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Frank

Multicharts Vs Ensign As Answer to Tradestations Faults

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I used to love Tradestation. However, its pretty clear to me that Tradestation as a trading platform is seriously flawed. It started when they told me their architecture doesn't support the vertical axis functionality needed to do good Market Profile. Ok, but the straw that broke camels back is the apparent delay in data that occurs using Tradestation. I have many trader opinions who agree that they receive quotes faster on other platforms than they do on Tradestation. Clearly, trading with delayed data is major problem -- even if the delay is relatively small. (not to mention the outages that seemed to have been worked out by TS until this year).

 

This brings me to my question; after investigating the marketplace, I see 2 solid options: Multicharts and Ensign.

Ensign is a problem because I would effectively have to learn all the small tricks of EL programming I have figured out --- ie, tons of new syntax to learn. Multicharts sounds like great option as it says it can run EasyLanguage and apparently has an architecture that supports Market Profile.

 

My fear with Multicharts is that it goes the way of Tradestation --- slows down and or there are problems in translating EL to MC. However, if it works -- my existing EasyLanguage skillset could be utilized.

 

I see no real big cost difference.

 

If anyone has done a thorough competitive analysis of Ensign vs Multicharts, maybe you can chime in with which way I should lean and which direction to head as a trial.

 

A related question, what is fastest way to learn Ensign programming? --- I am not aware of a book on Ensign -- which is how I got started in EasyLanguage originally.

 

thx

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I would suggest using MC since most, if not all, of your TS things should transfer over. I was an avid user of MC prior to moving to Open ECry and found MC to be a pretty good option for charting. Who knows what the future may hold, so I would not factor that into my decision as Ensign could change things or have the same issues down the road as well. Just pure speculation at that point.

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why did you leave MC once you learned to use it? sounds like you liked it.

 

I have found EasyLanguage to be very powerful --- its just that TS has some serious baggage. I cannot compare EL to Ensign because I have never learned Ensign --- Ensign might be even more powerful than EL and I just don't know it.

 

I was wondering if you just weren't using the EL functionality (in MC) or if there was some other reason why you would recommend MC but aren't using it now...

 

on a side note, I noticed you get free data if you use Multicharts through Open Ecry -- maybe I should do that? Open account with Open Ecry and run Multicharts through it...

 

I am playing around with Ensign ESPL - their programming language - and it does look interesting -- its just that without a good text on it -- could be a lot of work and frustration for something that end of day is not better than EL.

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For me Frank, I did not need the extras that MC offers vs. just using OEC's platform. My setup is pretty simple so OEC has what I need.

 

When I was using MC, I also plugged OEC data into that to save some data costs. That's a good way to go. Just keep in mind that OEC historical data is very limited currently so if you need a lot of historical data, you will still need another data source.

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I am playing around with Ensign ESPL - their programming language - and it does look interesting -- its just that without a good text on it -- could be a lot of work and frustration for something that end of day is not better than EL.

 

Have you tried Ensign's chatroom ? http://ensign.editme.com/chat

They have quite a community of traders and also their support staff there. May be you want to pick their brains.

I have never seen Ensign ESPL being discussed in this forum.

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I took long time for TS to acknowledge the Data issue problem. They finally did month ago or so.. and they have done some changes that have improved the data feed/charting. If you are still experiencing issues with latest release 8.3, build 1631 and updated orchart.exe, then something else might be the cause of it. I agree with you that TS had problem, but I have not seen any issues in last 2-3 weeks.

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well nick, all of the savvy traders I interact with agree, while EL is an excellent software-analysis tool -- Tradestation is not a good platform for day-trading. at any given moment, it may be acting admirably -- but over time, it has proven to be an inadequate trading platform.

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I would never trade through TS. Great charting, backtesting, etc. but I would never risk money on that platform. I was on TS quite awhile ago and the platform to trade on is very unreliable and has not changed much as evidenced by this thread and many others out there.

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I'm an MC fan because its EL compatoble and because it supports multi time frame data - you can mix minutes with volume with range etc

 

There's also a long list of other reasons including data time stamping.

Ensign is a great charting platform for non programmers but its architecture is also very old.

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If you are considering ensign you should also consider SierraChart.

 

Originally I was a tradestation user although I've used Metastock, TS, Ensign, SierraChart, IBChart, Multicharts, Ninja and probably a few I've forgotten in my explorations.

 

I was an ensign user for about 3 months after being a SC user. After 3 months I went back to SierraChart because ensign's espl language is interpretted and very slow compared with SC, Ensign has a lot of eye candy but it tends to be buggy (SierraChart is more reliable and almost totally so if you stay use the release versions not the prerelease versions).

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If you are considering ensign you should also consider SierraChart.

 

Originally I was a tradestation user although I've used Metastock, TS, Ensign, SierraChart, IBChart, Multicharts, Ninja and probably a few I've forgotten in my explorations.

 

I was an ensign user for about 3 months after being a SC user. After 3 months I went back to SierraChart because ensign's espl language is interpretted and very slow compared with SC, Ensign has a lot of eye candy but it tends to be buggy (SierraChart is more reliable and almost totally so if you stay use the release versions not the prerelease versions).

 

I'm on month 2 with Ensign and am thinking of giving SC a go. For many reasons but the full MP for only 8 bucks more is something I want to delve into. I would get I believe level 9 which is good for transact data, has the EOD (I think they use DTN MA) and gives me TPO.

 

Any thoughts, suggestions or neat indicators you could share would be great.

 

Thanks,

MC

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I love the look of Ensign the range of ways to visualise data is great. I have to agree with Kiwi in regards to ESPL being slow. IMO it is too slow to do any 'heavy duty' programming. Having said that it is really quite flexible in the range of things that it exposes to the scripting language.

