CTS T4 Trading Platform Service

CTS Logo

Introduction

Sierra Chart fully supports the CTS T4 trading platform service. With the CTS T4 trading platform service, real-time data, historical Daily and Intraday data, and trading in the futures markets from many exchanges around the world is provided.

The Sierra Chart trading features fully support the CTS T4 trading platform. You are able to enter simple and advanced orders from the charts, Chart DOM, Trade DOM, and Trade Window within Sierra Chart.

The CTS T4 market data feed has proven to be very stable and provides unfiltered and timely data from the exchanges. You can rely on CTS T4 for complete and accurate data and is a good choice when you need reliable data and trading functionality.

What is Included

  • Streaming Real-Time Data: Yes.
  • Historical Intraday Data: Yes. 1 Tick, 1 Second, and 1 Minute. Historical data for expired futures contracts for the major futures markets is provided by the Sierra Chart Historical Data Service. The minimum increment for this data is tick by tick when using the highest Sierra Chart Service Package, otherwise the increment is 1 second.

    Data for expired futures contracts for non-major futures markets comes from the CTS historical data server. When using the highest Sierra Chart Service Package, historical Intraday data for major futures contracts is downloaded from the SC Historical Data Service if Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings >> Allow Support for Sierra Chart Data Feeds is enabled. In this case, the minimum increment for this data is tick by tick.
  • Historical Daily Data: Yes. When using a Sierra Chart Service Package that supports the Sierra Chart Historical Data Service, historical Daily data for major futures contracts is downloaded from the Sierra Chart Historical Data Service.
  • Historical BidVolume and AskVolume: Yes. Only when downloading Historical Intraday data with a 1 Tick timeframe.
  • Live Trading Services: Yes.
  • Simulated Trading: Yes.
  • Order Types Supported: All.
  • Server Managed OCO (Order Cancels Order): Yes. Global Settings >> General Trade Settings >> Use Server-Side OCO and Bracket Orders must be enabled. One order must be a Stop order type and the other order must be a Limit order type. 2 Stop order types are not supported for server-side OCO. For 2 Stop orders OCO will be managed locally.
  • Server Managed Bracket Orders: Yes. Global Settings >> General Trade Settings >> Use Server-Side OCO and Bracket Orders must be enabled. A server-side bracket order consists of three orders (a parent order and 2 child orders in an OCO group). The parent order cannot be a Market order type or a Stop-Limit order type. The supported order types for the Attached orders are Limit, Market if Touched, Stop, Stop-Limit, or any of the Trailing Stop order types. Additionally, Sierra Chart Scale-In and Scale-Out functionality does not work when using server side bracket orders.
  • Automated Trading (applies to Live or Simulated): Yes.

Setup Instructions

  1. To use the CTS T4 trading platform service you need to have a Live or Simulated account with a futures clearing company or one of their introducing brokers which offers support for the CTS T4 trading platform service.

    A demo is also available direct from CTS T4. The following is a list of brokers and clearing firms supporting CTS T4:

  2. For Sierra Chart to be able to connect to the CTS T4 system, the clearing firm or broker you use, needs to have authorized Sierra Chart on your CTS T4 trading account. Without this authorization, when you connect you will get an error message indicating this and it will be something like: CTS FIX: Received a Logout message. Text = User does not have permission to access this application .

    If you get an error like this, then have your clearing firm or broker contact CTS Futures for assistance to enable this authorization on your CTS T4 account.
  3. Make sure you are on a current version of Sierra Chart. Update Sierra Chart by selecting Help >> Download Current Version.
  4. Go to Sierra Chart. Select Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings on the menu. Click on the Service list box at the top of the window. Select the CTS T4 service name from the list. If you do not see the service in the list box, refer to this help topic.
  5. In the Connection Details frame, select Use Live Server to connect to the live trading server. Or, select Use Simulation Server to connect to the simulation server. What you choose, depends upon the particular T4 Username and Password you will be using. Those will be for the Live server or the Simulation server. Not both. Consult with your clearing firm or broker if you are not sure what to set this to. Even if you plan to use Sierra Chart Trade Simulation Mode, and have a Live account CTS T4 Username, you need to select Use Live Server.

