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Log of Changes and Improvements to Sierra Chart

This list contains major items of development, items which are notable, and changes and additions which users need to be informed about.

This is not a comprehensive changes and additions log. It only represents less than 25% of the actual development performed every day. There are not version notes for each version. The main Sierra-Chart documentation is updated as needed relating to the changes and additions.

In addition to the below listed items for each version, there are also various low-level improvements, issues resolved, and small additions that a release has which are not listed.

  • 313

    • Low level improvements to the new trade simulation feature.
    • Corrected a problem with position display on charts.
    • Added the study Price Volume Trend.
    • Added the following new Graph Type under Chart >> Chart settings: HL Bar.
    • Added an option to the General Settings Window to toggle support for horizontal scrolling with the mouse scroll wheel.
    • Added an option for the TransAct service in the Data/Trade Service Settings window to use your local computer clock for time-stamping instead of the TransAct time-stamp which comes from the exchange. It is best use a utility on your computer to synchronize your clock to a Time Server, and use your local computer clock for time-stamping rather than the exchange time-stamp.
    • Added new Spreadsheet functions: CROSSOVER(), CROSSFROMABOVE(), CROSSFROMBELOW(). Documentation will follow shortly. One advantage of our new Spreadsheet component is that we can add custom functions such as these.
    • Added new study: Market Structure MSH/MSL. This study is still being refined.
    • Modified the Bid and Ask Depth Bars study to be more usable. It now displays OHLC or candlestick bars. Color coding is still being worked on.
  • 311

    • Corrected a problem from a recent prerelease where when using the Spreadsheet Study and a new Spreadsheet window is created, an unknown exception would be shown in the message log and the Spreadsheet window that was created would not fill with any data. Additional Spreadsheet windows would also open when the chart is updated. It is important that you upgrade to this version if you are using a version since 296.
  • 310

    • A data processing problem has been found with the interface to the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service. This problem would cause indexes to not update and it may have caused not all streaming data to be processed. If you are using the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service, it is important that you upgrade to version 310 or higher as soon as possible to resolve this issue.
  • 309

    • Advanced Custom Studies that use the function sc.UseToolEx(), need to be recompiled under this version or higher version to work with this version or higher. Otherwise, these studies will give an error message when this function is used. Studies that use the function sc.UseTool(), do not need to be recompiled. However, sc.UseTool() function is older and is no longer supported. Instead your code needs to be updated to use the new function sc.UseToolEx(). Please review the Using Tools from Advanced Custom Studies documentation. It is still possible to use sc.UseTool() by renaming the call to sc.Old_UseTool(). If you are using a custom study developed by someone else, contact the developer of that study to recompile the study to work with this version and higher. If they need any assistance or have questions, they can contact us.

  • 308

    • Made the Sierra Chart Real-Time Forex service more tolerant of poor Internet connections.
    • Basic trade simulation has been added. Simply go to Trade >> Trade Simulation Mode On and make trades as usual. Simulated Trades will have a prefix [SIM] in front of the symbol in the orders list window. Trade simulation is supported when replaying charts as well. We are working on adding logging of filled orders and profit / loss calculations.

      At this time, the trade simulation feature is most useful for testing automated trading systems because the Spreadsheet System/Alert for Trading Study logs all trades now.

      In Trade Simulation mode, position reporting is done through the Internal Position tab on the Position Window. Therefore, when using the trade simulation mode, it is essential that you use the Internal Position. This is especially true when testing an automated trading system. This can be selected under Global Settings >> Trade Settings.
  • 307

    • Corrected problems, arising in version 306, with some studies such as T3, standard error bands, Keltner channel, and others, where the studies would not function and give error messages or they would cause high CPU usage. These problems were related to internal changes that were being made for studies to make them more efficient and easier to maintain.
  • 306

    • Made additional changes to correct the problem of "Initialization error" messages displaying in some cases, when starting versions since 297. You should no longer receive these messages upon startup of Sierra Chart.
  • 304

