I don't know Sierra Charts and MC.net, unfortunately. I can't compare.
But I use AB for 5 years now and made my autotrade systems 3 years ago.
Incredible software, you can do about anything you want.
There is no better platform, trust me on that. I have been around a lot: MetaTrader, Ninja... you name it. I would never use another software and I encourage every one to use AB as well.
I run complex strategies for Swing Trade and Intraday, changing the strategy behavior according to the time of the day, for example.
You only need to know AFL (Amibroker Formula Language).
It is not hard.
In fact, it is pretty fun to learn it specially if you have any coding knowledge, doesn't matter what language.
If you don't, you will have to learn some coding/programming logic and basics.
About the cautions: there ase some.
AB does not send orders to you broker with built in functions.
You most have a DLL made for your broker.
So, this DLL will make some specific functions available and they will be different from broker to broker.
For example, I am in Brazil and trade my futures and stock market.
I have a DLL made with functions created specifically for my broker. It is made by Gerais Trader.
So, if you are in the US, many AB users trade using IB (Interactive Brokers).
IB has a solid DLL with well tested autotrade functions.
Concluding: you most research which broker you would like to use and if there is a DLL allowing AB to interface with it. Is IB good for you?
Also, you will probably need a data feeder (eSignal, IQFeed)...
AB has its AmiQuote and it is very good, you should check it out too.
And, you could you your brokers DDE signal, if you like.
DDE is a Jurassic tech but it is free and does the job. It has no back fill, though.
And, it is kind of slow. It can only send one or two quotes per second, I really don't know and I don't know if that varies with the number of symbols you are getting through the DDE link.
So, another detail: where will your data come from?
There are other points that one most look at when making an autotrade code, but there are about the code itself.
So, I guess it is not the time to get into them.
For example, you most be careful to not send the SAME order over and over.
Ex: Let's imagine someone that is a day trader, trading on 5-minute bars.
He is using moving averages crossovers to get in and out of the market (terrible system, just to make the example easier).
On a given bar the averages will cross and the system most send an order.
But this signal will exist as long as the software "stays looking" at that bar. If that is a 5-minute bar, it will be 5-minutes.
So, the code could send this order every time it is executed.
If AB is configure to update the chart every second, the code would run (60*5=300) times.
If you are not careful, you could send 300 orders to the market.
You gotta have a flag to control if that order was already sent or not.
Just for your info, I use tick charts and they are updated on every tick.
So, we are talking about a lot of orders if that basic mistake is made.
I think that is about it.
I hope to see you on AB's users mailing list soon.
The following 2 users say Thank You to JFDerzi for this post:
That's an incorrect assumption. There is no price data connection required to trade with IB!
You may use any proper data vendor like IQFeed, esignal, etc and still trade with IB.
Also you may use any broker providing API access you like to. But of course IB is one of the best ones available.
The following user says Thank You to prouser for this post:
It looks great, have been doing my homework on it, very keen to get a basic system built and take it from there.
I wish it had a few features that make our life easier as traders, Im not a coder not my strength so be good if it was that little bit easier to get up and running with amibroker if your not a coder.
Clean chart trading so you can enter bracket orders nice and easily and see on chart similar to what Sierra Charts have.
Multiple brokers and data linked into it easily like with Multicharts.net - so what mc.net can do you can just have another tab with different broker and different data feed, very easy to turn on and off.
A decent forum, thats easy to chat and navigate to people like you guys, amibroker code is amazing but yahoo groups is a joke for support and I know thats what users wanted before but its holding amibroker back and ease of communicating with other people passionate about amibroker which I am!
Could set up a slack forum in 10 mins and be easier to chat and navigate.
A amibroker Youtube channel, walking through everything on what the platform can do - this would be amazing the ask ozzie guy is great and we need more youtube vids about amibroker.
If you think about it, its the best way to show the power it has and can do.
I heard that Matlab can link to Amibroker, can anyone confirm this?
I think if I can get all the above things sorted amibroker would be the best trading software out there.
ps Im a big amibroker fan so pm if you want to get in touch