cAlgo is the extention to cTrader platform which enables traders to build automated trading strategies to be executed via the cTrader platform. With an in-built library of various functions, traders can make use of cAlgo to build trading strategies from the most simplest of ones (such as moving average cross over) to more advanced strategies. The cAlgo platform is accessible directly from the cTrader platform by clicking on the ‘cAlgo’ button. For first time users, there is a small installation procedure and the cAlgo also has its own direct executable desktop icon. Coding with cAlgo makes use of C#.
Backtesting Robots (cBots)
After the automated strategy is coded, or if you prefer to use some of the in-built strategies, cAlgo offers a great feature for backtesting these strategies. Traders can fine tune their strategies by changing parameters such as the initial capital, selecting a custom spread or live spread as well as modifying the default commissions. The visual chart us a great way to view when trades are opened and closed as the bot is executed.
Using the cTrader’s in-built option of ‘deal map’ traders can also see how the strategy performed in hindsight which could prove to be a very useful feature.
When backtesting, besides the default data, traders can also export the tick data to a CSV and import it into cAlgo for backtesting the strategies. And last but not the least, traders can select the duration for testing, including the option to change the timezone for critical strategies that rely on a particular timezone.
Each strategy can also be further customized/optimized based on factors such as stop loss, take profit levels and any other customizations that the cBot can offer. But the lack of automation in this regards is a bit disappointing. For example if a trading strategy see’s a better performance by changing the take profit of stop levels, such customization needs to be manually changed, which can be time consuming.
Recently added features – cAlgo
Using executable files: For commercial developers or those who do not wish to show the source code, cAlgo offers importing and exporting of the executable cAlgo files.
Log tab improvements: Using this feature, algo developers can choose whether to view trade events in robot’s and backtesting log or prefer to hide it. There is an option to also sort the log items in ascending and descending order.
Other recent improvements include:
- DataSeries API improvement
- New Trading API
- Backtesting with data from CSV file
cAlgo – Shortcomings
Despite the ease of use and the simplicity in back testing the automated strategies, one of the shortcomings of cAlgo is the lack of a vast repository. Although in recent times more and more developers have started contributing to the cAlgo automated bots repository, they are still a far cry away from other popular trading platforms such as MT4 or Ninjatrader’s automated trading interface.
Another feature which we believe would greatly improve a wider acceptance of cTrader and cAlgo but is currently lacking is the ability to import scripts from other trading platforms. For example, platforms such as ProTrader allows traders to import automated strategy scripts from other trading platforms such as MT4.
And finally, there is no option to automatically optimize the trading strategy. While this feature is both good and bad, in that it enables developers to curve fit their strategies, the lack of this feature means that traders would have to do the optimization manually, which could take up a lot of time.
Despite the above, given the fact that Spotware has been in recent times started improving the cTrader platform, it would only be a matter of time before cAlgo catches up among the trading community. cTrader is offered by ThinkForex. Click here to register a cTrader account.