    • Added the study Candlestick Pattern Finder-New. Documentation is still being worked on. This is an initial release and has not been fine tuned or completely verified. It is able to detect up to 4 selected patterns per chart column. The detected patterns are shown with a 3 letter code by the chart bar.
  • 303

    • Resolved the problem where some users could not start Sierra Chart beginning with version 297 due to missing Windows DLL files.
    • Various low level changes.
    • For the TPO and Volume Profile Chart study, you can now specify the period of each profile using number of minutes or number of years.
    • The Attached Orders section of the Trade Window has been enhanced for easier use.
    • The Completed and Working orders window has been merged together.
  • 302

    • Added a study named Bid and Ask Depth. This study shows the total Bid and Ask depth for the period of the corresponding chart bar. It is a summation of the depth volumes received during that period.
  • 301

    • This version supports the new Sierra Chart Real-Time Exchange Data Service. This is an exciting new service, and we encourage all users to have a look.
    • Added an input named Set Close to Current Price for Last Bar to the Heikin-Ashi study. By default this is set to Yes.
    • Corrected a problem where a software service level error message would repeatedly show in the message log under certain conditions.
    • Corrected a problem with the DOM Data study where the values shown were incorrect. This problem also affected the members of the sc.SymbolData structure path to ACSIL functions.
    • Data for Historical Daily charts is downloaded when a chart is opened and at the set Historical Daily Data Download Time(this setting does not exist in newer versions). This applies to versions 301 and higher. This may also be the case with some pre-release versions prior to 301. This is different than previously. Previously a download would occur approximately every six hours. And when the charts were opened. To set the and Historical Daily data download time select Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings >> Alternate Historical Data Service Settings. Set it to a time after the market close.
  • 298

    • Improved the speed of Spreadsheet Study processing.
    • Corrected a bug from one revision of 297, where when adding a new instance of a Spreadsheet study it would cause Sierra Chart to freeze and add an excessive number of Sheets to a Spreadsheet window, or cause other unusual problems.
    • This version and version 297 now support 24 subgraphs per study. Advanced Custom Studies can now use up to 24 subgraphs. This would be indexes 0 to 23. Example: sc.Subgraph[23].
    • This version and version 297 now support 64 inputs per study. These would be indexes 0 through 63. Example: sc.Input[63]
    • A new menu, named CB, has been added. This menu will list all of your open chartbooks and allow easy navigation between them.
  • 297

