Is a front end necessary for TWS and if so which is "best" .........
I wanted to ask some of the experienced users here about IB and TWS, as all I know is what I found when I tried the demo of TWS (ie a pretty much cut-down version).
1. Is TWS usable on its own without having a front-end package like Sierrachart or Multicharts or NT7 etc ? What are the drawbacks of just using it as a standalone ?
2. The list of indicators available on TWS is fairly short compared to some other platforms - Ichimoku is a particular one of interest to me - has anyone written one by any chance ?
3. If I want to try and pull an automated system together without writing code or script (eg indicator crossovers, price crossovers etc) using simple (if anything ever is simple) assisted query building, a bit like the strategy wizard/condition builder in NT7 but ideally even easier - what would be good choices for a front-end platform for both building and backtesting?
1. Sure. I think the main drawback is the charting is not as good. I've always used Sierra, so I haven't used TWS charting much, but it seems to have improved quite a bit. I used to just log in with IB Gateway, but now I am actually logging in to TWS because it does have some impressive capabilities that I find useful (news, fundamentals, options, spread trader, etc..).
3. Sierra spreadsheets are pretty easy for building and testing trading systems once you understand the basics of using the software. It's mainly just standard Excel formulas.
The following 3 users say Thank You to Jolew for this post:
IB works fine with Sierra. Use IB Gateway, not TWS. And never use IB for data, get a good data provider like IQFeed.
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
If you want to support our community, become an Elite Member.
I've used IB as a broker for years, lately TWS for manual (chart) trading in a pinch. It tends to be rock solid compared to 3rd party API platforms and constantly being improved; brokerage service & data good enough for what I do (these days mainly spot currencies).
As far as I know TWS won't incorporate custom Java libraries so short of hacking TWS the API route may be the only way to add additional functionality (like indicators, etc.). In that regard it's conceivable NT or MC.Net could be coerced into providing a graphical strategy builder to the extent they expose .Net features but that's a job for a developer.
If you have no luck finding a platform that meets all your requirements, including bullet-proof backtesting, in one package over the long haul perhaps if you align with a developer or development group you might be able to advise on the user interface. There are many talented developers on futures.io (formerly BMT) and there's always a next-gen NT wishlist thread.
When I was with IB, I had IB+Ninjatrader. TWS is one of the worst platforms out there. I don't recommend it at all. It really is sad that one of the best brokers out there doesn't have a decent front end. IB should buy out multichart, ninjatrader or someone as a technology acquisition, just like TD bought out TOS.
I for one think the platform has come a long way and is highly configurable which suits my needs. Take some time, play around with the paper trader and figure out what works best. I've got my columns, hot keys and defaults set to my liking and find it really good for trading multiple asset classes.