 2000 combinations, genetic optimization is not running - its just have no sense. Instead of it, one can use usual step-by-step. Important feature of genetic optimization is a caching of results. It means that if such combination already was met in previous generations, testing with these params will not be run once again. Tester just takes the results of already held run from the memory and writes them for this testing too. Strategy tester maximaly accurate emulates work of server. I mean it calculates rollovers, margin levels, commissions etc.

Hope this brief info give answers to some questions.
Best Regards, Lenar Fatkhullin
MetaQuotes Software Corp.
http://www.metaquotes.net

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Re: MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby michal.kreslik » Thu May 25, 2006 4:05 pm

Lenar, thanks for a brief introduction. My introductory questions:

1. which brokers support trading via MetaTrader4?
2. do some of them support second time stamps on tick charts?
3. what is the cost of data feed(s)?
4. what is the cost of using the platform?
5. is there any broker supporting MetaTrader4 who supports fully automated forex trading?
6. is there an alternative bar construction ability in MetaTrader4 (like CRBs - constant range bars)?
7. is it possible to construct tick-based charts (like 30-tick chart)
8. is there any data feed cache management in MetaTrader4 similar to that in NeoTicker?
9. we know that Tradestation is used by many solely thanks to the third-party add-ons availibilty (including me). What is the add-ons availability for MetaTrader4? What is your general approach towards encouraging programmers to write third-party add-ons for your platform?
10. there is a PDA version of MetaTrader4. What are your and your clients' experiences with that? For me, this sounds just "kewl" :)
11. I'll quote aspTrader, one of the best EL and NeoTicker programmers around (I guess he will ask some questions here, too):

aspTrader wrote:- So, long term, having ActiveX external-to-the-platform control
over the platform itself will turn out to be important (to achieve the
goal of not "intruding" on the strategy code itself like all GAs do
that support TS).

hmmm... Let's see. Which platform already supports ActiveX control?

Make a guess...


well, I guess he is talking about his beloved NeoTicker :) But my question is: does MetaTrader4 support ActiveX control?

Thanks for the answers,
Michal

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Re: MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby Lenar » Fri May 26, 2006 1:00 pm

michal.kreslik wrote:Lenar, thanks for a brief introduction. My introductory questions:

1. which brokers support trading via MetaTrader4?
2. do some of them support second time stamps on tick charts?
3. what is the cost of data feed(s)?
4. what is the cost of using the platform?
5. is there any broker supporting MetaTrader4 who supports fully automated forex trading?
6. is there an alternative bar construction ability in MetaTrader4 (like CRBs - constant range bars)?
7. is it possible to construct tick-based charts (like 30-tick chart)
8. is there any data feed cache management in MetaTrader4 similar to that in NeoTicker?
9. we know that Tradestation is used by many solely thanks to the third-party add-ons availibilty (including me). What is the add-ons availability for MetaTrader4? What is your general approach towards encouraging programmers to write third-party add-ons for your platform?
10. there is a PDA version of MetaTrader4. What are your and your clients' experiences with that? For me, this sounds just "kewl" :)
11. I'll quote aspTrader, one of the best EL and NeoTicker programmers around (I guess he will ask some questions here, too):

well, I guess he is talking about his beloved NeoTicker :) But my question is: does MetaTrader4 support ActiveX control?

Thanks for the answers,
Michal


Hi Michal,

1. all of those who bought MetaTrader 4 are supporting the trading. Our platfrom is not informational. Its "informational-trading" platform. Currently about 85 brokers and banks worldwide.
2. No timeframes are everywhere are standard. But you can use period converter to make any "exotic" TF.
3. Its not your problem, its brokers:)) He finding feeds and distibutes them into all trading terminals.
4. Here is the problem. You know the PLATFORM term in the West means the traders working place. In our case, Platfrom is a whole cycle trading complex intended for organization of brokerage services on the financial markets. What is in the west called platform is our Client Terminal.

