Tutorial 150 | Sharing data between two charts using Microsoft Excel

Tutorial150

Tutorial 150 demonstrates how to create TradeStation EasyLanguage programs to share data from one chart to another (or others). The ‘sender’ program draws horizontal lines at various price levels and stores the price levels of the lines in a Excel spreadsheet. A ‘receiver’ program reads the values from the Excel spreadsheet and draws corresponding horizontal lines on another chart.

The functionality is similar to that found in Program 35 | XML version (see https://markplex.com/easylanguage-programs/program-35-xml-version/) except with tutorial 150 the data is stored in an Excel spreadsheet rather than an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file.

The tutorial programs use the Excel class. Both programs have an input for the name and location of the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet must be created prior to applying the programs to a chart otherwise the programs will give errors. The programs also need to be applied in a certain order with the sender first followed by the receiver charts.

When you change the UniqueName or spreadsheet filename/location an error may occur which will trun the status of the programs to off. Simply reactivate the programs ( turn the status to on) after the change. Reactivate the sender program (_Tutorial150-Excel) first followed by the receiver programs (_Tutorial150-Excel-Read) .

In the tutorial data is stored in the Excel spreadsheet corresponding to the FileName input. To enable more than one dataset to the stored in the same spreadsheet the data in the first column is set to the value of the UniqueName string. When the sending program (_Tutorial150-Excel) is applied to the chart it searched through the sheet called FileName looking for a row of data with the UniqueName in the first column. If UniqueName is not found, data levels are calculated and the UniqueName and data are added to the chart. If  a row with UniqueName in the first column is found, the levels data is read into the program.

Example of an Excel spreadsheet

The initial horizontal line positions are calculated by finding difference between highest and lowest prices on the visible chart and dividing by NumberSR. A For loop is then used to calculated the individual levels as in the following code excerpt:

Const: int NumberSR( 10 ); // The number of horizontal lines to draw on chart

Vars: double HighestVisible( GetAppInfo( aiHighestDispValue ) ), // Highest visible price on the chart
double LowestVisible( GetAppInfo( aiLowestDispValue ) ), // Lowest visible price on the chart
double diff( ( HighestVisible - LowestVisible ) / NumberSR ), // Stores the price difference between the highest and lowest displayed values

int Ctr( 0 ),
double LineVal( 0 ),
.
.
.
.;

For Ctr = 0 to NumberSR - 1
Begin
// Calculate the initial level for each line
LineVal = LowestVisible + ( Ctr ) * Diff;
.
.
.
.
End;
Programming lessons and examples included in tutorial 150:

  • Writing to and reading from a Excel Workbook object
  • Reading and writing to vectors
  • Using the Chartinghost and drawing objects to determine when a horizontal line is clicked and moved
  • Using the timer class

Detecting when a horizontal line is moved in the sending program

When the horizontal line are created they are given a click event. This tells the program when a down click occurs to a line (required to manually move the line). On this event the line is stored into a temporary line object. However the click event does not tell us when the line is up-clicked. For this the ChartingHost object is used. When it is created it is given a click event. When the mouse is released (up-click) this click event is fired. From this the program can discern the new price level. The program, having already stored the line on which a downclick was made, searches through all the lines to determine which line was moved. The new price level is stored in the spreadsheet.

How does the receiving program detect when a change has been made to the spreadsheet

The receiving program needs to update the position of the lines on the receiving chart when the data in the spreadsheet changes. But how does the receiving program know that the data has changed? Unfortunately the workbook class dies not provide an update event so the receving program uses a timer to scan the spreadsheet at a user defined interval to see if any changes have occured.  The interval is set by the user input: lineMoveInt, specified in milliseconds. This is set to 5,000 by default, i.e. 5 seconds. Unfortunately this process is resource hungry and so it is best to make this number as big as possible.

The tutorial 150 sender (_Tutorial150-Excel) and receiver (_Tutorial150-Excel-Read) program are available for immediate download for $34.95. The download is a TradeStation ELD file that includes the unprotected and commented program. This program will not work in MultiCharts because it uses the TradeStation collections and other functionality that is not available in the MultiCharts environment.

Video demonstration of tutorial 150 (sender program)

Video demonstration of tutorial 150 (receiver program)

Please email if you find any bugs,notice any errors, or have questions about the tutorial.

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