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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.

  • 350 Release Date: 2008-10-31

    • Added a new control named Graph Draw Type to the Study Subgraphs settings tab of the Study Settings window. This lets you choose among various draw types for a study. This gives you the ability to use differing price bar types within the same chart. For example, you could use an OHLC bar for the main price graph, and a candlestick in one of the sub-regions.
    • Various low level improvements with the interface to OEC. The downloading of historical tick data from OEC is now more reliable. However, if you download too much historical intraday tick data you may get an error from OEC indicating there have been too many history requests. As always you can access reliable historical intraday tick data for the most popular contracts from the SC Server when using OEC.
    • The Spreadsheet System/Alert for Trading has been modified so that Buy Exit and Sell Exit both flatten the position.
    • Corrected a bug when using an offset price using "Ticks" with attached orders. This problem was introduced only in recent version of SC.
    • Improvements have been made to the candlestick patterns detection in the new Candlestick Patterns Finder study so it is more accurate. Additional testing and improvements are planned.
    • Added to the IB Trading service settings in the Data/Trade Settings window, the following settings: Currency Code for Stocks. Option to download RTH only data for historical daily data. A delay time between historical data requests, which can be used to minimize pacing violations, the default is 500 ms.
    • Added a new study draw style named Line - Skip Zeros. When you use this style and a subgraph is set to not draw zeros, no line will appear where there are zeros.
  • 348 Release Date: 2008-10-23

    • Added an improved feature where chart drawing, such as trend lines, can be copied from one chart to another chart. Previously, there was a study that would do this, but it was limited in what it could do. This new feature can be found under Chart >> Chart Settings. Enter the chart number you want to copy drawings from in the Copy Chart Drawings from Chart # input box.
    • The Spreadsheet System/Alert for Trading study has been updated so that you can now specify a Custom Order Quantity for triggered orders. If this is left blank, the order quantity used is the one specified inside of the study settings. For more information, see the Spreadsheet Systems, Alerts and Automated Trading Documentation page.
    • Minor improvements with the trading interface for TransAct. Corrected a problem with the symbol not always displaying in the Trade Orders window for an order, which would also prevent the order from showing up on the chart.
    • Added an Undo Erased Chart Drawing command to the Edit menu to restore erased chart drawings.
  • 347 Release Date: 2008-10-21

    • Improvements with downloading historical intraday data from the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service. This involves changes by our data provider and within Sierra Chart. The problems with downloading historical tick data with this service in recent pre-releases have been resolved. Downloading of tick data is 3 times faster.
    • Resolved a problem that some users had with getting stock data when using IB. The problem involved the currency code specification. We left it undefined so IB can resolve it since there is no universal currency code. For now it is set to USD for stock symbols, and we will add a setting to allow it to be set to anything.
  • 346 Release Date: 2008-10-17

    • Corrected some issues with OCA order handling in Trade Simulation Mode.
    • The Spreadsheet System/Alert for Trading study has been simplified. The Buy Entry and Sell Entry counts are no longer used, in favor of simply using the Internal Position quantity in conjunction with any working orders that have not been completed. The input Initiate Order Even When a Position/Order Exists has also been removed as it is no longer necessary.

      It is strongly recommended that you review the updated Column K, L, M, N Signal Types section in the Spreadsheet System/Alert documentation and test your system in simulation mode before using it with the live trading Order System when using this version or higher.
    • Updated the Spreadsheet component to a new version which has many improvements and bug fixes. It supports the Excel 2007 Open XML (.xlsx) format.
    • The interface to the Open E Cry service is now a direct .NET interface. This means there is no longer any need to install a separate OEC client software. This is a direct interface which uses the same framework that the OEC software is built on.
    • We are in the process of working and downloading more historical tick data direct from the OEC server. We are still having problems with the OEC service when we do this. In this version, please avoid downloading historical tick data from OEC and instead use the SC Server. The Sierra Chart backfill service for OpenECry has always supported tick data and goes back for almost one year.
    • This version supports the HotSpot FX data feed. In order to use this data feed, a trading account with HotSpot FX is required. There is no extra charge to use the feed. For more information visit the Hotspot FX website. "The Hotspot FX ECN offers flexible FX market access to live, executable prices streamed by leading banks and posted by clients."
    • Various low-level improvements and minor changes in all areas, including the trading interface. We continue to improve the internal design of Sierra Chart to make it faster, easier to maintain and to support new features.
    • The font for the Time and Sales window can now be set. It is set through the Time and Sales Settings window.
    • We are in the process of adding Trading Functions in the Advanced Custom Study Interface (DLL Studies), but these should not be used as the development has not been completed. These are undocumented.
  • 345

