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I believe that most of us will agree that being able to compute values is only part of our job, as we would also like to be able to display them nicely in order to better understand or help co-workers/clients understand some concepts or results.

We usually try to do this using charts, most of the time from MATLAB and R during development phase, but the charting libraries do not allow you easily to modify the chart after it has been created.

I have been occasionally using the Bloomberg Charting interface, and I must say I think it is particularly brilliant, as it allows you to:

  • Zoom and scroll
  • Add vertical/horizontal/... lines
  • Compute performances between points
  • Add technical indicators
  • Possibility to export the graph to the clipboard
  • And so on.

Most of the charting libraries I have been able to find so far for .Net only have a few of this features, but almost none allow the users to add/remove graphical elements from the cart easily.

I was wondering if somebody knew a good charting API which provides a control with which the user can interact extensively (like in Bloomberg) once the data is displayed?

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4 Answers 4

if you are dealing with FX data only; i have found MetaTrader to be the best.

my automated trading system is built in Java; and I output data files to MT4 folder; that get picked up automatically by a custom indicator that I have built; which simply reads the data file and plot it on the currency pair that I am viewing.

MT4 charts are extremely fast; zooming in and out; and you can literally plot anything.

Recent version of MT4 has new fancy features.

I trick MT4 to show charts for other symbols (that are not FX related) by drawing them in a separate window; on top of existing FX pair. simply minimize the FX pair chart; and view the other windows.

I am interested if anyone here have a better suggestion.

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But you can't embed it in your applications. –  SRKX Apr 2 '12 at 15:55
unfortunatley you can't. however from experience; i found that it is better to have it stand alone. using two monitors instead of one; especially when you are moniting a live trading app –  alpha Apr 2 '12 at 15:58
i thought meta trader was made specifically for bucket shops? –  pyCthon Apr 9 '12 at 17:48
Metatrader is most certainly not a charting API. –  J. Morris Sep 8 '13 at 4:47
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Following on from alpha's answer, you might be able to use some of the ideas and tools described on this blog to link R, and maybe also MATLAB/Octave, to the Metatrader platform to use the charting capabilities of Metatrader. Linked from this blog is this page where there is a dll tool available, with downloadable open code, to call R directly from Metatrader, so presumably anything that can be calculated in R can be plotted in Metatrader.

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I've been using HighStock, which produces very slick interactive charts with a relatively small amount of JavaScript. Among other things, it can produce candlestick/OHLC charts with volume bars, take a look at the examples page.

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Take a look at http://www.modulusfe.com/stockchartsl/

They have a nice demo (requires Microsoft Silverlight plugin). You can zoom and scroll, add lines and technical indicators, save image etc.

Also see this SO question.

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