What Is New
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.
- With the TD Ameritrade service, option symbols can be used. Enter option symbols with a plus in front of them, such as "+COPKQ".
- Corrected some issues with the TPO and Volume Profile study due to some changes in 329.
- Various other low level improvements and issues resolved.
- Corrected a problem with the saving of attached orders.
- Added checks to ensure valid attached order prices.
- Some minor issues with Trade Simulation have been corrected.
- Modified the handling of input and output of data from and to Spreadsheets. This is to improve performance and feedback is appreciated to see if it is helping. Our testing shows minimal differences.
- Various low level changes to the TPO study. 1 minute TPOs are now supported.
- Added the Scroll All Charts To End to the Chart menu.
- The NYSE $TICK symbol for the Sierra Chart Real-Time Exchange Service now has the proper +/- scaling.
- Fixed a problem with the recent improvements to Chart Linking.
- When the Spreadsheet studies are used as a system or for alerts, or you are using Simple Alert conditions on a study, and there is more then 1 bar that appears during a chart update, all of those bars will be evaluated for your System or Alert condition. This condition can occur with short duration bars or during high speed replays. There were changes to the evaluation of the System and Alert conditions to support this. If you are using a trading system, it should be tested in simulation mode with this version before using it in live mode.
- The functioning of the Old Intraday Data Time Offset in the Data/Trade Service Settings window has changed. This control applies to intraday data stored from IB and MyTrack with versions 276 and earlier. It now will adjust the timestamp stored with 276 and earlier by the set amount. For example, if it is -1:00:00 and your computer's time zone is set to New York time, then old intraday data will be displayed in Central Time. This resolves an issue with daylight saving time that some users were experiencing with the old functioning of this setting.
- Corrected a problem with order fill processing in simulation mode that would occur when Bid and Ask data is sent separately by a service.
- Added a temporary patch that fixes a bug with IB TWS where the average fill price is incorrect for certain symbols.
- Corrected a long-standing but uncommonly encountered problem when using IB where Sierra Chart would abnormally shut down upon a connection to TWS. This problem was never duplicated by us and was infrequently encountered by users. Therefore it was difficult to track down. However, we did finally determine the cause of it. It was long believed to be an issue external to Sierra Chart. However this appears not to be completely the case. It had to do when TWS or some other program would break the TWS connection that was just made while a download was occurring. This is such an unusual condition especially being the connection is local, that it was rarely encountered. While there was indeed a bug in Sierra Chart, the reason for the lost connection would have to be due to some external issue such as a network communications component or driver bug. This is what we believed to be the case.
- Corrected a problem that the integrated Watcom compiler for advanced custom studies had when calling ACSIL functions that return a float value. This problem would cause unstable behavior of the custom study and would affect Sierra Chart. If you are using functions such as sc.GetSummation, sc.GetDispersion, sc.GetTrueHigh, sc.GetTrueLow, sc.GetTrueRange, or sc.GetCorrelationCoefficient, it is important that you upgrade to this version and recompile your custom studies.
- Corrected a problem with the volume by price study where the secondary color button may not have displayed for the subgraph for the Volume Bars. This issue arose from a recent prerelease.
- Improved the User Interface for the Attached Orders tab on the trade window. It has a more intuitive behavior.
- Added new versions of Array Operation functions that do not require the Index parameter. For more information see the Array Operation Functions That Do Not Use the Index Parameter section of the members page.
- Various other low level improvements.
- Various minor Trading Interface and Trade Simulation changes and improvements. More development are being worked on. Improvements to the ChartDOM and new order types for the Attached Orders feature are coming.
- Added the following fields to the Internal Position tab of the Positions Window, Spreadsheet Study output, and the Trade Activity Log: Maximum Open Position Profit, Maximum Open Position Loss, Win Trades, Lose Trades, Total Trades.
- When running Sierra Chart under Vista you will be prompted to run the application with administrator credentials if you do not currently have these credentials.
- Corrected an issue of trade undercounting with the transact service arising in 321 and possibly some earlier versions. This was due to changes made to support the upcoming new transact data feed.
- Corrected a problem with the cumulative profit/loss calculations during a session.
- The ChartDOM now works during replays when in Trade Simulation mode.
- The Currency Value per Tick setting under Chart >> Chart Settings on the menu now affects the Profit/Loss shown on the chart when the Internal Position is used.
