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NT8 making rules up as they go along?


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NT8 making rules up as they go along?

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  #1 (permalink)
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I have had a thread shut down as Ninjatrader claimed using FIX Api was a breach of their terms of service. I ahve posted their terms of service and asked to clarify what parts have been breached....still watining for a reply.

I post below a thread from the official Ninjatrader forum from an official Ninjatrade customer service rep in regard to using Fix protacol with Ninjatrader. It is quite clear that Ninjatrader forum are more than happy for users to work on finding a solution on their own site, but the threads get shut down here and they state the TOS have been breached.

I'm a paid up member of both this site and a full licence for NT8. If you are going to shut down my valid posts you should be able to explain why. I await a response from either Ninjatrader or Futures.io

https://ninjatrader.com/support/forum/forum/ninjatrader-7/general-development/1052904-fix-api-connection
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#2
03-28-2019, 05:53 PM
Hello mbogliardi,
Thanks for your post.

If you are familiar with the Fix API you could likely use some C# to do some things with it in NinjaTrader. However that would be outside the scope of anything we could support.

We can leave this forum post open in case anyone else has further information.
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Hi,

Prohibited Uses 5(a)(viii) is the relevant section of the Terms of Service Agreement that states specifically "
develop an interface between Platform to Broker APIs without the express written consent from the
Company
"

Ray

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b16aln View Post
I await a response from either Ninjatrader or Futures.io

To be clear, your complaint should be directed solely to @NinjaTrader. Your previous thread was closed here at FIO because your topic was not permitted, as it fell into the section of piracy of software. Such topics are not permitted in any way here. I also understand that was never your intent, but once it became clear that is what was ultimately occuring, we had to shut it down.

As to why it falls under piracy, it's because @NinjaTrader states what you are doing is a violation of their license, essentially meaning you are using their product without permission or without agreeing to their EULA.

Personally, I liked your idea of using FIX protocol. But to do so in order to circumvent a purposefully placed limitation within their software is against their EULA.

Now, this thread here, where you are discussing "why", is certainly permitted and you are free to engage @NinjaTrader and ask them why they've done this.

On a second personal note, I suggest you always weigh the complaints and grievances against the positives you benefit from with any product. Do you gain more than you lose? Then probably it's a good idea to keep the product. If not, then the ultimate vote should always be made by your wallet - purchase a different product if you believe there is a superior one, or delay your purchase until the vendor does whatever you are asking of them that is of critical importance to your use case.

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Hi,

Prohibited Uses 5(a)(viii) is the relevant section of the Terms of Service Agreement that states specifically "
develop an interface between Platform to Broker APIs without the express written consent from the
Company
"

Ray

In fairness to @NinjaTrader, I don't think the user's thread title of "NT8 making rules up as they go along" is at all an accurate description of what has taken place here. While I am not going to modify the title at this time, I would strongly encourage the user to do so. A more accurate title for instance might be "NinjaTrader's EULA rules".

In fairness to @b16aln, I think the frustration may have originated from the fact that NT Josh told him one thing, while NT Ray is shutting him down with another thing. I personally believe the Josh was just telling him what is possible without considering the EULA consequences, and it wasn't done with ill intent, but it has frustrated the customer to receive two conflicting responses.

It is probably a good idea that NT Support Team is made aware of this thread and just asked to consider EULA in these edge cases.

I also just want to add that @bobwest did nothing wrong, in fact he asked @NinjaTrader to clarify under my direction to do so as I was away from my system. Once NT responded, he did the correct thing in shutting down the thread in order to comply with site rules. My thanks goes out to @bobwest for doing a great job as Site Moderator.

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NinjaTrader View Post
Hi,

Prohibited Uses 5(a)(viii) is the relevant section of the Terms of Service Agreement that states specifically "
develop an interface between Platform to Broker APIs without the express written consent from the
Company
"

Ray

As I posted, the Ninjatrader representative stated on 28th March 2019 that "If you are familiar with the Fix API you could likely use some C# to do some things with it in NinjaTrader. However that would be outside the scope of anything we could support." This is quite clearly express written consent...given by an NT official... on the official NT website. There are numerous NT forum posts about using FIX protocol with NT and at NO POINT does ninjatrader shut down the threads and state that it is a breach of their terms.

While we are on the subject of FIX, could Ninjatrader advise the community why they are unwilling to add this to the platform officially as it is a valuable tool for traders and one offered by most other high level trading platforms e.g cTrader, Multicharts.