    • When you right-click over the text data line above a chart region, you will see a menu that lists the studies in that region. You can select one of those studies to modify it's settings. This provides a very fast way to change a study's settings.
    • We have completely upgraded the Sierra Chart Spreadsheet component. It supports all of the Excel functions. The 3 Spreadsheet studies have also been extensively updated. Below is a summary of the improvements:
      • New Input: Alert Only Once Per Bar: When this input is set to Yes, then when a formula is true in a system/alert column, it will only cause one alert even if it goes between true and false conditions repeatedly during the building of the bar.
      • New Input: Signal Only On Bar Close (Columns L, N-Z): When this input is set to Yes, a condition formula that returns a non-zero value at row 3 in the columns L or N through Z is ignored until the bar closes. The way this is determined is when a new bar is added. In other words when a formula is true at row 4 in column L or N through Z, an alert will be given at that time.
      • New Input: Support All Subgraphs: When this input is set to Yes (the default for newly added instances of the Spreadsheet studies), then studies that are outputted beginning at column AA will have all of their subgraphs outputted. Previously there was a limitation of 4 subgraphs per study. Now up to 24 subgraphs can be outputted. There will be a blank column between studies.
      • New Inputs: Column [K, L, M, N, ...] Alert: Selects the Alert Sound Number for a specific column. Alert sounds are now specified for each individual column independently. You can select from 1 of 50 alert sounds for any of the 16 available formula columns. The Alert Sound setting in the study settings window is no longer relevant for the Spreadsheet studies. If you are upgrading it will be necessary to specify an Alert Sound Number for each of the Spreadsheet columns that you require a sound from. These new Inputs control the alert sound for each Spreadsheet column.
      • Columns k through z can now all contain formulas. This brings the total number of formula columns to 16.
      • When you open an older Spreadsheet file (.vts extension), it will be converted to the new Spreadsheet object format (.scwbf). The first 200 rows of all columns will be copied to a new Spreadsheet. Only formulas and values will be copied. Formatting will not be. The original file will still be left intact. The process of converting it may take a while depending upon the speed of your computer. If you are manually opening up an old Spreadsheet file, then you will be given a message box saying the conversion will take place. When the Spreadsheet file is being opened by a Spreadsheet Study, then there will be no message box. However, the upgrading will take place. It will take a while to convert, so please be patient. If you need to downgrade to a prior version, then that is no problem.
    • The most important thing to be aware of with this version is that it requires the Microsoft .net framework version 2. We added support for this framework to support many new components and services which use the framework. However, Sierra Chart itself is still a native high-performance application as always. Is not based on the .net framework.
    • The Spreadsheet studies interface to Excel has been improved and some issues have been corrected. Improved error handling when Excel is shut down and the Spreadsheet Study is still using Excel.
    • Added sc.NumberOfBarsSinceHighestValue() and sc.NumberOfBarsSinceLowestValue() to ACSIL.
    • This version no longer has support for the Dial Data database from myTrack. There is no longer a need for us to support this because the exact same data is available directly from the main myTrack system. We also have our own complete historical data service available. If you have been using Dial Data and need to know how to access historical data direct from the primary myTrack database, let us know. Or if you have some other problem relating to this, let us know. However, the Dial Data database is old and we don't want to add support for it back. Instead we want to find an alternative for the few if any users who are using it. And there are sufficient alternatives.
  • 296

    • Corrected a problem where if you are using the Sierra Chart Historical Data service, you would not be able to get updates for your Intraday charts using this service if you are on level 10 or 7. To get the Intraday updates you need to connect to the data feed.
  • 295

    • Corrected a memory leak problem that affected custom studies that draw text to the chart. This affected the SC Woodies Panel study.
  • 294

    • Improvements to the time and sales window. Improved automatic scrolling. Total market depth is now displayed when bid and ask records are displayed.
    • Added support for the updated OpenECry simulation system. You need to install the latest OEC client software here.
  • 293

    • Correction to documentation: Some of our code examples that used extra arrays, in the documentation for the custom study interface members, were incorrect.
      For example, this line shows an incorrect usage of an extra array:
      float FastD = sc.Subgraph[0][sc.Index].Arrays[0];
      The correct usage is:
      float FastD = sc.Subgraph[0].Arrays[0][sc.Index];
    • Corrected a problem with the downloading of historical data from the Sierra Chart Historical Data service for certain symbols such as index symbols where no data would be processed.
    • Updated the interface to the Sierra Chart Historical Data service. It is a good idea to upgrade to this version or higher soon to ensure proper compatibility if you are using the Sierra Chart Historical Data service.
  • 292

    • Version 292 has significant improvements with our network communication functions. This affects data processing for many of our supported services.

      A problem in prior versions has been detected that would cause higher CPU usage under certain conditions when data is received from the data feed. CPU usage could go higher and longer than it should have been. Under normal conditions when CPU usage is low, there would not be a problem. When CPU usage would go high then it could potentially go higher than normal when data is received by Sierra Chart. However, not necessarily.

