eSignal EFS vs. Tradestation EL

Discussion in 'Strategy Development' started by underdog430, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. Does anybody know how eSignal's EFS compares with TradeStation's EasyLanguage? More specifically, I'm curious about how eSignal with Dynaorder and IB compares with Tradestation for automated trading systems.

    Thanks for any comments
  2. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    since noone wants to answer that...
    EFS is not very good for backtesting.. yet.
    Tradestation EL is much better, for backtesting.

    (going on a fine line.. both are sponsors you know. still I always speak up my mind so they can improve).

    eSignal has a great potential. I like very much the way it is very opened and powerful.
    The language is powerful and standard (TS EL is a standard too now after all these years !).

    eSignal has a big potential also because it does not take too much computer resources.
    And I like the fact it updates with each tick, ready to start a position and manage it.
    Because it is opened, eSignal can work with potentially any broker.

    Don't get me wrong, Tradestation is very good too. It's a standard and consulting services and programming houses will build whatever you want for tradestation.
    But of course, you need to use Tradestation brokerage...
    well, not totally true. With TS you may use another broker but then the cost is double what you would pay for eSignal each month.

    OK, I do prefer eSignal while I can handle the extra management (dlls, other software, proprietary software). Some traders can't handle the extra stuff, configuration etc.. then Tradestation is a solution to simplify your setup.
    AND that reminds me that we must give credit to Tradestation for making it easy for retail or small shop traders to automate systems with full brokerage integration !!!
    As a matter of fact others are following.

    Back to some meat. I do insist that eSignal's backtesting is in its infancy. Sure they have nice reports, but coding realistic systems with the existing function is pretty difficult.

    It does not compare to Tradestation. And is far behind Wealth Lab.

    That must seem like a contradiction to my previous statements. Not really. I wrote that eSignal has a big potential.
    Tradestation is obviously more mature in terms of backtesting.
    BUT eSignal is so opened that improvements are coming fast. So if you use, let's say IB for brokerage, then you should consider eSignal.
    But for backtesting you may need Wealth Lab while eSignal gets better.
    However, you will like execution scripting. Specially if you interface with DynaOrder (as a bridge between eSignal and IB).


    So Tradestation is easier to implement.
    But eSignal's approach is more suited to complex programming.
    That's why, maybe, I am leaning toward it. It's easier to code proprietary systems that work, even very quick action systems (not just market making).
    But eSignal won't be your backtesting solution for now. It's an execution platform for almost all trading types. One of the best. like Ensign (also based on eSignal quotes).

    in the past, and I can tell, it used to take hard to code proprietary software solutions.
    Now the component approach is paying off.
    You can avoid it by using an all-in-one like tradestation. but like any all-in-one (think audio sound systems) it will do the job at the expense of some flexibility.
    With a more component approach, possibilities are getting amazing.

    I hope that helps a bit. it must be a bit confusing. but at least it's a reply to your post.
  3. Thanks for the response. I can understand that people are sick of answering questions like these but I did have a relatively specific question and these products (and the resources supporting them) do change so I wanted to check for current opinion.

    My own evaluation thus far is that TradeStation is much easier but that the eSignal/Dynaorder/IB based solution has more potential, particularly if you're interesting in trading products other than stocks. Of course, this type of comparison will come up with very different results depending upon a particular person's needs and preferences.

    I am concerned by the current limitations of eSignal's backtesting but I kind of dread the idea of having to write everything in two different languages, one for eSignal and one for, say, WealthLab. Still, a good point to consider.
  4. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    yes I agree.
    it does not feel 'right' to code a system twice in 2 languages with all the risks involved.
    it's so easy to screw up, so multiplying the code base is really troublesome.
    that's the edge Tradestation has at the moment.

    eSignal is betting that traders will prefer having the choice of brokerage. several will be offered very soon integrated.
    again, I need to be balanced here. I am using the eSignal solution, so I may tend to sound like it is better. But you can use Tradestation with Dynaorder/IB as well !

    so what does make the difference depends on the programming resources available to you.
    EZ language is easier to learn and use.
    JavaScript is harder because it is a language made for programmers (EZ language was always intended for traders).

    Actually, Dynaorder is free and I still can't believe how good a solution this is for automation. Bidirectional communication between your script and the broker is the way to go.
    I have seen what these guys at dynaorder are preparing for release soon, it is really great. a big help to many strategy traders.
    It's amazing in one year how things changed. Nowadays automated strategies (full or semi) are available to any trader who wants to (you can always contract the coding of your system. several shops offer the service now).

    if you have a strategy you think a (rather stupid) robot would trade better than you, it's now possible to do. And many strategies are like this. I used to be 100% pro automation. But the more short term and active trading you do the more flexible you want to be.
    The perfect balance (for me guys, everyone is different) is to let full automation take care of swing trading and longer time frame trading.
    And have a mix automation/discretion for very active market making like operations.
    but you can automate the very short term too (that's for sure). it's only a matter of watching it go.

    the way I like to look at it is straightforward : software watch the market and trade the market, simple robots. and human monitor the operations and can take over in an instant (or just slightly adjust orders). it's like having many very disciplined trader even though they have a total lack of creativity and instint about when things 'aren't right'.
    but most of the time you want just that : disciplined traders who don't know better and just follow the rules. then the boss (you) can take over in case of trouble.

    and my biggest laugh is when I read in other threads that 'it can't be done !"...

    probably not many profitable strategies can be fully automated. but that's the wrong debate. so many strategies can use the help of unbiased 'trading assistants'. and sometimes (if you have enough resources to push it to that level) the assistants can do a lot on their own.

  5. That's me! I am looking forward to my new adventures in stupid robot trading.