Edit: Here is an example of a recent thread on NT forum which was not closed down or told that it was a breach of terms. Seems like it one rule for users on the NT forum and another for Futures IO posters. https://ninjatrader.com/support/forum/forum/ninjatrader-8/add-on-development/1103671-ninjatrader-fix-server

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Big Mike View Post
In fairness to @NinjaTrader, I don't think the user's thread title of "NT8 making rules up as they go along" is at all an accurate description of what has taken place here. While I am not going to modify the title at this time, I would strongly encourage the user to do so. A more accurate title for instance might be "NinjaTrader's EULA rules".

In fairness to @b16aln, I think the frustration may have originated from the fact that NT Josh told him one thing, while NT Ray is shutting him down with another thing. I personally believe the Josh was just telling him what is possible without considering the EULA consequences, and it wasn't done with ill intent, but it has frustrated the customer to receive two conflicting responses.

It is probably a good idea that NT Support Team is made aware of this thread and just asked to consider EULA in these edge cases.

I also just want to add that @bobwest did nothing wrong, in fact he asked @NinjaTrader to clarify under my direction to do so as I was away from my system. Once NT responded, he did the correct thing in shutting down the thread in order to comply with site rules. My thanks goes out to @bobwest for doing a great job as Site Moderator.

Mike

Bike Mike, I disagree that bobwest did a great job here. The thread should not have been closed down, discussion in regard to the potential prodution of a FIX protocol is NOT against NT terms. Developing an interface without express permission IS apparently against the terms. DISCUSSING the potential of developing something is NOT against any rules and should never have been shut down. Having an open discussion, which NT would be watching should have led us down the path of discovery and revealed that in order to start the actual development of the interface, if there was enough interest in developing it, we would need permission from NT8....what would have wrong with that? That is what discussion is all about, discuss an idea, find out the in and outs and what is required to make it possible...for all we know @NinjaTrader still might ok the development for indivual use when asked. What your moderator should have done (in conjunction with @NinjaTrader) once the rules were clarified was to point out that the actual development of the the interface can;t take place util permission is given by NT.

There are no terms that state DISCUSSING the potential development of an add on is prohibited, therefore there has been no breach and I quite resent the fact that the thread was shut down because your moderator claimed it breached the terms. Discussing the potential for an add on breaches no terms.

This should have been a simple heads up by site moderators that we would need contact NT to get permission before actually starting the development. Totally unnesscesary to shut down the whole thread. For all you know there could be several user interested in developing this and adding their support and we could then have put forward our case when seeking permission from NT8, now however users aren't even allowed to discuss whether they would be interested in taking this further. Bobwest has totally jumped the gun here.

If the NT terms stated that it was prohibited to develop an interface at all, then I can understand the thread being closed however the terms simply state we need to seek permission before developing so we should be allowed to discuss this.

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Sorry for the inconsistency between the NinjaTrader forum and the FIO forum. While not an excuse, I think we are over 50 customer service employees and sometimes, incorrect responses fall through the crack. I have escalated this to our head of support to make sure it is accurately handled in the future. As the original author of our Terms of Service Agreement, this prohibited use provision has been there for as long as I can remember. Its there for many reasons, its part of our business strategy.

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b16aln View Post
Bike Mike, I disagree that bobwest did a great job here. The thread should not have been closed down, discussion in regard to the potential prodution of a FIX protocol is NOT against NT terms. Developing an interface without express permission IS apparently against the terms. DISCUSSING the potential of developing something is NOT against any rules and should never have been shut down.

Sorry, but I disagree. That's like saying discussing where to obtain a pirated copy of software is acceptable here, while actually clicking the link and downloading it is illegal.

In my opinion, our community simply has no reason to encourage or allow such behavior or discussions. We don't need to thread the needle here when it comes to that kind of topic.

As I said, the entire FIX angle has been explained by @NinjaTrader to be against their acceptable use which you agreed to. Therefore, there is no reason to encourage continued discussion on that.

However, also as I said above, you are welcome to question why @NinjaTrader reached such a decision. You can do so in this thread. Like I also said, I would encourage you to change the title of the thread because it is not at all accurate.

To be clear, we are not prohibiting the discussion of NinjaTrader's license agreement. You are free to do so. However, we are not permitting the discussion of things that are against NinjaTrader's license agreement. Another example is the selling of used NinjaTrader licenses. We routinely close such threads, as they go against the license agreement and we wouldn't want to encourage such behavior - especially since someone is at risk of buying a license then find they are in violation and unsupported and have wasted their money.

Last, please don't create duplicate threads on this. You have a perfectly good thread here to discuss the issue. No need to create more.

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That's a terrible analogy. For a start we are not talking about illegal activity. Secondly we are not talking about accessing and altering the licensed sofware code. We are talking about developing a 3rd party add on which is generally allowed. Pirating copyrighted software is a deliberate attempt to steal the software. You are way off here....

