TradeStation Made Easy: Using EasyLanguage to Build Profits with the World's Most Popular Trading Software (Wiley Trading) Paperback – 15 Mar 2011
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From the Back Cover
"Sunny Harris has been a TradeStation® user and advocate since its inception in 1991. Her back–testing methodologies using TradeStation® have remained widely popular over the years with online strategy traders. Sunny′s writing is thorough and easy to read. We think this is a valuable book for anyone who is interested in learning more about strategy trading." SALOMON SREDNI, Chairman and CEO, TradeStation Group, Inc.
"One of the early users of TradeStation® software, Sunny Harris has been studying and programming trading strategies for more than thirty years. . . . Through the many examples Sunny walks you through in this book, you′ll have a much better understanding of how to use EasyLanguage® to create your own strategies." From the Foreword by BILL CRUZ, founder and former CEO, TradeStation Group, Inc.
With over 100,000 users, TradeStation® has become one of the most popular tools for both professional and individual traders. While the software allows traders to design their own strategies, back–test them on years of historical data, and then computer–automate them, it′s the power of EasyLanguage® TradeStation®′s proprietary programming language that makes all of this possible. By mastering EasyLanguage® you have the power to test, and potentially profit from, any idea you can imagine.
TradeStation® Made Easy! is the first and only book to explain exactly how to use the unique language behind this bestselling software program. Written by self–taught EasyLanguage® programmer Sunny Harris, this one–of–a kind guide covers the essence of programming in EasyLanguage® and provides valuable real–world insights from years of author experience in this field. Along the way, Harris also walks you through the process of installing TradeStation®, using it for the first time or two, and writing your first several indicators and strategies. And while new versions of TradeStation® are always released, there′s no need to worry. The concepts found throughout these pages are applicable to whatever version of TradeStation® you may be using. It also works on MultiCharts.
About the Author
Sunny J. Harris is a professional trader and President of Sunny Harris Enterprises, Inc. A former member of the Market Technicians Association, she is also publisher of the popular Trader′s Catalog and Resource Guide (TC&RG). Ms. Harris was the number one trader two years in a row in the under–$10 million category rated by Stark Research, achieving a 365% profit in 1993 and 178% in 1994. She is the author of four other books: Trading 101, Trading 102, Electronic Day Trading 101, and Getting Started in Trading.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There are many reviewers who state the book is over 700 pages long, 746 to be exact. However, much of the content is copied word for word from TradeStation's help files:
Appendix B, Reserved Words: Pages 415 to 563 or 148 pages
Appendix G.2 Built-in Functions and Indicators (Functional Listing): Pages 589 to 707 or 118 pages
This means a total of 266 pages, or 36%, are mostly copied from TradeStation's help files. So, instead of having a 746 page book, in reality you have a 480 page book. Whenever I am in TradeStation's Development Environment, I always have another monitor with FireFox which has 6 different tabs of TradeStation's help files open. You can access all of TradeStation's help files in your browser. I prefer to use FireFox over TradeStation's help window because the help window text is too small. Also, if I use FireFox's tabs, I can have 6-10 help files open. I usually have multiple copies of each subject open so I can keep something I looked up available. There are at least 8 different TradeStation help files for different subjects you can access directly from your browser. I will give you all the URL's in the comments section of this review. Then you will not need the 266 pages of the book. Moreover, TradeStation's help files are more complete and up to date than the book's appendices.
If you do not have TradeStation or are reading away from your computer, you might want to refer to these 2 large appendices. However, if you already have TradeStation and are in their Development Environment, you will refer to their help files instead. Once you attain an intermediate level, you will not use these 266 pages.
On the positive side, the book is written in a clear and easy to understand manner. If TradeStation's help files don't clarify a subject, the book might be useful. When writing an indicator in TradeStation's Development Environment, I have referred to the book a few times. The book will carry a beginner TradeStation user to intermediate level.
On the negative side, the book, as with the few other EasyLanguage books which are available, says nothing about advanced subjects. TradeStation's Objects, "Price Series Provider" (PSP) and WebAPI are very advanced subjects. These 3 subjects are probably beyond the scope of this book. Finding material on and learning these 3 subjects is very difficult. I have found no books on these 3 subjects. One place I have found information on Objects and "Price Series Provider" is the TradeStation help file, EL Object Reference, which I actually discovered today! The other place is in TradeStation's forums. Unfortunately, TradeStation's forums have limited information on Objects and PSP and none on TradeStation's WebAPI. What information is available on Objects and PSP is scattered among many different TS Forum posts. You open one Forum post and then you must open another, and then another...
TradeStation's WebAPI allows customers to access TS's datafeed and make trades through programming languages such as Python 2-3, Visual C++, FORTRAN, Visual Basic, etc... Because of the growing popularity of Python 2 and 3, and Python's ability to incorporate the R programming language, I believe there is a pent up demand for documentation of TradeStation's WebAPI. Unfortunately, I can find no TradeStation WebAPI programming examples in Python. Python 2, 3 and the R programming languages are all free. You don't have to pay anything for them.
**AUTHORS** **PUBLISHERS** TradeStation's advanced users need a comprehensive book on TradeStation's Objects, "Price Series Provider" (PSP) and WebAPI. We need an expert to write a full and complete book on these 3 subjects! We need a book which completely covers these 3 subjects and also gives us complete CODE EXAMPLES. This book would probably be at least 1000 pages long. These 3 subjects are, to me at least, very complex. For TradeStation's Objects and "Price Series Provider" (PSP), there are many options and statements and they are difficult to understand.
I debated on what rating to give this book. Amazon only has a 5 star system. If I could have given 7 out of 10 stars, I would have. I did not want to give 3 out of 5 so I am giving 4/5. However, I would prefer to give 7/10 or 3.5/5. Be sure to look in the comments section of this review. I am posting 8 URL's, one for each section of TradeStation's help files. If you are debating whether to use TradeStation's platform, you can open the help files to read detailed information about their software.
The negative reviews appear to misunderstand what the book is for, and complain that it doesn't fit a need that it's not designed to fit. I came to Tradestation with some good (at least I think) ideas about trading, but when I funded the account and sparked up the program, I was daunted by the Tyranny of the Blank Page. The platform is extremely flexible, but with that comes the cost of being responsible for learning it from the ground up. The customer service is great, but the self-learning materials are dreadful.
The author takes you, step by step, through the process of designing a strategy, programming it in to the system, applying it to charts, turning the system in to a formal strategy, optimizing the strategy to refine your parameters and squeeze out all the efficiency possible, and forward test it so you can have some idea of it's probable effectiveness.
She never, at any time, promises to give you the "Holy Grail" of trading, or even give you winning strategies. There are as many strategies as there are traders. She gives you the ability to make your ideas actionable within the trading platform. For me, that's worth many times the price of admission.
The bottom line: the book is very well written, very approachable, step-by-step and logical in building complexity, and is useful. More useful than any other resource I've seen, including the hours of video tutorials on the tradestation website that are more confusing than helpful.
What the book is: A way to get up and running with tradestation so that you can experiment with ideas and determine which of your trading ideas has an empirically likely chance of success. What it is not: a secret tome with the ultimate answer to the stock market: "Do this and get rich". If you'll notice, most of the bad reviews are because people were seeking the latter.
This is a solid, useful, well written book on navigating Tradestation. If that's what you want, buy this book. It does its job very well.
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