    • Corrected a problem that could occur when cancelling a group of orders in Simulation Mode with more than 1 OCA Group.
    • The Pitchfork Tool now supports Schiff Median Line and Modified Schiff.
    • Added a new study named Sum Charts From List. This study will sum all the charts from a list of chart numbers to create a custom index. A divisor can also be specified. The same Chart Number can be added multiple times to apply different weighting.
    • The Horizontal lines on the 2 and 3 Fibonacci Extension Retracement Tools can now be right-clicked to bring up the Chart Drawing menu.
    • The 2 and 3 Point Fibonacci Extension/Retracement Tools can now be set to cycle through the list of Level Color settings, the entire drawing will have the same color and each new drawing will use the next defined level color.
    • The 2 Point Fibonacci Extension/Retracement Tool now has separate color settings for the 2 instances of this tool.
    • The 3 Point Fibonacci Extension/Retracement Tool now has separate color settings for the 2 instances of this tool.
    • Some new color settings have been added to Chart >> Chart Settings.
  • 344

    • The old Candlestick Formation Finder study has been removed and replaced with Candlestick Patterns Finder We are still the process of doing some fine tuning of the candlestick pattern detection in the study. If you notice any issues, please do let us know.
    • It is now possible to get a large amount of Historical Tick data reliably from the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service. With SC version 334 and earlier the amount of data that could get was limited, and there were some reliability issues in pre-release 341. We are now using a new server from our data provider and this new server is still considered a beta so if there any issues please do let us know.
    • Updated the Spreadsheet component to a new version. This one does not expire and is not a beta.
    • The most recently used file list on the File menu has been increased to 14 items.
  • 343

    • Several issues have been corrected with the new historical data server and the new interface to the server for the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service, that was released with Sierra Chart version 341. If you are running Sierra Chart version 341-342 and using the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service, it is important you upgrade.
    • You can now customize the Chart DOM so that Order Inputs works in a much more flexible manner. To see everything you can do, go to Trade >> Global Trade Settings on the menu and click on the Chart DOM Settings button.
    • Adjust Tool Values to Tick Size is now functional under Global Settings >> Tool Settings >> General.
    • The Time And Sales Window is now flicker free.
    • The new sc.SetAlert() ACSIL function and related variables have been documented. The prior documentation was not completed and had some inaccuracies. Various other members have been documented. And some corrections have been made to the Advanced Custom Study Interface documentation.
    • Various low level improvements.
    • Internal improvements to the Difference study and the Study Overlay OHLC study.
    • Added Study Subgraph Difference study. This is planned to be renamed to Difference-Study Subgraph. Calculates the difference between two subgraphs of two different studies. You can easily select the studies and Subgraphs you wish to take the difference between.
    • The Study/Price Overlay study now supports the Graphical Displacement setting from the Source study. This is internally and correctly handled.
    • Corrected the Woodies ZLR system input names.
  • 341

    • You can now access all available historical data when using the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service. This is still considered a Beta feature, if there are any issues, let us know.
    • Added a new API to save chart images to a file.
  • 340

    • There are now two Inverse Fisher Transform studies. One is based on RSI and the other can be based on any study. The Inverse Fisher Transform study has been updated.
    • Added a Sine Wave Moving Average Study.
    • Improved the functionality of the Chart DOM. More improvements are being worked on.
    • Corrected some issues with the new bar Width and Percent settings.
    • Added new members for setting alerts from Advanced Custom Studies: sc.SetAlert(), sc.AlertOnlyOncePerBar, sc.ResetAlertOnNewBar. This function and these variables allow you to play an alert sound without having it repeat for every bar in the chart without any special programming and gives you two options for controlling the behavior of alerts. Documentation will follow shortly. Added Reset Alert Condition on New Bar and Alert Only Once Per Bar for simple alerts in the Study Settings window.
    • For futures contracts, the volume and open interest are for all contracts for a particular underlying symbol with the Barchart Real-Time and Historical Data Service and the Sierra Chart Historical Data Service. To get individual contract volume and open interest append -I to the end of the symbol. If you want to get volume for the most recent day it is necessary to append -I to the end of the symbol.
  • 338

    • Added this function to ACSIL:
      int GetOHLCOfTimePeriod(SCDateTime StartDateTime, SCDateTime EndDateTime, float& Open, float& High, float& Low, float& Close, float& NextOpen)
    • Added the Inverse Fisher Transform study.
    • Fully implemented all of the new Width Settings controls in Global Settings >> Graphic Settings.
  • 337

