RealTick Order Entry

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Lancer, Dec 15, 2000.

  1. Lancer


    Any experienced traders using RealTick wish to comment on the best way to configure and manipulate RealTick for fast order entry?

    After using RealTick, I find the order entry configuration cumbersome and a hindrance to fast order setup and execution. In fast stocks, market participants come and go before RealTick can be manipulated to hit them. Opportunities are constantly missed because of this. I think RealTick needs a complete overhaul of the order entry design. Short of that, there must be a better way to work with the existing product.

    I'll explain my configuration:
    For Nasdaq stocks, because there is no single order entry screen with all route buttons displayed, I use both large and small order entry screens. I use the small OES attached to the market maker screen for ARCA and its various order options; I configure the large OES buttons from left to right as INCA, REDI, ISLD, SOES, and SNET. I leave the SelectNet Pref. box checked in the large OES (does not affect orders on non-SNET routes). With this configuration, all routes are displayed and no drop-down route menu is needed, however, mouse travel is required between the market maker window and large OES buy/sell buttons. I trade with mouse in one hand (for small OES) and two fingers on the keyboard Ctrl and Alt keys (for large OES). No hotkeys.

    How does this compare with other users' configuration and use?

    I have a laundry list of order-entry product improvement suggestions; anyone else?

    One idea: How about doing away with most of the software order entry interface, and instead offering (user option) a small USB hardware keypad device with real keys for order entry? (Keys for all routes; buy/sell/short; and order config. functions) [Price and volume by mouse; one hand on keypad and one on mouse. Simple, intuitive, and fast.]

  2. Lancer,

    Here is the order entry setup I've used (note that it's really only feasible if you're using a dual monitor setup):

    I have two market maker windows open, both with OES enabled and linked together so both windows show the same stock. One of the OES I set to ISLD and the other to Selectnet with the pref box checked. Also, both OES have the short box checked. In the left window I have all ISLD bids and offers highlighted in black and in the right all other ECN's are highlighted. When I need to go after a bid or offer, I can do it with two quick mouse clicks--one on the bid or offer which automatically fills in the price, and the second click on the buy or sell button. I've found that I don't need it any quicker than that.
  3. Baron

    Baron ET Founder


    If you want to contribute your layout, send me the .pag file and I'll post it online for others to download. I'll put mine up as well, plus any others I can dig up.

  4. Baron

    Baron ET Founder


    I have some friends that are involved in the ongoing development of Realtick, so if you have any other ideas regarding order entry improvements (or any other improvements to the software), share them here and I'll pass them along.

  5. Lancer

    I only trade using ECNs, and as such I set my default route as ARCA - NOW. When I want to enter or exit, I simply click on the price in my RTIII Level II screen on any ECN which is linked to ARCA NOW (ISLD, ARCA, INCA & REDI) and click again on the buy/sell button. Using ARCA NOW, my fills have been instantaneous.
    Having used 3 other types of trading software before, I can say that RealTickIII is the absolute best.


    One change that I would like to see implemented in RealTickIII is to give it the capability to execute trades directly with the other ECNs that ARCA NOW is not currently directly linked to (BRTD, BRUT, NXTRD, ATTN, etc.) and to have both the ECN or MM together with the price automatically loaded onto the OES whenever we click on it in the Level II screen. This was one of the nice features of the Tradescape Pro interface when I was still with them.
  6. Lancer


    zboy and Baron, thanks for the replies.

    zboy, unless you only trade using ISLD and SNET, your solution appears to be a workaround just like mine. We're both having to adjust and go to exra effort to make the best of the limiting RealTick interface. We're both having to open multiple MM/OES windows over multiple monitors and suffer split-attention and mouse travel time loss during order entry. Is this the way we have to adapt to use RealTick? RealTick is supposed to be a professional-level platform, yet for fast trading, the order entry design is so completely user-unfriendly. Do you have additional suggestions?

    Baron, where are you posting .pag files? I have several four-monitor layouts that may save someone a lot of time building their page.

    Regarding order-entry interface improvements, here are a few more suggestions:

    1. Get the order entry interface with all order config. options, all route buttons, and all buy/sell/short buttons into one window. (still attachable to the Market Maker and Minder windows) This eliminates most of the problems of usage right here. This also eliminates the inconsistencies between the large and small OES (i.e. volume settings not mirrored).

