What Is cTrader Automate¶
cTrader Automate is a feature of cTrader desktop. It allows for developing and operating custom trading indicators and cBots.
What Is a cBot¶
Think of cBots as programs that run inside cTrader desktop and autonomously execute and manage trading operations. cBots can be designed to perform almost any trading activity such as opening positions or placing orders depending on certain conditions.
What Is a Custom Indicator¶
A custom indicator is another type of extension that you can develop by using the Automate API. Custom indicators can be used to run calculations on cTrader charts using price data, chart drawings, account properties, and more.
Indicators can display the results of these calculations on trading charts, in separate tabs, or using whatever custom method of output you could design using the Automate API.
How to Start Developing a cTrader Custom Indicator or a cBot¶
To develop a custom indicator or a cBot, you need to use the C# programming language and the .NET platform.
A basic understanding of both C# and .NET is required for creating indicators and cBots. This documentation includes the 'C# and .NET Basics' section that can be consulted to quickly learn how to use these tools. However, we also encourage you to search external resources for relevant tutorials and documentation.
How to Use This Documentation¶
You can read it beginning-to-end or simply refer to the section(s) that pose the most interest.
If a code snippet in one section seems unfamiliar or difficult to understand, you can always find more examples in related sections. For example, both the 'Creating an Indicator' and 'Indicator Code Samples' articles explain and demonstrate the key principles of how indicators work in cTrader Automate.
You can also consult our references library to learn more about our libraries, the classes and methods they contain, and their signatures. If you see an unfamiliar method or a class in a code snippet, there is a high chance that the references library contains its properties/overloads along with a brief description.
What Are the Prerequisites for Working With cBots and Indicators¶
There are two main prerequisites you have to meet before working with cBots and indicators.
- Download and install .NET Runtime.
- Download and install the latest version of cTrader, and log in under one of your accounts.
cTrader Automate comes with a built-in compiler that can be used to develop relatively simple robots and indicators. However, you will not be able to use most of the advanced features of cBots/indicators (such as creating custom UI controls) without switching to the .NET SDK compiler. .NET SDK has to be downloaded and installed separately before you can use it in cTrader Automate.
The .NET SDK already includes .NET Runtime. There is no need to download and install both at the same time.
cTrader Automate includes a built-in code editor that fully supports IntelliSense (a code 'advisor' that can be used for auto-completing declarations). However, you may also choose to develop indicators and cBots via a third-party IDE such as Visual Studio Code. This documentation contains detailed information on using the embedded code editor and external IDEs.