    • Added many new controls to the Graphics Settings window to control various width settings of chart elements. Not all of the Width Settings are completely implemented yet.
    • Added Snap to Open and Snap to Close commands.
    • Continued low level trading interface improvements.
    • The Spreadsheet component has been updated to a newer version. This new version is considered a beta. So it is always a good idea to keep a backup of your Spreadsheet files. This new version should solve a problem where when connected to the data feed, the number formatting could not be changed easily. It is important that when you update to this version or any version during the month of September and October 2008, that you be sure to periodically upgrade because the Spreadsheet feature will not work after November 1, 2008. This is because there will be a required new version of this Spreadsheet component available during October 2008.
    • Completed development of the new Pivot Points-Variable Period study.
  • 336

    • The Time Extension Levels for the 2 point and 3 point Fibonacci Retracement/Extension drawings can now be changed through the Chart Drawing Properties window, which can be opened by right clicking the Trendline of the drawing.
    • Further improvements to the Pivot Points - Variable Period study.
    • Added the Sierra Chart version of the Bollinger Squeeze study. Our research has shown there are many variations of the study. The subgraph that oscillates around the zero line has many possible implementations all of which involve existing studies. The mathematical logic behind some of these implementations is questionable. We found one implementation of the primary subgraph which is:(Keltner Upper - Keltner Lower) / (BollingerBands Upper - BollingerBands Lower). This is what we decided to use. Some have used a momentum and took an average of the momentum. The implementation of the Momentum is varied. If you want to show the momentum you can always add the Sierra Chart Momentum study, add a moving average study which is based upon the Momentum, display it in the same chart region, and hide the Bands Ratio subgraph of the Bollinger Squeeze. We felt it was best to create something which is simple and reasonable. And you can always add on to it with existing Sierra Chart studies and functionality.

      If you have previously used the Bollinger Squeeze study in earlier versions from the main study list, then remove it before using this latest version. It has been reconfigured and it must be re-added to the chart.
  • 335

    • New Advanced Variable Period Pivot Points Study: Pivot Points - Variable Period

      This Pivot Points study can be used to draw support and resistance lines covering a time period anywhere from one minute to one year. It can be used both on intraday and historical charts. The calculations are derived off data in the chart itself. It employs special logic when looking back at the previous period to calculate the pivot point lines from, to determine if there is sufficient data. If there is insufficient data, it looks back to the prior period. This is very useful for holidays and Sunday trading. There is no longer a need to remove data from periods where there is insufficient data. You can control the behavior of this period skipping feature with the Minimum Required Bars for Period as %" input. For example if you want there to be at least 50% or more of the bars needed for a period that the pivot point lines are calculated from, then set this input to 50. (The study is still under development and monthly and yearly periods are not yet supported)
  • 334

    • Corrected some issues with the TPO study due to revisions made in 329. Errors received when performing TPO splitting and merging will no longer occur.
  • 333

    • Improved the Trade Volume counting algorithm used with real-time data when a service does not transmit all of the trades. This improves the accuracy of volume based charts and studies.
  • 332

    • Added the Woodie's ZLR system to the Woodie's For Range Charts - New study collections. You need to reapply one of these study collections to your charts to get this new ZLR system study. Important ZLR system inputs:
      Chop Zone Length: Length of the weighted moving average of chop zone values.
      Chop Zone Threshold: The absolute value of the value that the chop zone must exceed to meet the ZLR rule. This is in ticks. As you may know the chop zone indicates how far the last price is from an exponential moving average in ticks. These chop zone tick values are averaged using a weighted moving average. So if the tick size is 1 and you enter 15, then the weighted moving average of chop zone values must exceed or equal 15. This is a more quantitative approach to analyzing the chop zone instead of looking at colors.
    • Corrected a problem with the order confirmation box displaying in certain cases when the option was disabled.
    • The Trailing Stop Order type has been added to Simulation Mode. Additionally, a user can now attach a Trailing Stop order as a child. Because of the nature of the way IB handles Trailing Stop orders, SC can only keep track of the stop prices of Trailing Stops that are in the same session. This is the first release and future improvements is to be expected.
  • 331

    • 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.
  • 330

    • Corrected a problem with the saving of attached orders.
    • Added checks to ensure valid attached order prices.
  • 329

    • 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.
  • 328

    • 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.
  • 327

    • 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.
  • 326

    • 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.
  • 325

    • 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.
  • 323

    • 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.
  • 322

    • 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.
  • 321

    • 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.
  • 320

    • 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.
  • 318

    • 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.
  • 317

    • 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.
  • 315

    • 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.

*Last modified Friday, 02nd March, 2018.