    If you are with TopStepTrader, then you must select Use Simulation Server.
  6. Enter your CTS T4 account Username and Password in the corresponding boxes. For help with your CTS T4 Username or Password, contact your clearing firm or broker.
  7. In the Firm box, enter the code for your clearing firm. This should be specified exactly as you do when you login to the T4 front-end software.
  8. Enable Perform Hardware ID Check , to allow Sierra Chart to be connected to your CTS T4 username at the same time as the CTS T4 trading software using the same username, on the same computer.
  9. Enable the Connect On Program Startup and the Reconnect on failure options.
  10. Set the Time Zone setting to the time zone that you want times displayed in.
  11. Set the Data Throughput and Buffering. It is highly recommended to use the default of FastTrade. Otherwise, there can be perceived problems with market data updating. Below are the possible choices.
    • SmartTrade: Same as Smart buffering plus every individual trade is received as well.
    • FastTrade: Same as FastSmart buffering plus every individual trade is received as well.
  12. Set the Intraday Data Storage Time Unit to what you require.
  13. CTS T4 Settings for Sierra Chart
  14. Press OK to close the Data/Trade Service Settings window.
  15. To connect to the Data and Trading server, select File >> Connect to Data Feed on the menu.
  16. If the Sierra Chart Message Log window opens and displays messages indicating there was an error connecting to CTS T4, then select File >>Disconnect to prevent further connection attempts. Next, carefully review the setup steps above again. Try connecting to the Data and Trading server again by selecting File >> Connect to Data Feed on the menu.

    Sierra Chart connects to the FIX server on port 10443. You need to be allowed access to this port on your network to be able to connect. Generally this is the case. There could be restrictions on a corporate network.

    Some CTS connection error phrases you may receive in the Sierra Chart Message Log and their meaning:

    • Text = Login failed: most likely incorrect user and password combination:

      This connection error message indicates the Username, Password, Firm and/or the Use Live Server / Use Simulation Server settings in the Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings Window are not set correctly. Check with your broker for the correct login information and try connecting again.

      It is necessary to work with your broker/trading service for assistance with this error because we do not control the server side connection to the trading server and we do not know your login information or any of your login details.
    • Text = Too many failed login attempts: Your username has been locked out. Contact your firm administrator to reset the user:

      This connection error message indicates there are too many failed connection attempts and your CTS Username has been locked out of the CTS T4 system. If you receive this message, select File >> Disconnect.

      Verify you have the correct Username and Password set in Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings. If you are unsure of what your Username and Password are, contact your broker.

      The next step is to contact your broker or clearing firm and let them know you are getting the text Too many failed login attempts: Your username has been locked out. Contact your firm administrator to reset the user. Your broker or clearing firm will need to reset your Username. After they do that, then in Sierra Chart select File >> Connect to Data Feed, to connect again.
    If there still is an error connecting, refer to help topic 1.5 for further help.
  17. If you are with TopStepTrader, then disable Trade >> Trade Simulation Mode On.
  18. Continue with step number 3 on the Getting Started documentation page.

Setup Instructions for Advanced and Lower-Cost Connection Model

Sierra Chart provides a new connection model to CTS, which has the following advantages and terms. Instructions to use this are further below.

  • For market data, the high quality and reliable Sierra Chart Exchange Data Feed is used. So the data feed is provided by Sierra Chart and not by CTS. This gives us complete control over it and allows us to provide a reliable service and address any issues directly when they arise.
  • CTS order routing through a central FIX connection managed by Sierra Chart with approximately 1 millisecond latency to CTS server.
  • Full server-side OCO and Bracket orders managed on our server.
  • Significantly lower per contract trade cost. .10 USD per contract. Although this exact price is dependent upon the particular broker. You will need to contact your broker for specific pricing. This lower cost is only available for retail traders.
  • The ability to still use CTS Webtrader and CTS T4 front end (25 USD per month) but you pay the standard per contract cost (USD.50) for those.
  • USD10 monthly fee required which can be suspended in any particular month if you do not want to use this CTS order routing connection.
  • Support for multiple simultaneous connections to the trading server.
  • Broker independent. Use any broker or clearing firm that supports CTS. Currently Wedbush and Dorman are to be supported.
  • Currently at this time only outright futures contracts are supported. Futures spreads/strategies will be supported later on.

There are two things additional things that you need to be able to use this new connection in addition to using one of the Sierra Chart Service Packages. Both of these are required.

  1. You need to subscribe to the Sierra Chart Exchange Data Feed for market data because market data is not provided from CTS for this order routing connection.
  2. Activate the 10 USD per month CTS order routing connection. Can be activated on the Services Activation page. Not currently listed because the service is still in the process of being deployed. Not required for demo trading.
The following are the current instructions for using this new connection model for demo trading.
  1. Update to the latest version of Sierra Chart. Refer to the Fast Update instructions.
  2. Contact Sierra Chart Support for a CTS demo account to be assigned to your Sierra Chart account.
  3. Select Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings within Sierra Chart.
  4. Set the Service to CTS Trading - DTC.
  5. Press OK.
  6. Select File >> Connect to Data Feed.
  7. Subscribe to the Sierra Chart Exchange Data Feed. This is required and is a separate cost. As we get more users using this data feed, we expect the price will come down somewhat.
  8. Open a chart through File >> Find Symbol. If you are using the Sierra Chart Exchange Data Feed and have the corresponding exchange activated on your account and do not receive real-time data, then contact Sierra Chart Support.
  9. Trade as you normally would using the Sierra Chart trading functionality.

Symbols

To find the available symbols and to open a chart or Trade DOM window, select File >> Find Symbol on the menu. Select the symbol in the available lists and press Open Historical Chart, Open Intraday Chart, or Open Trading DOM.

