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Input on Platforms


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Input on Platforms

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  #1 (permalink)
cdre12
Seattle, Washington
 
 
Posts: 4 since Mar 2021
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Hi all,

I've been looking at several platforms as well as the posts on here but I'm still quite confused regarding the platforms. I'm mainly interested in the DOM feature. However, I see so many different providers (Jigsaw, Ninja Trading, CQG, Rithmic, Sierra Charts, Tradovate, TT, etc) and I'm not sure what the purpose of each is.

To get the DOM feature, are you supposed to have one that provides the data, one that provides the DOM interface and one that you execute the trades on? Is that understanding correct? I guess I'm a bit lost since some of these providers also call themselves as brokers, which from my understanding is where you execute trades (like an Interactive Brokers or e-trade).

So for example, would I need to pay for a data provider (A), which then connects to the platform with the DOM feature (B) which then connects to the execution platform (C)?

Background: I've been trading several years using Interactive Brokers

I'm quite lost in this so any input is appreciated!

Thanks

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  #2 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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cdre12 View Post
Hi all,

I've been looking at several platforms as well as the posts on here but I'm still quite confused regarding the platforms. I'm mainly interested in the DOM feature. However, I see so many different providers (Jigsaw, Ninja Trading, CQG, Rithmic, Sierra Charts, Tradovate, TT, etc) and I'm not sure what the purpose of each is.

To get the DOM feature, are you supposed to have one that provides the data, one that provides the DOM interface and one that you execute the trades on? Is that understanding correct? I guess I'm a bit lost since some of these providers also call themselves as brokers, which from my understanding is where you execute trades (like an Interactive Brokers or e-trade).

So for example, would I need to pay for a data provider (A), which then connects to the platform with the DOM feature (B) which then connects to the execution platform (C)?

Background: I've been trading several years using Interactive Brokers

I'm quite lost in this so any input is appreciated!

Thanks

A complicated jumble of questions (not you fault that it's a "jumble," that's just the best way I can describe it. The industry presents a pretty complicated jumble of products to traders looking more for simplicity and orderliness -- which unfortunately you will find hard to get. Sorry . )

Your experience with IB, which is an all-in-one shop, may have made things outside of their environment harder to understand.

Here are the elements of the overall situation:

1. Trading "platforms," which are software that display data in charts, or DOM's or many other forms, and that allow traders to input trades. Almost any platform will show a DOM ("Depth of Market.") A "platform" will need to have (a) some source of the data it shows, (b) connection to a brokerage that has the customer's account, (c) some way to route the trades to the exchange. Sometimes these are all wrapped up together in one package, sometimes they are not. Very often, a broker will offer different platforms, data and routing alternatives to their customers. Sometimes the broker has their own and only provides that one to its customers.

Platforms are whatever you look at and enter trades into. Some are only available with a particular broker, some are not.

Some are "pure" platforms in the sense that they are independent (or somewhat independent) from particular brokers. Pure platforms include Sierra Chart and NinjaTrader (although NT is not really a pure case, because the platform is owned by NinjaTrader Brokertage and is only available with a few other brokers -- including IB, by the way.)

2. Brokers are the firms that have your money. You always will have at least one. Some will offer integrated packages with everything together, some will let you choose from different platforms and data sources and trade routing networks.

3. Data providers are firms that (surprise!) provide data to be displayed on a platform. Sometimes your broker will just give you one and that's that. Sometimes the broker offers different ones. Many platforms will let you go shopping for an independent data provider, and there will be money involved.

4 Trade routing is done by a provider also, often the same firm that provides the data, and often the broker just hooks you up with one, or does it themselves through their own network (IB, for instance.)

Sometimes these are packaged together, sometimes you can mix and match, or put together like leggo blocks. What you can get with any one broker will depend on them.

---------------------

I was going to try to respond on each of the firms you mentioned, but I realized I would end up checking many web sites to make sure I got it right (or had any idea in the first place. ) and would take far too much of your time and mine.

So, quickly and without claiming completeness:

Jigsaw - a "platform" (it shows data ) that has a stand-alone version that connects to many data providers, and a separate one that integrates within your existing platform as a plug-in. You will need a broker. See their website.

NinjaTrader - there is a NinjaTrader platform that displays data and takes trades. It used to be available widely to different brokers, but now they have their own brokerage, so it's just them and a few others. See their website.