    2. Click on any L2 participant and have the corresponding route load, per user preference setup. For example; If the user wants this function (per user-defined setup), just single-click on a REDI bid/offer and the REDI route and price loads. Same for ISLD, ARCA, and INCA. For MMs, per user-defined setup, SOES loads unless the user wants SNET, then it requires a double-click (or a single-click and a 2nd key). The SOES option might also have the function to check SOES tier size; i.e. if the order is larger than tier size or the size shown, then SNET loads instead of SOES.

    3. Order route buttons should remain fixed per user setting.

    4. Click on an L2 participant to load price, then the mouse wheel should function to scroll order price up or down if price needs adjustment. Currently, the mouse wheel srolls the L2 display, and to adjust price, the user has to click within the price box and then use the wheel. The current mouse wheel function is entirely unimportant compared to price adjustment.

    5. A hardware keypad is the best option for order entry. Short of that, if #1 and #2 above are not elements of the software interface redesign, the standard keyboard should be more useful. For example, in addition to the CTRL and ALT keys used now for order configuration, the z-x-c-v-b keys and a-s-d-f-g keys could be used to define routes ("a" row for buys; "z" row for sells). Assign a route to each (same route for a/z, s/x, d/c, f/v, g/b). To execute an order after volume set, just click on a L2 participant (price or hit) with mouse in one hand, and hit the route key with the other hand. This is extremely fast, and targets particular participants on their route. To differentiate this keyboard function from use of those keys for other uses such as typing a symbol name, one of the keyboard lock keys (num-lock, scroll-lock) or other key combination must be in effect to activate.

    These are the main ideas. I've got more, but additional improvement suggestions depend on the particular re-design option taken.
  7. Lancer


    trader88, thanks for the reply; I somehow missed your post when responding to zboy and Baron above.

    You're right, despite its shortcomings, RealTick is the best overall. If Townsend will just improve order entry, there will be no question whatsoever.

    Pending product improvements, maybe the best current solution is a configuration with the ARCA route and NOW expiration set in the small OES, and the large OES configured ARCA, REDI, ISLD, SOES, SNET. This layout prefers NOW fills, but also provides for bids/offers via the large OES routes. It also presents the routes to hit MMs and other ECNs (BRUT, etc.). Maybe also in configuration with a second small OES attached to a second market maker window or minder.

    This is all still just a workaround.

    Based on the feedback so far, it looks like the order entry design is a limitation/impediment common to all. We're all just trying to get around it in different ways.
  8. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Lancer and anybody else,

    If you have any .pag files you would like to contribute, email them to me at and I'll make a new section on this site for others to view the pages and download them.

    If you could include a short description of each one, like the screen resolution it works with, how many monitors, etc., that would be helpful.


  9. Lancer



    Please advise as you get feedback from your RealTick developer contacts. I'm really serious about pursuing changes to the RealTick order-entry interface. It just has to be done. Each day is another day FULL of missed trades.

    Any feedback on this thread regarding the order-entry improvements listed in prior posts?

    Anyone else have order-entry function and feature improvement suggestions?

  10. Lancer


    Good changes are coming to RealTick. Version 7.2 is scheduled for release on 3/30. Version 7.3 is scheduled for release in June. The priority for Version 7.3 is order-entry interface improvement.

    If you are an experienced RealTick user, I'd like your feedback on 1) a proposed new order-entry module that integrates with the market-maker window, and 2) a proposed new 22-key USB keypad that executes order-entry actions at the touch of one button. The proposed module eliminates the "large OES", and adds significant features and speed to the "small OES". The keypad enables split-second order-configuration and execution on any route. For a .bmp graphic of the design and explanation of features, send your request to Sound+Op+at+Hot+mail.+com (anti-spam measures: remove all + and replace at with @). If you request the information, please return a comment.

    If you have ideas for RealTick product improvements, now is the time to bring them forward. If you don't already have a contact at TAL, send your product improvement ideas to me and I will get them to the RealTick product manager. Version 7.3 could be a significant evolution.
    #10     Mar 24, 2001