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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.

  • 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.
  • 314

    • 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.
  • 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.

*Last modified Wednesday, 22nd February, 2023.