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.