- Simulation mode now supports Attached Orders.
- When opening an old Spreadsheet file (.vts), formulas that contain references to other Spreadsheet windows will be prefixed with the text "Error:". The existing Spreadsheet file will be left intact. You will have to manually edit formulas that contain references to other Spreadsheet windows to remove the inserted text and make certain the other Spreadsheet windows they reference are open.
- In the Chart Settings window, there is now a new option for chart linking under the Link Number setting. This lets you set whether to link the Symbol and/or the Bar Period.
- Study collections now store the chart region heights. When you apply a study collection, each region will be the same height it was when you saved it. This only applies to study collections saved with this version and higher.
- With the new Spreadsheets beginning with version 297, Spreadsheet formulas can now reference other Spreadsheet windows.
- Corrected a problem where the last two bars in an Open E Cry daily chart were showing the same data but the last bar was showing the current day's date instead of the next trading date that Open E Cry uses. Now these two records are merged into one bar.
- Updated IB Automatic Login, to correct problems where the username and other keys would be entered into other TWS windows as well.
- A new log window has been added that logs all of the Trade Activity that occurs within a session. This log can be saved into a file that is tab separated so that it can be opened using excel or similar Spreadsheet programs. This window can be found under Trade >> Trade Activity Log in the menu.
- In the Chart Settings window, a Last Date To Load can now be set so it is possible to look at historical data far back in time and still load a small number of days.
- Changes to the Study/Price Overlay study so that it copies the Displacement setting and price bar colors from the source study.
- Colors for the Point and Figure study are now set with the study's own color settings. After upgrading, if you notice incorrect colors, then adjust the study colors. The Open color sets the Open/Close dashes for Up Bars. The High Color sets the High/Low color for Up Bars. The Low color sets the Open/Close dashes for Down Bars. The Last Color sets the High/Low color for Down Bars.
- Added a new Pivot Points Formula.
- Improved importing of old Spreadsheet files to the new Spreadsheet object and files. Cells that are not considered valid will not cause an exception. Instead they will be replaced with error text.
- Improved date stamping of historical daily data from OpenECry.
- Added a new setting in Global Settings >> Spreadsheet Settings to control the Regional setting for spreadsheets. You can choose any region. Previously this was defaulted to English-US. This was causing an issue in other regions because the value and formula format was not specific to the region but using English-US. Now you can select whatever Regional setting you need.
- If a faulty custom DLL exists it will no longer cause the program to shut down when you press Add Custom Study.
- Corrected a problem with the background color of text outputted by studies. If you still see an incorrect background color select Tools >> Erase All Text and then select Tools >> Chart Reload And Recalculate.
- Various other low level changes.
- Corrected an issue with the display of simulated positions on the chart.
- In simulation mode, orders are now filled based on the bid and ask prices as documented.
- Corrected a problem with the CountDown Timer study where it would show the prior countdown from the previous update. This normally was not anything that would be noticeable. The foreground and the background color can now be set through the study's Subgraph Color buttons.
- Additional improvements to the Candlestick Patterns Finder study. This study is still under development and now it works more accurately. Additional work is still being done.
- Modifying an attached order now stays at the modified price even after the parent is filled. Previously, after the parent was filled, the children would all be modified to be the same distance away from the parent as when the orders were first inputted.
- Various improvements were made to the Trade Window and Trade Simulation.
- Finalized the study Market Structure MSH/MSL. If you see any problems, please let us know.
- Finalized the study Bid & Ask Depth Bars. For this study to work it is necessary for Market Depth to be enabled for the chart under Chart >> Chart Settings. And, enable Maintain Time and Sales under File >> Data/Trade Service Settings. The High Color setting is used to color the bar when it is an up bar. The Low Color setting is used to color the bar when it is a down bar.
Formula: ((Total Ask Depth - Total Bid Depth)/ (Total Ask Depth + Total Bid Depth))*10
- Added studies: Volume - Up,Volume - Down.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This version and version 297 now support 64 inputs per study. These would be indexes 0 through 63. Example: sc.Input
- A new menu, named CB, has been added. This menu will list all of your open chartbooks and allow easy navigation between them.
- 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.
- 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.
- Corrected a memory leak problem that affected custom studies that draw text to the chart. This affected the SC Woodies Panel study.
*Last modified Friday, 02nd March, 2018.