Best Charting App For IB

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by AAAintheBeltway, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Ideally, I would like a free charting app that integrates seamlessly with IB. I don't care about being able to execute trades from the charts, DOM, level II, backtesting, autotrading, custom indicators, etc. Mainly will be used to chart futures and a few indices. Just looking for something simple and reliable.

    I looked briefly at ninja and it seemed ok, but I have read that people had issues with it. I didn't even see any way to modify the colors on the charts, which seems minor but not when you're looking at them all day.

    I have previously looked at QT, but I am not even sure it still works with IB. Also, it was not exactly what I would call seamless.

    As everyone knows, I use QCharts and like it a lot, but I noticed they increased my bill $10/month without even informing me. Call it the last straw. Why shell out for exchange fees if you can get the same data for free from IB? Basically, what I would like is the ability to use QCharts with IB data, but I know that is not available.
  2. Samsara


    I'd suggest just getting more familiar with Ninja. You can easily change any aspect of the chart's colors (except for varying candle wicks). Clean, nice display for the most part.

    Although I begrudgingly pay in excess for eSignal, I found Ninja to be the best runner up for most simple charting needs.
  3. NinjaTrader_Ray

    NinjaTrader_Ray ET Sponsor


    NinjaTrader has over 25,000 active users with a lot using our charting via IB trouble free. As for changing chart color properties, you can change the color of anything you wish.

    Here is a link to our good start point for Charting -

    Plus, we hold free online charting webinars several times per week, see the schedule at our website.

    Please check out, I am quite confident that it can save you some money when compared to eSignal. If you are paying CME Data Exchange fees, you could have those waived via Kinetick.
  4. Samsara


    Ah thank you for the suggestion, Ray. I've never actually heard of Kinetick; I'll check them out.

    The problem is I've gained proficiency in eSignal over the years, and eventually coded my strategy, along with a host of helper indicators, into a backtestable system. I'm afraid, to Interactive Data's delight, I'm one of those longstanding customers they've found hopelessly trapped under my own inertia, desperately seeking something that's <i>almost</i> the same so I can escape.

    Let us pray you're not too late.
  5. Thanks for the suggestions. I felt sure you had to be able to at least specify chart colors, but I couldn't seem to access it. Can you also use spearate colored bars for up or down bars?

    Do you recommend using a different data source for historical data?
  6. Samsara


    The color menu is easy to find. I'd pull it up to demonstrate if I weren't watching the market. Or more accurately, watching a herd of ants limp slowly uphill.

    As far as historical intraday data though, to my knowledge, Ninja with an IB datafeed doesn't backfill far. Monthly / weekly bars though are fine.

    In my brief attempts to escape the clutches of eSignal, I could not find many data providers who did provide long periods of intraday data. Someone more knowledgeable than me might be able to educate us both on that though.
  7. There you go...

    CTRL+F or right-click -> Data Series
  8. OK, I see . Thanks much.

    Is the app stable for running 10-12 charts across several monitors?
  9. I did this same research a few years back and, as far as i can recall, that was the hangup. With QCharts, I can blow up a chart across three monitors, go from 5 minute to 60 minute or daily bars with one click and have the entire contract's history. Trying to store a database on your computer or fiddling around with a download were not going to cut it for me.

    Now I see that both Sierra Charts and Linnsoft R/T use alternative data feeds for historical backfill. Linn charges $15 a month for it, and sierra throws it in with their upgraded package. I suppose that is what ninja offers with its data service. If it is now as seamless as ESig or QCharts, it is hard to justify paying ESig's high fees.
  10. I'd say so, the last version (7) has improved a lot over its predecessor and uses all 64 bit if you have them.

    Best thing, though is to try for yourself with a free (sim - can't place trades live) demo, try also opening more than one workspace at the same time, etc.

    IB has somewhere in its website the amount of historic data it provides. If you want daily data that's not a problem. If you want the tick data of the overnight session on a Tuesday 2 years ago, it probably is.

    Ninja also allows you to connect to free data providers and they have a free end-of-day data service, Kinetick (although if you want streaming quotes it's as expensive as any other where you pay for exchange fees).

    If you're not sure if the historical data will be a good fit for you, ask Ninja for a week live demo.

    Oh, be aware that IB feed aggregates trades in x milliseconds intervals. This has no effect on your execution, but charts-wise it will play games with your volume (roughly ok) and your T&S (useless if you want to do small/large trades analysis). IB's T&S window works fine, though, it's the feed that's screwed up. The positive side of the coin is that you'll never experience lag.

    I guess that with a huge account the cost of charting is irrelevant, but on mid-size accounts it adds-up (and for small accounts is a non-starter, of course).

    Good luck with the wonderful world of trading software, though. :D
    #10     Dec 21, 2010