      This problem arose about a year ago when we attempted to work around a network connection bug, which was external to Sierra Chart (not a Sierra Chart bug), that affected a very small number of users connecting to IB. The changes did not resolve the problem but no problems were detected from them. Other than what is described above which usually does not cause a problem. This is something we were not aware of until just now because it generally does not cause any noticeable issue. The IB network connection problem has no longer been reported and is believed to have been corrected in whatever external software component that was creating a problem for those limited number of users.
    • We have also made additional improvements which greatly increases the speed of downloaded data by many times. This is especially noticeable with DTN IQ Feed backfill data and Sierra Chart backfill data for Transact and OpenECry. Data is downloaded at least four times faster. This is a dramatic improvement.
    • It is recommended that you upgrade to this version or higher.
    • For the TransAct trading service, the Average Price field for orders is now filled in. It is the same as the Filled Price. The average price is used by the Internal Position which is very important for Spreadsheet trading and chart trading. Since it provides an Average Price.
    • You can now quickly access the settings for a study directly from the chart. Right click on a chart, and in the lower-right select Studies Settings and the study you want to change.
  • 290

    • Improved the performance of downloading backfill data from the Sierra Chart server. This applies to services that use our backfill data. Such as Transact, OEC and the SC Forex service. This may have also solved the problem that some users had with failed downloading of backfill data.
    • For the TransAct service, by default now, positions and working orders will be shown in Sierra Chart. If chart trading is active (Trade >> Chart Trade Mode On), then orders will be displayed on the chart. To send orders from Sierra Chart, your Sierra Chart account has to be activated for this. Contact Sierra Chart to activate your account. This will require broker approval. To disable automatic display of the Completed orders window, select Trade >> Global Trade Settings and disable the corresponding options.
  • 289

    • Added the VOL Value Area Lines study. It is the same as the TPO Value Area Lines study. However, it plots the lines using volume data instead. This study is essentially the same except it does not use "Time Increments" but only "Time Periods" since Volume Value Area doesn't need a time increment to calculate.
    • Low level improvements to the Attached Orders trading feature.
    • The Sierra Chart Forex service now uses port 443.
  • 288

    • Added Delete and Refresh Data and Delete and Refresh Data for All Charts to the right-click/shortcut menu for charts. Delete and Refresh Data will delete and delete and refresh the data in an Intraday chart from the point you right click at. Delete and Refresh Data for All Charts is identical, except that it does it for all open charts in all open chartbooks.
    • Minor changes and improvements to the Color Bar study.
    • Added the following new Graph Types under Chart >> Chart settings: HLC Bar, Line on Open, Line on HL Avg, Stair Step on Close.
    • Updated the Woodies studies. For everything to display correctly it is necessary for you to reapply the Woodies For Range Charts - New study collection.
    • Updated the interface to the Sierra Chart Historical Data Service.
  • 287

    • Updated the interface to the Sierra Chart Historical Data service. It is a good idea to upgrade to this version or higher soon to ensure proper compatibility if you are using the Sierra Chart Historical Data service.
    • When drawing trendlines, you can press the Ctrl key to force the line to either a vertical or a horizontal angle.
    • Added the EMA Angle to the Woodies panel.
  • 286

    • Updated the Woodies For Range Charts-New studies and study collection. It needs to be re-applied to the chart to see the changes.
    • Added support for a new historical data provider for the Sierra Chart Historical Data service. For the updated instructions, please use the preceding link. We are still in the process of updating that page for our updated service.
  • 284

    • Updated the Woodies For Range Charts-New studies and study collection. It needs to be re-applied to the chart to see the changes.
  • 283 Release Date: 2008-05-11

    • Woodies For Range Charts-New study collection has been revised. You need to download version 283 again to access the revision. This study collection needs to be reapplied to the charts to take advantage of the changes. One of the revisions is a new Woodies CCI Trend study which is 100% compliant with the current specifications.
    • We have developed a new Woodies Panel and study collection. This can be accessed on the Analysis menu and is named Woodies For Range Charts-New. There is also a sample chartbook named Woodies-New. More study configurations will be added. The data panel you see on the right side is a study named SC Woodies Panel. It has various Input and Subgraph settings. It has a study Input named Show Descriptive Labels to show/hide the text labels on the right side of the numbers. To hide a particular data line, go to the Subgraphs tab and set the corresponding subgraph to Ignore. Additionally, both the font size and color of a data line on the panel on the right side can be controlled through the corresponding Subgraph settings. Use the Color button to control the color and the Size setting to control the size of the font.