CQG - principally a data provider and trade routing network, used by many platforms and brokers. They also have their stand-alone trading platform (which is not often mentioned by traders, but some like it.) You will need a broker. See their website.

Rithmic - same as with CQG. CQG and Rithmic are major competitors in what they do. They have their own platform, which I think almost no one uses. You will need a broker. Generally you don't have to think about whether to use CQG or Rithmic (or TT) because the broker will have made a deal with them and will just provide it. See their website.

Sierra Chart - a pure trading platform. If they have an arrangement with your broker, it will be offered by the broker. Many brokers offer it. Some, like NinjaTrader Brokerage, do not (surprise! ). They connect to many of the data and trade routing services, but have cut ties with some over technical issues. You will need a broker. See their website (and good luck with figuring it out. ) It is the platform I prefer, for its completeness and versatility, but there is a learning curve. NT, a competitor, is also not bad.

Tradovate - a broker that has its own platform and provides connection to data and trade routing as a package. See their website.

TT (Trading Technologies) - a platform and a data and trade routing firm. You will need a broker (I think -- this stuff gets damn complicated.) See their website.

Interactive Brokers - an all-in-one broker which locks you in to its own solutions, pretty much. But you know this.

TradeStation - an all-in-one broker which locks you in to its own solutions, pretty much. See their website.

ThinkOrSwim - an all-in-one broker which locks you in to its own solutions, pretty much. See their website.

The common theme is: See their website.

I threw in a few you didn't ask about. The all-in-one firms provide a complete package, but also insulate their customers from the rest of the wide world, not exactly by coincidence. But they may also be good at what they do.

I hope this gives some better orientation to what's out there. Since you asked about a DOM, let me just say that I think that just about every platform (in the sense of being a thing that shows you data) will usually have a DOM somewhere. It's sort of a basic. If it's not provided, it would be because TT still has the rights to it, and makes it available for a small fee. Some firms, like NT, have gotten around the TT patent with their own version. It's so basic that it should not be hard to find.

Again, see their website.

Bob.

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  #3 (permalink)
cdre12
Seattle, Washington
 
 
Posts: 4 since Mar 2021
Thanks: 3 given, 0 received


Wow thank you for the extremely detailed response! This is very helpful in understanding what exactly each provider offers. Really appreciate the time you took to write all this out. I will be reading and re-reading this before I make any decision!

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  #4 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Posts: 6,446 since Jan 2013
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cdre12 View Post
Wow thank you for the extremely detailed response! This is very helpful in understanding what exactly each provider offers. Really appreciate the time you took to write all this out. I will be reading and re-reading this before I make any decision!

Another thing is that you can always get a free trial, with data (usually 2 weeks, which they sometimes will extend another 2), so you can try things out first.

Bob.

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-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #5 (permalink)
cdre12
Seattle, Washington
 
 
Posts: 4 since Mar 2021
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bobwest View Post
Another thing is that you can always get a free trial, with data (usually 2 weeks, which they sometimes will extend another 2), so you can try things out first.

Bob.

Good point. I will check it out to see which ones work the best for me.

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  #6 (permalink)
EminiTraderCBOT
Chicago, IL
 
 
Posts: 40 since May 2015
Thanks: 22 given, 11 received

If you like simplicity, from my point of view, I really like Trading Technologies for the platform side of things.
I use TT for platform and Sierra/InvestorRT for my charts. I go back and forth between the 2.

I wish TT had more advanced charting so I can just use that for both. But their platform is on point. Super fast. No lag. Great executions. You can get a free 30 days trial from their website. Its fully functioning and live charting. You do not need data.

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  #7 (permalink)
cdre12
Seattle, Washington
 
 
Posts: 4 since Mar 2021
Thanks: 3 given, 0 received


EminiTraderCBOT View Post
If you like simplicity, from my point of view, I really like Trading Technologies for the platform side of things.
I use TT for platform and Sierra/InvestorRT for my charts. I go back and forth between the 2.

I wish TT had more advanced charting so I can just use that for both. But their platform is on point. Super fast. No lag. Great executions. You can get a free 30 days trial from their website. Its fully functioning and live charting. You do not need data.

Appreciate that feedback. I'll take a look at TT as well!

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