This is part two of a three part article series. In the first article, Introducing Tradovate AutoTrade, we discussed how to acquire the necessary resources to run the AutoTrade framework, we reviewed the basic layout of the platform, and we learned how to run the example project. In this article we will go into detail about extending the robot.
The Tradovate REST API has an enormous amount of functionality and flexibility — however this affects the rate at which one can learn and master the API. AutoTrade is intended to be a usable example that helps flatten the learning curve a bit, offering boilerplate code for communicating with the API as well as a high-level interface for writing your own automated strategies.
We’ve already gone over the basics of catching events from the Tradovate API using the
next function, using function extraction to separate our logic into readable units. I also hinted at the functional-paradigmatic nature of the
next function’s implementation. Let’s talk more about that.
If we were to look at the pre-built
CrossoverStrategy implementation, we’d see that each of the extracted event handler functions (that is
onProps , etc.) each return an object with at least a
state field, but optionally an
effects field as well. Below is
onUserSync handler, it catches
TdEvent.UserSync events and produces a new state based on the
props parameters. Typically
UserSync happens once — right after the socket connects to the server. We can use it to find our existing positions, or other data related to your particular user. Pay close attention to the return object, which utilizes both the
state and optional
All this code really says is that if you already have a position in the chosen contract at startup, add it and its product data as the
product fields of the
state object, respectively. Specifically the shape of the return object of any of the
next function’s event handlers should match this interface:
In the declarations above,
EventEffect is a type that describes the shape of how we declare individual side effects in the return of our
next function and its event handlers.
EventHandlerResult describes the full shape of
next function results, which must include a
state field that can be any plain object, and an
effects field which must be an array of
EventEffect shaped objects.
Peeking back at the example from
CrossoverStrategy , take note of how we use the spread operator (
... ) with
prevState to keep any previous state that this particular handler doesn’t touch. If any of my readers are familiar with the extremely popular Redux library, you might recognize our functional approach as being quite similar.
next is our reducer function, which delegates sub-functionality to the event handlers (such as
onUserSync ). Each
dispatch call changes the robot’s underlying model which we can consider to be like the state store in Redux. Finally, just like with Redux, we can add in custom middleware to handle impure code (or code which causes side effects).
Now that we’ve reviewed
next function in greater depth, let’s begin writing our own event handlers. We’ll design a very basic strategy that intercepts the
TdEvent.Chart event type to store and display current price for the chosen contract. We will store the
close field from each bar and draw to our console using a custom side effect. Open up the AutoTrade repo in VSCode and find the
priceDisplayStrategy.js file. It should look like this:
Our initial state contains only one field — a special field called
buffer is an instance of the
DataBuffer class, which is a tool to help us collect and transform the raw data we receive from the WebSocket. When we call the buffer’s
concat method, you will get a brand new buffer with the appropriate data added onto the original buffer’s data. When we use Chart event data, it is necessary to return the updated buffer in the state (which you’ll see in the embedded code below). This keeps the buffer’s data set immutable.
Now that we have some initial state, let’s add some code to the
As described in the last article, we can use a switch statement to differentiate between the actions taken based on the event captured. In our case, we only care about Chart events, so we simply
default everything else.
This is pretty much all the pure code we need for this ‘strategy’ (it will never place orders so it’s hard to call it a real strategy). We still do need side effects for drawing to the console, however. Let’s explore how to create and register a custom side effect for your strategy. Look at the return of the
Notice how we have to declare
state as a field. This is to make room for the other possible field we talked about,
effects . Let’s add one to this return statement.
We can give our events any string name, but I like using a URL-like naming scheme. Now to react to this event we need to write a handler function. Create a new file,
drawPrice.js . In this file, we’re going to write our first middleware (or side-effecting function). Each middleware is a transformation on the action sent. They follow this signature:
(State, Action) => Action
Each effect must accept the last state and an action as parameters, returning a new action (or the same action). The following
drawPriceEffect is very simple. It utilizes a built-in method
drawToConsole to draw the current price, which we get from
That’s all good, but in order to use it we need to register it to our Strategy subclass. That’s easy though. Go look at
init for the
DisplayPriceStrategy subclass. Add the following:
Now our middleware will be called when the dispatcher fires, making its action-transformation before the event handlers run. What this allows for are operations on the actions that are dispatched, so that we can do fancy things like split a try action into success and fail actions depending on the conditions present when this middleware is called.
Now we can run this strategy by adding it to the
ALL_STRATEGIES object in
From here you can test it out by running the AutoTrade application and selecting the Display Price strategy. To learn more about AutoTrade, read the next article in the series, Part 3 — Creating Your Own AutoTrade Strategy.
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