So if you are speaking about Client Terminal - its free. Only mobile version costs 45$ for unlimited usage. If you are talking about MetaTrader 4 Platfrom, you should contact our Cyprus office.
5. Yes there are brokers, who supports automated trading. Check their sites for this information.
6. and 7. You can do this with FXT-files. Its a history files format. Its opened.
8. what is this, please describe in details.
9. Our approach is combination of MQL 4 + DDL. There are already several groups of professional MQL 4 developers. For example, http://www.metatrader.info
10. I have to disagree with you. There is a group of traders who seldom are off the desctop PCs. They rate that feature very highly. In some traders communities i even say post like "I`d cose this broker but he havent Mobile Trading. So i brought my money to broker who got MetaTrader 4." Im not joking and its not a marketing motto. Our reserches show that every year amount of mobile users are increasing 2.5 times.
11. No there is no ActiveX support. Only MQL4 + DLL.
Best Regards, Lenar Fatkhullin

MetaQuotes Software Corp.

http://www.metaquotes.net

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Re: MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby michal.kreslik » Fri May 26, 2006 11:59 pm

Michal wrote:1. which brokers support trading via MetaTrader4?
Lenar wrote:1. all of those who bought MetaTrader 4 are supporting the trading. Our platfrom is not informational. Its "informational-trading" platform. Currently about 85 brokers and banks worldwide.

Great, so that

you can choose your broker out of 85 available

Could you please provide us a link to the list of those brokers who support trading through your platform? I couldn't find it on your website.

Michal wrote:2. do some of them support second time stamps on tick charts?
Lenar wrote:2. No timeframes are everywhere are standard. But you can use period converter to make any "exotic" TF.

Sure, it's not a problem to convert data to other format once you have it available. You can easily decrease the resolution from 1 min bars to 15 min bars. But the question is, does any broker who cooperates with you support tick-level data down to the second-by-second timestamp? For example, in Tradestation, there is only minute-by-minute time stamp. This means that although there is tick data available, you only get them with the minute timestamp. Thus, you get 10 ticks with a timestamp of 10:45, then 5 ticks 10:46, 12 ticks 10:47 and so on. You never know when exactly did the tick happend within the minute, like 10:45:12, 10:45:22, 10:45:36. Just 10:45:00, 10:45:00, 10:45:00. This down-to-second timestamp is particularly useful for scalping strategies in forex.

Michal wrote:3. what is the cost of data feed(s)?
Lenar wrote:3. Its not your problem, its brokers:)) He finding feeds and distibutes them into all trading terminals.

Sure, I was asking about what the cost of data feed is if you don't have an account open. Is it free? You have to pay for the client terminal and the datafeed from Tradestation $200 a month minimum. This can be less if you trade some predefined number/volume of trades every month.

Michal wrote:4. what is the cost of using the platform?
Lenar wrote:4. Here is the problem. You know the PLATFORM term in the West means the traders working place. In our case, Platfrom is a whole cycle trading complex intended for organization of brokerage services on the financial markets. What is in the west called platform is our Client Terminal.

So if you are speaking about Client Terminal - its free.


This is what I wanted to know.

Friends system developers, can you hear that?
MetaTrader4 Client Terminal is free! BigGrin_Smile

Is some standard data feed free too?

Michal wrote:5. is there any broker supporting MetaTrader4 who supports fully automated forex trading?
Lenar wrote:5. Yes there are brokers, who supports automated trading. Check their sites for this information.


Another highlight of the show:

MetaTrader4 supports automated forex trading

Michal wrote:6. is there an alternative bar construction ability in MetaTrader4 (like CRBs - constant range bars)?
7. is it possible to construct tick-based charts (like 30-tick chart)
Lenar wrote:6. and 7. You can do this with FXT-files. Its a history files format. Its opened.

Constant range bars (and more) available in MetaTrader4

Michal wrote:8. is there any data feed cache management in MetaTrader4 similar to that in NeoTicker?
Lenar wrote:8. what is this, please describe in details.

Cache manager manages stored data feeds on your computer. You have the control over which data are stored, which should be downloaded automatically etc. The expert on this issue is aspTrader, who uses this feature in NoeTicker. I'm sure aspTrader will explain to you in this thread what are the advantages of cache manager more accurately then me since I have not ever used it personally. In Tradestation there's no cache manager and you never know whether you can go offline (on a vacation to the countryside) and still be able to backtest your strategies since you never know what exact data is stored locally on your hard disk. Also, you cannot prune unneccessary data this way. So is there any such feature in MetaTrader4?

