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CTS T4 Trading Platform Service

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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.

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. 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 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 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 with CTS. .
  • 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 the Connect On Program Startup and the Reconnect on failure options.
  9. Set the Time Zone setting to the time zone that you want times displayed in.
  10. Set the Service Setting >> Data Throughput and Buffering setting. 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.
  11. Enable the Service Setting >> Unbundle CME Trades (General Settings >> Data/Trade Service Settings), to unbundle or separate the summary trades for all of the CME Exchange symbols. Disable this option if you want to have Sierra Chart work with the summary trades as reported by the exchange. After changing this setting, it is necessary to re-download the data in an Intraday chart for the prior data to be affected. This only needs to be done once per symbol. This can be done by going to an Intraday chart and selecting Edit >> Delete All Data and Download.
  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 Contacting Support For Connection Help 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.

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.

Trading Options

  1. These instructions are only applicable if the Global Settings >> Data/Trade Service >> Service is set to CTS T4 FIX.
  2. Select File >> Find Symbol.
  3. Select the particular futures contract that you want options for.
  4. Press the Get Options button.
  5. After a few seconds, the options symbols will be listed.
  6. Select the particular option contract that you want.
  7. Press Open Historical Chart | Open Intraday Chart | Open Trading DOM.
  8. You will then be able to chart and/or trade that particular option contract.

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.

The information below only applies when the Service in Sierra Chart is set to use the CTS T4 FIX connection. It does not apply to the Advanced and Lower-Cost Connection Model using the DTC protocol. In the case of the lower cost connection model using DTC, multiple connections from Sierra Chart for order routing and market data are supported.

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

The information in this section does not apply when using the new Advanced and Lower-Cost Connection Model. And the information in this section also does not apply when Global Settings >> General Trade Settings >> Use Server Side OCO Orders / Use Server Side Bracket Orders is disabled.

Sierra Chart strongly advises not to use CTS managed server-side OCO and bracket orders and will provide no technical support for these whatsoever.

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 Orders / Use Server Side Bracket Orders to use Sierra Chart managed OCO and bracket orders instead.

Getting Additional Futures and Spread Symbols

Sierra Chart and 2 Factor Authentication

If a user enables two-factor authentication on the CTS T4 system, they will need to accomplish some additional steps in order to allow that user account to work with the Sierra Chart application over FIX and when using the lower cost connection model. They will need to create an application password specifically for Sierra Chart.

Follow the instructional images below for this. This is done through the CTS website after logging into your account.

Alert Number
Alert Number
Alert Number

The highlighted password would be configured on Sierra Chart as the users password.

What is 2 Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication is a mechanism that improves the security of user’s accounts by adding a secondary authentication for connecting devices. 2FA in T4 is accomplished by requiring the user to verify they are in control of either a telephone number (using SMS) or an email account. When a user enables 2FA for their account, every device used to log into that account must be ‘authorized’ by the user acknowledging a 6-digit authorization code sent to a pre-defined point of contact for the user.

Devices that are authorized once via 2FA are remembered by our system and will not have to be authorized again unless the user changes his password or has his user account unlocked.

CTS has already deployed 2FA to all of our systems. When a user enables 2FA on his user account, every device used to log into T4 must be authorized regardless of what API or API version is used. We have implemented a number of workarounds in order to support all legacy versions our API that are in use.

Our FIX API presents a unique challenge. FIX connections typically originate from a centralized server and not from an end user device. As a result we are unable to authorize a login from our FIX API using 2FA. Instead, we have provided a mechanism for users with 2FA enabled to create an “application password” to use for FIX application logins. This mechanism does not require any application changes to FIX applications connecting to T4.

Market Depth Data

When using the market data feed from CTS with Sierra Chart, this is a FIX data feed.

CTS only provides a maximum of 10 levels of market depth data for a symbol with this data feed. More levels are not available on this data feed.

For some exchanges, there is an additional cost for market depth data so you need to pay the required exchange fee in order to receive market depth data for a symbol. For further help in this regard, contact your broker or clearing firm.


*Last modified Thursday, 26th September, 2019.