What can JForex do for me?

I’ve spent a few days working with JForex in an FXDD demo account.  It’s an interesting programming environment.  I’m liking it.

What’s JForex?  JForex is a Java implementation of a programming language for trading systems, similar to the way MQL is the programming language for MetaTrader.  Hundreds of brokerages support MetaTrader/MQL, and a lesser number support JForex.

There are a number of things I like about JForex, and a few things I do not.

Things I like:

  • The whole environment launches from a web browser; once you have your demo account user id and password, you click on a link to the JForex demo site, and Java launches a separate window where you have your whole trading platform; both manual trading and trading programs are done from this window.
  • Programs you create in Java are stored locally on your computer; only when you compile them are they uploaded to the JForex server
  • It’s Java!  I mean, it’s one of the most well supported programming languages in the world.  There are so many resources for Java.  It’s an excellent choice for a trading system programming language.
  • Java is stable.  You won’t find bugs in Java itself (but you could run into issues with the JForex platform).
  • You could use Eclipse to write the Java code, and then upload it to the JForex server; if you like your Eclipse developers environment, use that to write, then upload, compile and test in JForex.

Things I don’t like:

  • The whole platform launches in Java from a browser.  Eeek.  That means your browser must be error-free, you need to have Java installed correctly, and a host of other things that could go wrong.  Well, to be fair, MetaTrader gets goofed up often too, so maybe it won’t be any worse than that, but I have seen a number of browser problems that could impact a Java setup.
  • It isn’t clear how you use the Eclipse debugger or any of the other debugging tools when using JForex.  My serious problem with MetaTrader 4 is that there’s no debugger, and debugging code amounts to printing your own trace statements to the screen or the log.  I hope JForex gives us better tools than that.

There’s a lot I haven’t done yet with JForex, so this is just an introduction.  Stay tuned, I’ll be working with this quite a bit more, and letting you know what I find.

I have one book on my reading list that explains trading system development from the JForex perspective.  I haven’t purchased this book yet, but it looks like it’s the only one out there right now.

Will JForex become a dominant player in the currency trading world?  We’ll see.  For now it’s one of several options for automated trading system developers.

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