Michal wrote:9. we know that Tradestation is used by many solely thanks to the third-party add-ons availibilty (including me). What is the add-ons availability for MetaTrader4? What is your general approach towards encouraging programmers to write third-party add-ons for your platform?
Lenar wrote:9. Our approach is combination of MQL 4 + DDL. There are already several groups of professional MQL 4 developers. For example, http://www.metatrader.info

OK. I was asking because the more you support your third-party developers, the more customers will find your platform attractive, the more revenue it will generate for you and the better the platform will be. Is it possible to export an indicator or a strategy (expert advisor in your terms) in a password-protected file so that the program will work, but the code won't be visible to the user? In Tradestation, this is possible.

Michal wrote:10. there is a PDA version of MetaTrader4. What are your and your clients' experiences with that? For me, this sounds just "kewl"
Lenar wrote:10. I have to disagree with you. There is a group of traders who seldom are off the desctop PCs. They rate that feature very highly. In some traders communities i even say post like "I`d cose this broker but he havent Mobile Trading. So i brought my money to broker who got MetaTrader 4." Im not joking and its not a marketing motto. Our reserches show that every year amount of mobile users are increasing 2.5 times.

Frankly, you don't have to disagree with me, Lenar :lol: Kewl = cool = superb! I am a PDA on Windows CE user from its very beginning in cca 1998. I find it great that you support this.

Michal wrote:does MetaTrader4 support ActiveX control?
Lenar wrote:11. No there is no ActiveX support. Only MQL4 + DLL.

Will there be?

I have a new question: is it possible to import offline price data from a file to MetaTrader4?

Thanks very much for your answers, Lenar! We appreciate your attentiveness much.

Michal

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Re: MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby Lenar » Mon May 29, 2006 9:29 am

Hi Michal,

Michal wrote:
you can choose your broker out of 85 available

Could you please provide us a link to the list of those brokers who support trading through your platform? I couldn't find it on your website.


We do not publish the list o brokers. But maybe in nearest future this situation will change and we will publish it.

Michal wrote:Sure, it's not a problem to convert data to other format once you have it available. You can easily decrease the resolution from 1 min bars to 15 min bars. But the question is, does any broker who cooperates with you support tick-level data down to the second-by-second timestamp? For example, in Tradestation, there is only minute-by-minute time stamp. This means that although there is tick data available, you only get them with the minute timestamp. Thus, you get 10 ticks with a timestamp of 10:45, then 5 ticks 10:46, 12 ticks 10:47 and so on. You never know when exactly did the tick happend within the minute, like 10:45:12, 10:45:22, 10:45:36. Just 10:45:00, 10:45:00, 10:45:00. This down-to-second timestamp is particularly useful for scalping strategies in forex.


I think that there are some brokers who offers this data. But i cant name you exact companies. Try to search from google.

Michal wrote:Sure, I was asking about what the cost of data feed is if you don't have an account open. Is it free? You have to pay for the client terminal and the datafeed from Tradestation $200 a month minimum. This can be less if you trade some predefined number/volume of trades every month.


If you dont have an account you dont have realtime data. In this case you can download data from some resources manually and analyse them in off-line mode.

But what is a problem? I never heard that some of our clients do not provide demo accounts which are absolutely free.

Michal wrote:Is some standard data feed free too?


Michal, free means free:) Terminal is free and its main purpose is to work with the server. So you can only download terminal, open demo account and you already have realtime data. Free.:)


Michal wrote:Cache manager manages stored data feeds on your computer. You have the control over which data are stored, which should be downloaded automatically etc. The expert on this issue is aspTrader, who uses this feature in NoeTicker. I'm sure aspTrader will explain to you in this thread what are the advantages of cache manager more accurately then me since I have not ever used it personally. In Tradestation there's no cache manager and you never know whether you can go offline (on a vacation to the countryside) and still be able to backtest your strategies since you never know what exact data is stored locally on your hard disk. Also, you cannot prune unneccessary data this way. So is there any such feature in MetaTrader4?


As far as i understood you, you want to have mechanism to control of downloading data. Yes, ther is mechanism. First of all in terminal there is an option Max. Bars in History which is controlling the amount of history in bars stored on your HDD. Secondly, there is an automatic system in terminal which is downloading data only on opened charts. So you can set you history limitation to any amount, then open the charts you need and the storing of history is began.

Also you can use Data Centers. This component have several purposes, one of them is to collect and distribute data. Its like a proxy server.