Exchange Traded Spreads and Strategies

To open a chart or Trade DOM for exchange traded Spreads and Strategies, select File >> Find Symbol. Select the underlying symbol in the available lists, example ES.######00.CME_Eq and then press the Get Symbols button. It is necessary to select the symbol pattern itself in the list and not a specific outright futures contract.

The spread and strategies symbols will be requested and when received, they will be listed. Select the appropriate symbol from the list and press Open Historical Chart, Open Intraday Chart, or Open Trading DOM.

Offering the CTS T4 Trading Platform

The CTS T4 trading platform is a very stable and reliable system for trading the markets. It provides an excellent data feed as well for charting. Sierra Chart and T4 together is an excellent combination. You are able to use the advanced Sierra Chart trading functionality to trade in the markets using the T4 backend trading platform. CTS has very good terms to make it easy and economical to get started with offering T4 to your customers. If you are a broker would like to offer CTS T4 and Sierra Chart, contact CTS.

Trading Options on CTS T4

  1. Note: Versions after 997 do not support options as of this time.
  2. Select File >> Find Symbol.
  3. Select the particular options exchange that you want options for.
  4. Select the particular contract that you want options on.
  5. Press the Get Additional Symbols button.
  6. Select the particular option contract that you want.
  7. Press Open Trading DOM.
  8. You will then be able to trade that option.

Account Balance

When using CTS T4, Sierra Chart will display balance data for your trade accounts.

This is displayed on the Trade >> Trade Orders and Positions >> Balance tab. This will only be displayed when connected to the data and trade server. To make sure you are connected, select File >> Connect to Data Feed.

Cash Balance is equivalent to CTS T4 StartCash (Account Balance).

Balance Available for New Positions is equivalent to CTS T4 MarginExcess (Available Cash for additional margin).

Rules for Concurrent Use of Trading Programs

The following are the rules for using trading programs connected to the CTS T4 system concurrently (at the same time) using the same CTS T4 Username.

It is possible to use the CTS T4 front end trading software and Sierra Chart at the same time using the same CTS T4 Username on the same computer, if Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings >> Perform Hardware ID Check is set to True.

It is not possible to use 2 or more connections at the same time to the CTS T4 system using the same CTS T4 Username, with either the CTS T4 front end or Sierra Chart, on different computers.

It is not possible to use the T4 mobile or web trader at the same time that Sierra Chart is connected to the CTS T4 system, using the same Username.

The reason for these limitations has to do with complying with exchange requirements.

Not Receiving Market Data from CTS for Symbol

If you are not receiving any market data, either historical or real-time, from CTS for a particular symbol. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the symbol of the chart is valid. You can find the valid symbols in File >> Find Symbol. Be aware there are also delayed exchanges that provide delayed market data for symbols. To change the symbol of the chart, refer to Changing Symbol of Chart.
  2. Contact your trading service and make sure your CTS T4 account is authorized for the exchange that the symbol trades on. For example, the symbol NQ.20141200.CME_Eq is on the CME equities exchange. So make sure the CME equities exchange is set to receive real-time data on your CTS T4 account.

CTS Server-Side OCO and Bracket Order Behavior

A server-side OCO order consists of two orders. When one of them is canceled, the other will be automatically canceled by the server. When one of them fills the other will be automatically canceled by the server. When one of them partially fills, the other should have its quantity reduced by the amount of the fill.

A server-side bracket order (called Auto-OCO by CTS) consists of three orders (a parent order and 2 Attached Orders in an OCO group). The parent order cannot be a Market order type or a Stop-Limit order type. Sierra Chart Scale-In and Scale-Out functionality does not work when using server side bracket orders.

With CTS server-side bracket orders, when the parent order is canceled, the two child orders will be canceled. When you cancel one of the child orders, the other order will remain.

When you are using Attached Orders in Sierra Chart and the parent order is a Market order type or a Stop-Limit order type, the CTS server side bracket order will not be used. Instead there will be an independent parent order with a CTS server side OCO order for the two child orders. This is because CTS does not support a Market or Stop-Limit order as the parent order for a bracket order.

In the case of CTS server-side OCO orders, it is not possible to change the quantities of those orders after they had been sent. This can create an unreliable situation when using server-side OCO orders with CTS when the parent order fills multiple times.

If the behavior of CTS OCO and bracket orders is not what you require and in many cases it will not be what is the expected behavior, then disable Global Settings >> General Trade Settings >> Use Server-Side OCO and Bracket Orders to use Sierra Chart managed OCO and bracket orders.

With the new order routing connection that we are working on for CTS, none of the limitations of CTS server-side OCO or Bracket orders will be relevant because we will not be using CTS server-side OCO or Bracket orders. They will be managed on our server instead.

Getting Additional Futures and Spread Symbols


*Last modified Wednesday, 14th September, 2016.