      Next, we plan to work on the pattern studies like ZLR. We are also still completing work on a new Woodies CCI Trend study which is 100% compliant with the latest specifications.

      Some of the new Woodies studies in the Study Collection require a software software service package with Advanced Features.
    • Added a new Double Stochastic study that is based on the typical formula used.
    • Added support for the Open E Cry client software which is compatible with both the production and simulation environment. This client software finally solves an occasional problem where the first historical data request would time out. We also plan to increase the amount of tick data downloaded from OEC. The new client software can be downloaded on the Open E Cry page.
    • It is now possible to share chart images in our Image Gallery. There was a problem with this previously and it has been corrected. You can share any image you upload by selecting Help >> Account Management on the menu. Click on Manage Images. And click on the Share... button by the image you want to share.
  • 282

    • Added a Go To Date/Time command to the Chart menu, that lets you jump to a specific date/time on the chart.
    • Added scroll wheel support to scroll the chart in the same way as the scrollbar does.
    • Added error filtering for IB True Data (-TD) symbols.
  • 281

    • Corrected a problem where a position would not show zero after it was flattened with the TD Ameritrade service.
    • Add Net Change processing for the TD Ameritrade service.
    • Enhanced the new Countdown Timer study to show a continuous real-time countdown for Time based bars. This can be enabled through an input setting with the study. Added a new input to display the remaining range in ticks. The source for this study is in studies2.cpp and the function name is scsf_CountDownTimer. It serves as a good example of how to do text on charts.
    • The Attached Orders Trading feature has been improved to split orders into multiple OCA groups when more then one target and/or stop is used. For more info see this message. The attached orders tab on the Trade Window is easier to use. As always please be sure to use these improved trading features on a simulation account, until you are comfortable they are working correctly for you. If there are any problems contact support.
    • Added the sc.GetExactMatchForSCDateTime(), sc.GetOHLCForDate() and sc.FormatGraphValue() functions to ACSIL.
    • Two variables have been renamed in the ACSIL: sc.NumberOfTicks to sc.TicksPerBar. sc.volumePerBar to sc.VolumePerBar.
    • Added the (int)ReplayStatus, (float) YestClose, (int) BaseGraphValueFormat, (unsigned long) ChartBackgroundColor and (int) UseGlobalChartBackgroundColor variables to ACSIL.
    • Several low-level improvements have been made relating to charting, trading and studies.
    • Downloading of historical Intraday data from myTrack has been made faster as compared with versions 277 through 280.
    • Added a Scroll Multiplier setting to Global Settings >> General Settings. When this is set to 1, scrolling is at normal speed. It can be increased or decreased to affect the scrolling speed.
    • Email alerts now support multiple email addresses. You can use either a , or a ; as a delimiter. The email address is set under Global Settings >> General Settings.
  • 280

    • Corrected a problem with the image uploading service due to server reconfiguration.
  • 279

    • Corrected a problem with TD Ameritrade data processing, that was ignoring trade data that did not have volume data. For example, this affected the symbol $SPX.X.
    • Corrected some problems with data downloading arising from changes made in a recent pre-release.
    • Added a Countdown Timer study which lets you place the countdown timer anywhere on the chart window. This study is still being improved upon.
    • When searching for a date/time in the Intraday Editor, it is much faster.
    • Some additional improvements with GMT Time stamping for IB and MyTrack.
  • 278

    • Added an input named Round Off to Tick Size to the Pivot Points study.
    • Corrected a problem where under certain conditions a chart may perform an update even if there was no trading activity. This was not a problem, but it may have raised CPU usage. This issue arose in a recent release.

*Last modified Friday, 02nd March, 2018.