Michal wrote:OK. I was asking because the more you support your third-party developers, the more customers will find your platform attractive, the more revenue it will generate for you and the better the platform will be. Is it possible to export an indicator or a strategy (expert advisor in your terms) in a password-protected file so that the program will work, but the code won't be visible to the user? In Tradestation, this is possible.


Yes its possible. The MQ4 files are the sources and they are may be used to design the experts. But if you want hide your code you can distribute EX4 files only.
Want to note that there is no any standard password checking mechanism. But expert-developers make some checks inside of the code and they are able to control the usege of their expers. For example they cheking the time, checking some "activation files" (whitout those files experts do not work) and so on.

The main moment of this situation is that EX4 files are executable, but are not customizable. Nobody (including its author) can change them. Even author have to change MQ4 files and recompile them only.



Michal wrote:Frankly, you don't have to disagree with me, Lenar :lol: Kewl = cool = superb! I am a PDA on Windows CE user from its very beginning in cca 1998. I find it great that you support this.


Ok, looks like i didnt understood you well, Michal.:))

Lenar wrote:11. No there is no ActiveX support. Only MQL4 + DLL.

Michal wrote:Will there be?


No, we do not plan to integrate it.

Michal wrote:I have a new question: is it possible to import offline price data from a file to MetaTrader4?


Of course, FXT format and you may use any data. The possibility of offline analysis was one of ours priority.

Michal wrote:Thanks very much for your answers, Lenar! We appreciate your attentiveness much.
Michal


Any time, Michal.
Best Regards, Lenar Fatkhullin

MetaQuotes Software Corp.

http://www.metaquotes.net

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Re: MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby michal.kreslik » Wed May 31, 2006 11:18 am

Thanks for answering the questions, Lenar.

michal.kreslik wrote:6. is there an alternative bar construction ability in MetaTrader4 (like CRBs - constant range bars)?
Lenar wrote:6. and 7. You can do this with FXT-files. Its a history files format. Its opened.


Now I realize that maybe I didn't formulate the question precisely. Is it possible to display alternative bars (like constant range or Kase bars) online? And base standard MT4 indicators and strategies on them online?

Also, is there a feature in MetaTrader4 similar to Tradestation's RadarScreen?

Thanks,
Michal

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Re: MetaTrader 4 and MQL 4 overview

Postby Lenar » Wed May 31, 2006 1:12 pm

michal.kreslik wrote:
Now I realize that maybe I didn't formulate the question precisely. Is it possible to display alternative bars (like constant range or Kase bars) online? And base standard MT4 indicators and strategies on them online?

Also, is there a feature in MetaTrader4 similar to Tradestation's RadarScreen?

Thanks,
Michal


Hi Michal,

Yes its possible. You can build expert like Period Converter which will automatically rewrite offline data and send to terminal Refresh Chart command.

About Radar - no, there is no such feature.
Best Regards, Lenar Fatkhullin

MetaQuotes Software Corp.

http://www.metaquotes.net

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Postby michal.kreslik » Wed May 31, 2006 3:18 pm

Lenar,

the RadarScreen feature in Tradestation is rather unique. As far as I know, there's no other publicly available trading platform offering this functionality (correct me if I am wrong). I would also say that the RadarScreen is the sole reason for many real-time traders to use Tradestation over other platforms.

Would you be willing to add this feature to MetaTrader4?

Michal

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Postby christhlo2 » Wed May 31, 2006 3:42 pm

Yes, I do agree with Michal as a TS user can use only one window to glance through a whole lot of instruments using Radarscreen. Of course, there is still lots of rooms for Radarscreen to improve on the ability to filter out/screen out desirable instruments that fulfill certain conditions. MetaTrader 4 should try to attack this weakness in TS if possible. There is a lot of potential power hidden in Radarscreen like structure/function. :smt002

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Postby michal.kreslik » Wed May 31, 2006 3:48 pm

I'm sure that Avery (for Lenar: Avery, or TheRumpledOne is the single best RadarScreen programmer of all times) would unleash the power of a RadarScreen in MetaTrader4 to the extreme extent :)

Also, I assume that MetaTrader4 development team is interested in their clients' enhancement suggestions (unlike the Tradestation development team), so that the RadarScreen in MetaTrader4 might be much better than that in Tradestation originally.

Michal

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