CAlgo is the algorithmic trading platform for the Electronic Communication Network trading platform series known as cTrader. cTrader is an ECN platform brand (just like Currenex Classic), and cAlgo provides the interface through which traders can code their strategies into expert advisors and use them on cTrader.
This short cAlgo trading tutorial we cover the operations of the cAlgo algorithmic trading platform and what every trader must know regarding its usage.
Downloading the cAlto Platform
The platform can be downloaded from the websites of ECN brokers that adopt this trading suite. FxPro is one such broker (read FxPro Review). The first step is to locate a link to download the platform from the website of the forex ECN broker. Download consists of an initial setup file, after which the setup file is opened and the rest of the cAlgo files downloaded while the computer is connected to the internet.
While the installation is going on, the trader may be prompted with an update/installation option for the Microsoft.net4 software. Click “Accept” to proceed with the installation if such a window appears. Traders whose computers run on Microsoft Vista will be prompted to update their copies of Microsoft Service Pack 1 for cAlgo to operate without hitches.
Using the cAlgo Interface
There are several tabs, drop down menus and function buttons on the cAlgo platform. We will not talk about the different components of the cAlgo interface and how to use them.
Using Robots and Indicators
The full list of robots and indicators can be seen on the left of the platform screen. The “Robots” and “Indicators” tab is seen on the top of this screenshot.
There are several dropdown menus that can be used to carry out several functions:
- Robots /Indicators: This is to toggle between the lists of “Robots” and “Indicators”
- Search: The search function allows the trader to search for the Robots or Custom Indicators using their names
- Add: This is for new robot creation. This function opens the source code editor so the coder can write the trade algorithm
- Play: This is to activate the forex robot
- Build: This function converts all the code in the editor into a functioning robot
- Add an Instance (Robots): This attaches a completed robot to a chart
- Add an Instance (Indicators): This attaches a custom indicator to a chart
Using the Account Bar
Using the Account Bar, a trader can switch between multiple accounts using the “Dropdown List” and an “Account” Button.
The main menu contains a lot of the functions of the cAlgo trading platform.
The cAlgo Button
- Sign in: Log in to a live or demo account, create a new demo account or change connection settings
- Open Demo Account: Fill in your details to open a demo account
- Open Live Account: Live accounts can only be opened from the broker’s website and not on the cAlgo platform. Click this tab to open your broker’s webpage for live account opening
- Exit cAlgo (Alt+F4): Closes the terminal. All active robots will be stopped, but any open trades will not be affected
- QuickTrade Mode: has three functions:
- Single-Click: This function enables the trader to trade with a single click
- Double-Click: This is for double-click trading
- Disabled: Takes the trader back to the order screen
- Sounds On/Off: Clicking this button enables or disables sound alerts
- Language: Enables traders to use cAlgo in several languages
- Chart Trading layout: Traders can use to switch to the Chart Trading Layout
- Chart Only Layout: Traders can use to switch to the Chart Trading Layout
- Full screen: click here to toggle between full screen and a minimized screen. Also works with the F12 button
This is located to the right of the screen.
This tool is used for line studies and other aspects of technical analysis.
cAlgo Order Management
The “Orders” tab is used to display information about all pending orders the trader has. Order parameters such as Margin, Balance, Equity, Total Profit, etc, are displayed with this button. Right-clicking on a pending order produces the following pop-up window:
The buttons that show can be used to delete, modify, create a new order or create an account statement.
The pending orders are displayed as follows:
- ID: This is the unique number assigned to the Pending Order
- Time: This is the time and date that the order was set
- Symbol: This is the symbol for the currency pair to be traded
- Volume: This is the trade volume
- Type: This is the Pending Order type: could be a “Sell Stop”, “Sell Limit”, “Buy Stop” or “Buy Limit”
- Entry: This is the price the trader sets for the trader to be fulfilled
- Expiry: This is the time the Order entry is set to expire
- T/P: This is the “Take Profit” level
- S/L: This stands for the “Stop Loss” level
- Distance: This is the distance between spot price and “Stop/Limit Order” entry price
- Price: This is the market price
Trading with cAlgo
The cAlgo is made to integrate seamlessly with the cTrader ECN platform. Trade entry orders are not executed manually but rather are written into the code. However, it is possible to close orders, adjust stops and profit targets as well as modify open trades manually from cAlgo.
To do this, press the cTrader button located on the Main Menu (see diagram) of the cAlgo platform.
How to Create a Robot with cAlgo
The cAlgo trading platform is not for trading, but rather for creating trading algorithms that can then be implemented as trades on cTrader. Learn more on what is algorithmic trading. The following describes how to create a robot with cAlgo. Of course, you need to have the knowledge of how to program robots. All programming on cAlgo is done using C# language. If you are not conversant with this programming language, you can simply have a C# programmer create the robot for you and then you upload it to the cAlgo platform for use.
- If you want to create a new robot, Click “Add” to open the source code editor
- If you have the knowledge, input your code into the source code editor. You can also copy and paste your code from another source
- Click “Save” from the dropdown menu to save your work
This option is for those who know how to write code to build the robot. If you do not know how to write code, you need to get a programmer to build one for you or you purchase a robot built for cAlgo.
- Download the source code of the forex robot into the Program Files\cAlgo\Sources\Robots folders
- Open the cAlgo platform, then locate the robot in the “Robot” tab and click on the “Build” button. We have already discussed how to use the “Robot” tab earlier in this document
The robot is now ready for use in the cAlgo platform.
How to Create an Indicator with cAlgo
Creating an indicator with cAlgo follows the same route as for creating a robot, but you only have to download the source code into the Indicators folder, and after opening the cAlgo platform, click the “Indicators” tab instead.
With this information, you can now enjoy the beauty of trading in an ECN environment with your custom indicators and automated strategies using cAlgo.