You are failing to grasp the point. It is not against the terms to discuss the possibility of developing a FIX connection, it is not against the terms to establish a working group who are interested in developing a fix connection. The terms simply state that we need permission from the Co before we can move forward with the development of such a connection.

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Well then maybe NT should post this in a FAQ in the NT forums !

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@bigMike You posted this just before Christmas

In your post you put a direct link to software that enables NT8 to bridge to software that can then connect to alternative brokers. Can you explain why you are allowed and you felt it was appropriate to post a link to software that breaches the NT8 terms?

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The solution found by @KillerJukeBox uses NinjaTrader's ATI to the best of my knowledge, not having used it, but having read the github readme.
@NinjaTrader can you please comment as to whether or not using ATI is acceptable use?

b16aln View Post
@bigMike You posted this just before Christmas

In your post you put a direct link to software that enables NT8 to bridge to software that can then connect to alternative brokers. Can you explain why you are allowed and you felt it was appropriate to post a link to software that breaches the NT8 terms?

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The solution found by @KillerJukeBox uses NinjaTrader's ATI to the best of my knowledge, not having used it, but having read the github readme.
@NinjaTrader can you please comment as to whether or not using ATI is acceptable use?


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It is not acceptable use.

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Alright, so that other thread will be closed as well unfortunately. That is unfortunate but those are the limitations users agree to, probably without ever having read the EULA.

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It is not acceptable use.

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That one acceptable??

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Big Mike View Post
Alright, so that other thread will be closed as well unfortunately. That is unfortunate but those are the limitations users agree to, probably without ever having read the EULA.


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Definitely unfortunate and makes me question whether I want to continue on with the current NT trajectory. Being a dev who wants to tinker and create, I worry the noose may be tightening in the future.

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Things have dramatically changed the last couple years for advanced devs (not NT's target audience). You can find so so many repos and open source projects now for data API's and backtesting. Connecting to broker has always been the simplest part.

Start a new thread for a complete Python solution backend, with various methods available for client side charting (Windows). Share Docker images. I'll be happy to promote and try to contribute.


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Definitely unfortunate and makes me question whether I want to continue on with the current NT trajectory. Being a dev who wants to tinker and create, I worry the noose may be tightening in the future.

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Jasonnator View Post
Definitely unfortunate and makes me question whether I want to continue on with the current NT trajectory. Being a dev who wants to tinker and create, I worry the noose may be tightening in the future.

Not to continue to flog this horse, but there was a simple issue raised by the original thread that touched all this off: the desire of a user, @b16aln, to use the NT platform with brokers that NT does not support. (Which, I might add, he had initially been led to believe by NT support would be an acceptable thing to do, which was later contradicted by a reply, in that thread, from @NinjaTrader Ray, the founder of the company, when he was asked if it was an acceptable use.)

The issue is that having users connect to whichever brokers they want conflicts with NT's business decision not to have the platform used to connect to brokers that NT does not have a business relationship with. The suggested project involved getting around this decision by technical means, using the FIX protocol to connect to other brokers anyway. But the inability to use NT with other brokers was not a technical limitation. It was not something that NT had simply failed to do out of lack of competence or from failing to write their platform correctly. It was not an error or inadvertent limitation that needed to be corrected or improved upon by tinkering users. It was how they wanted to conduct their business.

The movement of NT away from being a general platform that let traders utilize it with many brokers was largely motivated by their decision several years ago to go into the brokerage business themselves, although they had always had limitations on the brokers they dealt with. I assume there were and are financial considerations involved with the other brokers, but whatever reasons they have are business reasons, not technical ones. Once they had their own brokerage, the use of the platform with their brokerage became part of the brand, part of how they were operating in the market as a broker as well as a platform provider.

Essentially, users creating a means to use their software to deal with other brokers would be taking the ability to make these decisions out of their hands. It also would be literally taking money out of their hands as well, since the users clearly would not use it to connect to NT Brokerage or the others they permit any more -- that was the entire point of the idea.

Many traders, myself among them, were not happy when NT pulled its platform back to its own brokerage and a few others. But it is not my software. I did what some others have done, which is move to another platform. Others have, of course, decided to go with the NT brokerage, or to go (or stay) with one of the other supported brokers. But there are no other options available that do not violate NT's rights to its intellectual property. Modifying the capabilities of the software to go around NT's business decisions is not a purely technical effort. It is actually appropriation of the software. It is an add-on, but it is an add-on intended to get around the licensed use of the software. @NinjaTrader -- Ray, the founder of NT -- has said in this thread that the restriction to not develop an interface to brokers was in the license agreement "for as long as I can remember.," and he wrote it.

I doubt that any of this will change any minds, but these are the issues as I see them, and is why the original thread was closed.

