Something of genuine intrigue. VeloxPro seem to have done just that. BookMap X-Ray is a tool for visualizing the current and historical orderbook — something that day traders have had to do by memory until now. What this did for me apart from giving me the belief that they are a genuine bunch of decent chaps, was tell me where it all began for them.
Many trading tool developers come from the place they look to serve — day traders develop tools for day trading for example. And this perhaps explains why BookMap offers a unique market perspective. The background of the team seems to universally be one stemming from the world of HFT. These are the guys who write the sort of algorithms that instruct computers to send order instructions based on predefined rules.
They come from part of the trading world where millisecond timeframes are no longer fast enough. Where algos constantly search for liquidity and press direction using limit orders as their tools. HFT has changed the game for day traders and now, perhaps, some canny software developers from the world of HFT are helping to swing the pendulum back to some extent.
In fact, it can make an infuriatingly useless piece of software which, consistently flatters to deceive. Sign up to the Traderunner. But how is that useful? Well, it makes reading market activity and orderflow much simpler. Before we go any further, I really should point out another feature that in my opinion, is absolutely critical to making this software incredibly useful instead of being just another chocolate teapot.
The way BookMap X-Ray translates how the market is set and how it reacts to volume trading at particular prices is invaluable. If you had a decent memory and a superb attention span, you might be able to create a kind of mental orderbook heatmap. So you still need to interpret what the tool is showing you.
The information has to be put into the context of what the market has done and what your setups are. I can certainly see that there are going to be a lot of people who will love this product. Prop traders to start with probably why they support TT X-Trader. The first and perhaps most obvious application is seeing where real volume is and how the market reacts to it. Volume that sits there is a different matter though. It shows intent to execute for whatever the reason might be.
Of course, seeing this kind of thing happen at a level that you were already interested in trading, might just give you more confidence to take the trade. Quickly spotting this kind of activity can help you to recognize it for what it really is. Seeing how the market is flowing is a great way to judge its current mood.
It can, in combination with proper analysis, give you excellent clues to what the market might be trying to do and how it might react to certain prices. For a new piece of software envisioned and built from scratch, BookMap already has a whole host of great features.
This is the number 1 feature. The heatmap is based on the number of orders on each price at any given moment in time. It should be noted how the software updates price and the orderbook. So each pixel is effectively a snapshot of the market data at that point in time. Because the heatmap intensity is displayed based on the number of orders at any given time, there is a slight inherent weakness in BookMap. If someone places an order of much greater size but clearly fake than any other price, the map will fade and the heatmap intensity at all other prices will become useless.
VeloxPro have built in extra features here to make the necessary adjustments, but just be aware that there will be some tweaking required in some situations. This however, is not the case. So a pixel that trades 28 at There are a number of settings you can change for the dots. You can also change the size and transparency of the dots. The other crucial point to the volume dots is that you can select the buy and sell colours.
By default these are set to yellow for buy and red for sell. The reason for this is that when a dot has a combination of buys and sells, the colours blend and I was finding the various shades of orange not especially distinguishable.
Mine changes to different shades of green. The info columns are designed to be flexible. There are a number of options to show per column and you can choose how many columns you want to display.
Having the option to add custom notes is something that you might find helpful if you wish to note down particular prices — an NFP high and low for example might be worth adding a note for.
Another possible way of configuring a map is to be zoomed in and display the current volume — this can give you a very nice clue to how the very recent action has developed.
Trading is possible directly from a map paid add-on. Clicks to the right of the price line will send orders. A left mouse click will send a buy limit and a right mouse click will send a sell limit.
There is one current benefit however. Futurestrader71 is a big advocate of using playback as a method of getting in sync with the markets, especially after a week or so of not trading. This would be a HUGE improvement to the feature. There are various other studies which may or may not be especially useful to you depending on your strategy. This tool is way, way more useful than I initially realised. What it basically does is allow you to scroll the chart back. What happens when you scroll back is that not only do you see the historical orderbook, but you also see exactly what your info columns were at that moment in time.
The tooltip tool is just a far easier way of viewing the orderbook and trade info of a particular pixel. This feature allows you to quickly select a few different timeframes for the entire map to display not time per pixel. The problem comes however, when you have volume dots configured for a specific view. Still, this software is constantly evolving. In terms of datafeed requirements, you have several options. S5 Trader , which is an OEC now Futures Online white label, is able to connect and Stage 5 Trading do have exclusive rights for this feed at the moment.
That said, the guys at VeloxPro are very responsive and they are constantly working to improve their software. Remember that you can also use S5 BookMap with other datafeeds if you contact their support. I see it as a complement to the other parts of your order flow arsenal, not a complete replacement.
Do you have any views on using Bookmap on currency futures, which are dependent to a large degree on the forex market? I think Bookmap has to be used slightly differently there.
Currency futures are an interesting one. I had suggested to VeloxPro to think about allowing multiple prices per line to help with this — the same thing could possibly help with thinner products too. I have to say the updates in v4. I think the only things they need to address urgently are: Shortcut keys or toolbar buttons to reset the current trades column 2. A way of rewinding during market replay 3. Some form of drawing tool so eg you can highlight what looks like resting paper.
In terms of clicking the wrong button — yeah not good and it only takes 1 mistake at the wrong moment to cost you a lot of money — I prefer DOMs with separate buy and sell columns to prevent this issue. They are making strides towards improving their trading interface but one thing to consider is any implications of the TT patents, which I know newer software companies are loathed to pay for.
A different option to a drawing tool which I have already suggested to them, is the ability to extend high resting volume areas to the current time possibly by colour.
TR, What are your thoughts on Jigsaw v5. I have found in the past that Jigsaw is the best DOM around and I like the recon tape and iceberg alerts a lot. Will you personally stay exclusively with Bookmap or do you use certain Jigsaw features as well and what do you think of their implementation of the heatmap. Execution is still not completely to my liking on BM but things are starting to change on that front. BM is a new and fast evolving product and early adopters are bound to see areas of improvement.
But the rate at which these improvements are coming is probably a little worrying for some of the other software vendors out there! Hi, I think they are both improving rapidly now. The problem I find is that the BM ladder is not user friendly at all. I have been testing out the latest iterations of Jigsaw in MC. I find BM to be really good for market replay or just going back in time say fifteen minutes when analysing live during an interesting session.
So what that means for me is I have Jigsaw on my screen and BM one market minimised and brought up from time to time if say I want to see what the previous cluster of dots at this location looked like. Sorry for the delay in my response. There have been some useful additions to BookMap since the full review. I have been told however, that there some exciting imminent features coming to the next version.
When this becomes available, I will post my thoughts! Been trading for over 5 years and came across pretty much every platform out there which only disappointed me. None of these gave me the source level information that mattered. Signed up for BookMap couple of months ago, got well versed with it and trading live account. Such a joy doing the work these days,best conviction I have behind my trades ever.More...