This guide highlights some practical aspects of creating custom applications by means of the cTrader Open API. We offer specific functionality examples, rate apps in terms of their complexity for developers, and review best practices below.
Types of Apps Created via Open API¶
The cTrader Open API allows developers to create various application types. Possible examples include:
- Custom trading apps. You can build your own trading platform that will be connected to the cTrader backend. It may differentiate in terms of personalised features, custom user interfaces, and functionality tailored to specific trading strategies or user preferences.
- Technical analysis tools. It is possible to develop apps that source and analyse real-time market data offering visualisation and insight for trading decisions as a custom-made output.
- Telegram bots. Existing cTrader users can be provided with the functionality to place different order types with specified parameters via a Telegram bot.
- Apps for wearable devices. One can create an app for smartwatches that would display the user’s current P&L. Customisable notification settings are usually provided by products of this type.
- AI-based assistants. Developers can request generative AI services to process historical prices and identify trends relying on statistical analysis. It is possible to match breaking news and market dynamics.
- Price alert systems. It is possible to build apps notifying users about specific market conditions and price levels. Some functionality to react to these events can be offered by developers.
- Strategy improvement tools. Apps that allow users to trade on historical data for testing and improving their strategies in different modes can be created due to the cTrader Open API. The outcomes should prompt how to optimise and refine individual strategies.
Perceived Complexity and App Functionality¶
Different levels of complexity are attributed to the exemplified application types. The following chart accounts for their perceived complexity and offers some functionality examples.
|App Types||Perceived Complexity||Functionality Examples|
|Custom trading apps||★ ★ ★ ★ ★||Attaining live bars data and live quotes, placing and executing orders, closing positions, modifying pending orders, converting symbol rates, calculating P&L.|
|Technical analysis tools||★ ★ ★||Offering interactive chart capabilities, drawing trendlines and other visuals, recognising chart patterns automatically, and applying risk management tools.|
|Telegram bots||★ ★||Retrieving account balance information, placing orders, closing positions, notifying about the status of the current orders/positions, and canceling orders.|
|Apps for wearables||★ ★ ★||Calculating P&L, closing positions, modifying pending orders, obtaining balance and equity data, and receiving price alerts.|
|AI-based assistants||★ ★||Accessing historical bars and tick data, recognising meaningful patterns in historical data, matching historical drawdowns and price dynamics, refining strategy suggestions, and estimating entrance/exit points.|
|Price alert systems||★||Receiving live bars data and live quotes, reacting to specific price levels, sending notifications and alerts, and adjusting alert sensitivity.|
|Strategy improvement tools||★ ★ ★ ★||Obtaining historical bars and tick data, calculating P&L, backtesting strategies, analysing strategy performance, optimising order parameters and protection mechanisms, assessing trading risks, testing multiple scenarios, and replaying market situations.|
Best Practices for Creating Apps¶
There are a number of best practices that can facilitate the process of application development.
Understand your users’ requirements. Before developing a custom trading app, deeply research into the unaddressed user needs it should satisfy in your preferred market. Why is the cTrader standard functionality redundant or insufficient for your target audience? For example, the order placement functionality should be simplified to a bare minimum to retain even first-time traders.
Study the cTrader Open API. Familiarising yourself with the Open API documentation will provide you with crucial insight into opportunities and features your app can deliver. If your custom trading app or Telegram bot needs to display P&L in an exotic currency, you should know how to request a necessary conversion chain.
Design a user-friendly UI. Aim at a clean and intuitive UI that would provide easy navigation, effective data visualisation, and seamless interaction with the trading platform. Apps for wearable devices are especially demanding in terms of a convenient UI since their screens are small, which may challenge functionality. The UI should also prompt how to interact with the app by means of gestures, swiping, and tapping. On mobile platforms, consider different viewport sizes to ensure that the UI is displayed as planned on different devices.
Secure attribute of your cookies, or the token binding technique. When developing .NET applications for Windows, you can use DPAPI for securely storing the access token. On mobile devices, use biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. Additionally, you can require two-factor authentication for your users.
Personalise features. As long as you are developing technical analysis instruments, offer something unique in terms of a customisable layout and adjustable chart preferences. Your users will enjoy having personalised presets, templates, and colour schemes. You may consider integrating a customisable calendar of upcoming financial events and news releases that potentially influence price dynamics.
Implement real-time updates. For applications such as price alert systems, it is pivotal to receive real-time data updates to realistically reflect the latest market prices. Implement a stable connection to the cTrader backend and minimise latency. Develop an emergency plan and reserve solutions for managing potential connection disruptions.
Test extensively. AI-based assistants and strategy improvement tools should be extensively tested on historical data before their full-scale launch. ‘Train’ your application to recognise different trading scenarios and market conditions. Integrating historical data playback would be beneficial to your app in terms of a realistic market simulation of trading conditions. Within a strategy improvement environment, you may give users the option to trade on tick or bar data.
Provide comprehensive documentation. Carefully document the functionalities, features, and API integrations of your application. Doing so will increase your users’ independence and confidence. Additionally, you will be able to reduce pressure on your support team. Ideally, video guides and FAQs should be available to your users.
Engage in the cTrader community. Share knowledge, seek advice, and collaborate with the cTrader developer community. Participating in forum and Telegram channel discussions, you will manage to upgrade your app functionality and resolve any challenges you may encounter.
To summarise in the end, the provided list of application types and best practices is not exhaustive, and you can go beyond by implementing your original ideas due to the cTrader Open API.