IB DDE link freezes after 20 minutes

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by jocli, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. jocli


    Hello everybody,

    I really like the IB DDE link to Excel. I would like to use it, but 20 minutes after opening the Excel spreadsheet, all the Excel fields with the quotes freeze.

    I am using Windows Me and Excel 2000.

    Has anybody encountered the same problem ??? Have you found a solution ?

    I already e-mailed IB tech support. They suggested to reinstall Explorer, Excel and new Java version, scan and defragment the hard disc, scan for virusses, repair my Office installation.

    I did all that, but the problem is still there. Does anybody have a solution ?

  2. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    One of the problems with Excel 2000 is that it's not multi theaded, so it's easy to overload it with external realtime data.

    I'd suggest that you try to limit the number of quotes to, say 10, and see if it continues to lock up.

    I haven't looked at the TWS Visual Basic code lately, but a few releases back they used to re-run everything everytime a single cell in the orders page was updated. That's obviously not efficient, and with lots of symbols could slow down Excel quite a bit.

    Only other comment is that WinMEs multi tasking is poor compared to Win2000, so you may want to consider an upgrade.
  3. jocli


    Thanks for your reply.

    I am only requesting 3 or 4 tickers (bid, ask & last quotes) when the Excel freeze problem occurs. I will try to test if the time to the Excel freeze diminisches if I increase the amount of quotes, ...

    Also, I will be upgrading to Office XP and Window XP pro soon. I hope the problem will be solved then and that I can request at least 100 quotes without problems.

    I will let you know if this works.

  4. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    I'd say that an upgrade to WindowsXP or Win2000 is your best approach. I'm running on Win2000 and have never seen any of the problems you indicate. I'm also on Excel 2000.
  5. Good point. WinME is an enhanced version of Win98... and as we all know Win98 doesn't have any multitasking. Windows 2000 however, is very well suited for multitasking support. (It's amazing how long it took microsoft to integrate this key feature that has been around in other OS's for decades...)
  6. jocli


    It looks indeed like my problem has something to do with the system (Windows Me ???) being overloaded. If I increase the amount of quotes the data freeze happens a lot quicker (10 minutes in stead of 20 minutes).

    I upgraded from Office 2000 to Office XP, but the problem is still the same. I will be upgrading my Windows Me to Windows XP pro in a few days. I hope this will solve the problem and I can get on with trading.

  7. vikana

    vikana Moderator


    I'm not surprised that OfficeXP doesn't help. Excel in officeXP is basically identical to Excel 2000. The new multi threaded Excel is slated for the .NET platform. So we just have to hope that Microsoft doesn't introduce other problems along the way.

    Just get Win2000 or WinXP, You'll not regret it. I did a performance comparison of Win98 vs Win2000 about a year ago. It was a compile of a huge project. One the same computer with dual boot, the compile took 13 minutes on Win98 and 1.5 min on Win2000. Quite a difference !
  8. jocli


    Thanks for your advice! I now have Windows XP Pro installed and the DDE works perfectly now.

    Also the daily system crashes I used to get under Windows Me are mostly gone now, so only for that it was worth the upgrade. I think most members of this forum will agree on this.

  9. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    Glad to hear that. I would never trade on anything other than Win2000 and maybe WinXP after the first service patch is out.