 

Multicharts has finally become fairly robust (despite a few remaining niggles). Personally I like the speed and ease of doing stuff in easy language. I have a couple of reservations about TSsupport but thats hard to quantify.

 

A lot depends on what you want to do, sadly there does not seem to be a single package that covers all bases (for me at least). Ninjatrader is quite popular and fairly programmable, that might be worthy of consideration too.

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well, update is that I have been playing with Ensign and I am only on day 1 of a Multicharts trial and already know the answer to my original question. Multicharts is the answer.

 

This is an easy decision for me as I am pretty decent at EasyLanguage and Multicharts 'PowerLanguage' is virtually identical. The first few indicators I inputed with EL code worked flawlessly. Actually, the PowerLanguage editor looks superior to EL as its easier to read since its colored and there is a number for each code line.

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Guest Tresor

What can I say, MC's new beta version has a scanner functionality now. The developer's team seem to progress to catch up their competitors.

 

From what I heard MC is to be discontinued this or next year and will be replaced with brand new project which is to be ahead of the competing software.

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No doubt that MC is a great piece of software. It is good for TS to have a strong competitor as it should hopefully force TS to catch up as well.

 

A brand new 'MC' would be very interesting to see. If they improved on a few things, they could really blow TS and others out of the water.

 

Now there's a great business model - a solid, trader-friendly charting platform. ;)

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Having been an early adopter of MC I am not sure I would buy into a new project. Actually, having paid early for the lifetime of the product its a little disconcerting for them to simply shelve the existing product and require all those early adopters that supported the development to pay again. No biggy I guess.

 

On the whole I like MC and most of the guys and girls over there are really helpful getting you sorted out. Having said that I do have some concerns. Their design goal seems to be to follow tradestation as closely as possible for look and feel. For easy language thats great but for a lot of other things TS is hardly state of the art being based itself on supercharts that is positively archaic. I wonder about there design skills, there are few (if any) things that you think wow thats elegantly done. Over the years it has been a real uphill battle to get things fixed or simple changes made in implementation in a more trader friendly way. I don't think any one over there is a trader (though I may be wrong) compare that to say Laurence Chan over at Neoticker and there is no contest. If Neoticker had a more user friendly scripting language it would blow MC out of the water. It does anyway to be honest. I really don't think TSsupport have much 'vision'.

 

An intermingled point is that if they do finally accept something really neat and fairly simple to implement (this in itself is a struggle as they can be pretty 'defensive' when dealing with suggestions) it will take months (or more) before something finally shows up. There philosophy seems to be push on adding features (many of which seem of dubious value) simply to tick boxes. Once the box is ticked they move on to the next 'box' leaving a half baked implementation behind them. Fortunately they seem to be catching up finally and core functionality is reasonable. Actually there development does not seem to be that controlled. Development cycles are fairly long simple things remain unfixed for ages you get hints of 'clunky' implementation and architecture and old bugs sometimes reappear etc.

 

MC has turned into quite a nice product (though for me it was a painful journey) but starting again I find it hard to see how TSsuport will compete with some of the strong competition. For example Ninja only added charting a short time and a couple of versions ago they will probablly be on version 9 10 or higher before TSSupport have a new beta .1 At Ensign you make a suggestion to Howard and I have known stuff to appear in days. IRT they carefully watch whats 'hot' and it just shows up in there software. Neoticker will probablly do whatever you could possibly want right now with some programming due to its amazing architecture. etc.

 

Anyway MC is now a good product (imo) however over the years it has cost me a vast (vast) amount of time and a not inconsiderable amount of money. (One of the reasons for writing this). I think MC2 I will leave until at least version 3.0 before taking a look at it unless it has an absolutely must have feature.

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Guest Tresor

BlowFish,

 

I couldn't agree more with you. Especially, the lack of vision is annoying to many beta testers and those who devoted vast amount of their time to make suggestions on how improve the product.

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Well, I am interacting with Multicharts for the first time so have no legacy axe to grind.

 

Until I see somebody do it, I am of the opinion that if you demand powerful charting functionality, you basically need to separate your charting from your trading platform. Tradestation has a problem doing both in terms of data delays and system crashes during high-volume moments.

 

After playing around with Ensign, I am reminded how easy it is to write a few lines in EasyLanguage and have it do EXACTLY what you want.

 

Therefore, as of now, I think the cleanest way to do this is to run Multicharts to get the EL functionality (with a data feed from eSignal) and then actually trade through someone like Interactive Brokers.

 

As a cost-effective approach, running MC through Open Ecry makes a ton of sense -- free data and $99/mo for the powerful functionality of EasyLanguage/PowerLanguage is a fantastic deal.

Edited by Frank

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Don't let my musings put you off Frank. You will feel at home with MC right of the bat. It will probablly do most (or even all) of what you require without having to learn a bunch of new stuff too. Good choice.

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As a cost-effective approach, running MC through Open Ecry makes a ton of sense -- free data and $99/mo for the powerful functionality of EasyLanguage/PowerLanguage is a fantastic deal.

 

It really is. Prior to OEC getting their charting to the point that I could use it, I was using MC in this fashion.

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It really is. Prior to OEC getting their charting to the point that I could use it, I was using MC in this fashion.

 

Yeah, and just when they get OEC stable and usable they go and change it again, without notice. Looks like the latest demo (3.2.0.3) now has a change in the timestamp for bars and candlesticks which makes no sense whatsoever. Take a quick look and compare it to the live version (3.2.0.1) and see for yourself.

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