I can understand why @b16aln is unhappy with the decision to close his original thread, and I would have been annoyed too if it had been mine, purely as a personal reaction. But it was not personal and should not be taken personally. Once @NinjaTrader replied to the inquiry that was made whether it was an allowable use under the license, the effort to develop a FIX interface, or any other add-on with the same purpose, was not something that could be supported on futures.io under its terms. The general question of whether NT should have the limitations it has imposed on developers is entirely appropriate, and it is also appropriate to disagree with their decisions, or have any other discussion about them. The present thread would be a good place for it. But a thread that is not simply discussing in the abstract whether it can or should be done, but is about doing it, is another matter:

b16aln View Post
If anyone can point me in the right direction, provide a basic overview of how quikFix could be used with NT8 or (jackpot!!) anyone can share some code in regard to implementing a working FIX protocol on NT8 that would be appreciated.

The purpose of this rather long post is simply to lay out the issues as I see them. Disagreement and/or further discussion of them is perfectly appropriate, as discussion and debate always are. However, NT is not "making up rules as they go along," and neither is futures.io.

I regret that @b16aln was offended by having his thread closed, and I agree that he initially received a go-ahead from NT support, which was a mistake according to @NinjaTrader. It would have been much better if his original query to NT had been responded to differently, and it is clear in the original thread that he felt he had been given the OK to pursue the project. But we have to call them as we see them, and once @NinjaTrader responded as he did in that thread, we had no other choice.

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Bob, if ninjatrader arent; making up the rules as they go along, why have @NinjaTrader allowed and taken part in multiple other threads on developing individual user connection? The last thread that I referenced was clearly far worse than developing a FIX add on, I was discussing how to actually manipulate the current NT connections to manipulate orders....worst of all @NinjaTrader were involved in the thread and saw no need to close it down, issue warnings or even politely flag that this was against the TOS.

They can point to a 5 year old term in the terms of service all they like but there has been a clear an unabiguaous precident and custom and practice set by @NinjaTrader in allowing these discussions and developments to take place. Do they pick and choose who has to follow certain rules and who doesn;t? Seems very discrimiatory policy to me if that is the case. If they are now enforcing these rules then that is clear change of policy and they should put a statement making this clear that the past custom and practice has ended and they will now be enforcing this.

There have been specific external links posted on the NT discussion forum threads to external code to create a FIX bridge, NT themselves have taken part these threads but none of these were closed down or accusations of breaching rules made. It was quite openly dicussed and commented on by @NinjaTrader.

It would be good to have a response from @NinjaTrader on this...as far as I can see they have not told anyone to stop discussing/developing anything yet, they have only confirmed that it does breach their 5 year old terms that they have not enforced for years. So @NinjaTrader, what is your decision on whether users here can develop a FIX add on?

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b16aln View Post
It would be good to have a response from @NinjaTrader on this...as far as I can see they have not told anyone to stop discussing/developing anything yet, they have only confirmed that it does breach their 5 year old terms that they have not enforced for years. So @NinjaTrader, what is your decision on whether users here can develop a FIX add on?

Policy vs enforcement are two different things. Had I not been asked in this forum what our policy is I likely would not have seen it nor answered. Technical questions related to the development of a brokerage interface are infrequent at best thus itís not a training topic for our 50+ support team. I have used this thread as an opportunity to educate this team on this policy.

Our policy is clear, it's prohibited to develop a brokerage interface. How and if we choose to enforce those that are in violation is at our discretion. No different than a patent holder choosing how, who and when to sue for patent infringement.

Disclosure: This communication is sent to you by NinjaTrader, LLC, a software development company which owns and supports all proprietary technology relating to and including the NinjaTrader trading platform.
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@NinjaTrader...even after all of this you still don;t know your own TOS??

How do you deceide which of your paying customers you will choose to enforce the rules against and which ones you won't? Seems like a rather unprofessional approach, like the post title suggests, making up the rules on who you enforce violations against and who you don;t as you go along it appears.

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b16aln View Post
@NinjaTrader...even after all of this you still don;t know your own TOS??

How do you deceide which of your paying customers you will choose to enforce the rules against and which ones you won't? Seems like a rather unprofessional approach, like the post title suggests, making up the rules on who you enforce violations against and who you don;t as you go along it appears.

You are inaccurate with your statement(s). We are not enforcing our policy against any customer at this time. All I have done is state our policy when I was asked. That said, its at our discretion if, when, how and who we choose to enforce our policies. No different from any other company that takes economics and business strategy into consideration before deciding to enforce their legal rights.

I do not intend to engage any further on this topic as I feel my responses have been clear and transparent.

Ray

Disclosure: This communication is sent to you by NinjaTrader, LLC, a software development company which owns and supports all proprietary technology relating to and including the NinjaTrader trading platform.
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