MBT Navigator Overview

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Baron, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Since MB Trading is one of our oldest and most faithful sponsors, I thought it would be appropriate to profile their new software, the MBT Navigator.

    For those who aren't familiar with this software, the concept is simply to provide robust execution and order management capabilities while giving you the freedom to choose whatever analytical platform you want such as eSignal, QCharts, NexTrend etc. However, MB has taken this a step further by providing direct integration with your quote provider's software. For example, if you decided to go with eSignal, the menu from the MBT navigator would actually appear within the main menu structure of your quotation software. So even though you are technically using the software of two different companies, it all appears to be one seamless platform.

    One thing that is important to note about the Navigator is that it is NOT a Java application like other order entry platforms on the market. Java applications catered towards end-users are often criticized because their user interfaces tend to be slow, unfamiliar, and counterintuitive. I tend to agree with that sentiment, so it was nice to see that MB Trading chose to build this application upon the familiar Microsoft Windows framework.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the user interface of the Navigator is laid out in the style of MS Outlook, with a sidebar containing eight menu items which cover all aspects of order execution:

    Level II (shown above) - The heart and soul of the program, this window includes a traditional Level II and T&S display accompanied by a proprietary "TradeFlow" meter, which is a vertical bar showing a color-coded representation of the trades executed at the bid and offer. The order entry module lies below the Level II display offering you the ability to route your trades manually or through MB Trading's proprietary MBTX order route. Details on this route can be found at http://www.mbtrading.com/smart.shtml Many of you will be glad to hear that the Navigator supports change orders. So if you enter a thousand-share order and only get filled on 200, you can change the price on the outstanding 800 shares without the order being considered new, thereby escaping any additional commission charges.

    Watchlist - A spreadsheet-like display showing basic Level I quotations for a basket of stocks. The columns are configurable. Users can also set up multiple watchlists to track different groups of stocks.

    Open Orders - A montage of any outstanding orders that have yet to be executed completely.

    Orderbook - A historical view of your recent orders and their outcomes.

    Positions - A log of your open positions including the P&L of each one.

    Account Balances - Provides overall account information such as Buying Power, Margin Debt, Total Account Value, Overall P&L, etc.

    Alerts - Provides real-time updates regarding the status of your connection to quote and order servers.

    Web - Links to downloadable daily and historical account reports from MB's web site. Also available is a direct link to MB's real-time support chat room. It would be nice to see a link to Elite Trader in there :)


    As shown above, the program has an interface similar to MS Outlook. Even though that type of layout lets you go to a specific menu item fast, I was initially concerned that there wasn't going to be a way to view multiple windows. For example, what do you do when you want to see the Level II window and Watchlist at the same time? After consulting the support chat room, I was told that you can actually drag the individual components into a window of their own. In other words, you can go to the Level II window and then drag it out of the window it's in onto the desktop where a new window is created. That enables you to go back to the main program window where you can now select and view the watchlist. Once that is done, drag and drop is supported so you can drag symbols into the Level II box from the Watchlist for quick display.

    The program is currently mouse-driven so configurable hot keys are not supported at this time, although the support staff indicated that hot keys will be available in the near future. I found a few minor bugs -- most regarding text colors -- but nothing serious that severely inhibited the operation of the program. The help section is currently unavailable but I'm told it will soon contain a full operational manual. At first I didn't think this would be that big of a deal, but the program has a selection of configurable preferences that control things such as display variations and order entry/routing defaults, so a reference for these settings would be helpful. One thing that's unique about the preference settings is that they are stored on MB's servers, not on your local machine, so your settings are available from any computer that you log on from. For example, you could set up your preferences on your home machine exactly how you like them, and then have another instance of the software installed on your laptop that automatically configures itself upon logging in based upon the settings you specified at home.

    Although there's room for additional features/improvements, I think MB has achieved its goal in creating a user-friendly order entry platform that appeals to a wide range of traders using a variety of quotation/charting platforms. If you're looking for a comprehensive order execution module to go along with your quote software, you won't be wasting your time investigating the MBT Navigator.

    For more screenshots and features, see http://www.mbtrading.com/feat2.shtml
     
  2. DavidL

    DavidL

    I am currently using it and it is great. Fast and easy. Goodbye to datek forever.
     


  3. Baron,

    Is that level 2 window the only order entry option? or is there something smaller simpler on a level 1 window that can be used?

    With IB you can shrink the TWS down to 2" by 3 ". Anything like that?
     
  4. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    You can't enter orders from the L1 window but you can shrink the L2 window in a way that gets rid of pretty much everything and leaves only the order entry part, like such:

    [​IMG]
     

  5. interesting. Do quotes stream within that window or do you have enter the price manually?
     
  6. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Well, that order entry box is really meant to go along with the L2. In other words, clicking on any level within the L2 automatically fills in the order box with whatever price is shown at that level.
     
  7. Oh. Same old kinda interface:/
     
  8. Baron,

    Thanks for posting the excellent overview of MBT Navigator.

    Does any one have recommendations of which quote service
    to select for usage with MBT (eSignal, QCharts, NexTrend etc).
    I expect there are a variety of opinions. i am hoping to hear from
    some actual users about their selections and how it is working
    out.

    Thanks,

    - Greg
     
  9. shneed

    shneed

    How many level 2 windows can be opened at the same time?

    Thanks,
    shneed
     
  10. mrbud

    mrbud

    Thanks Baron.

    It appears that the order window is not really set up for quick scalps like the old Mb trading order book. The old way you had different order route buttons where you could pick off isld, arca etc. by mousing them{realtick}

    Now it seems you must preset how you are going to route your orders as there is only one routing button.
     
    #10     Jan 29, 2002