53. Third-Party Software in Algorithmic Trading

Published at 1683737403.510415

In Vietnam, algorithmic traders can be divided into 2 groups. The first trades via third-party software such as AmiBroker, MetaTrader, and TradingView, in the order of popularity. The remaining built their own system, from as simple as Excel, to as complex as Python, C, and Java. The third-party software group accounts for about 80% of the algorithmic trading community in Vietnam.

About AmiBroker

AmiBroker is a user-friendly software that only requires basic programming skills. It can be used by different types of investors, from beginners to experts in algorithmic trading.

The software can handle various types of data sources. The easiest one is historical data that can be used to backtest trading strategies. Another option is to buy real-time data from vendors for an annual fee of around 01 to 05 million VND. However, this option may have some drawbacks such as high latency and data errors. Alternatively, traders can collect their own data for free and make the program themselves with low latency using the AmiBroker DLL plug-in.

AmiBroker is designed specifically for backtesting and technical analysis. The software provides many tools to analyze market data and calculate technical indicators. The advantage is the speed of testing and optimization. To fully automate the trading system, users need to use APIs provided by securities companies. A disadvantage of AmiBroker is that the standard format for input data only includes OHLCV, Aux1, Aux2. Other factors such as financial statements, market sentiment, news and events are not taken into account in technical analysis. However, users can directly fill in the parameters on the AFL files (AmiBroker Formula Language - a programming language designed by AmiBroker) or import the TXT file to add data.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of using third-party software versus building a Python and API system for algorithmic trading.


  • Reliable. These software are used by hundreds of thousands of traders around the world, so they are very stable and dependable. Investors can trust them to run smoothly and consistently.

  • Time-saving. Building a trading system that covers all the basic functions can take years or even never be completed. With AmiBroker, MetaTrader, and TradingView, investors can have a ready-made system in a few hours at a reasonable cost.

  • Excellent for technical analysis. These software originated from foreign exchange market (Forex), so they have great features for technical analysis traders who use price and volume data as inputs.


  • Hard to customize. These software are designed for the global market. Any changes to adapt to Vietnamese market conditions will be challenging.

  • Lack of fundamental data for the Vietnamese market. Information on financial reports of companies listed in Vietnam is usually not fully integrated. If investors want to carry out in-depth fundamental analysis, AmiBroker and MetaTrader will unlikely be satisfactory.

  • Hard to access account positions. Investors can only access account information through the API, so AmiBroker and MetaTrader cannot automatically know the account status, which may lead to many unnecessary trading errors. However, there’s the AmiPy plug-in for algorithmic trading, though it requires Python programming skills.

  • Limited support for multi-algorithm trading. AmiBroker and MetaTrader can only support one algorithm per account.

The table below summarizes the experience of using third-party software versus the Python API system in Vietnam.

Investors can use both AmiBroker and Python to optimize the trading system. Python has many libraries that support data analysis and statistical computation, which investors can use to build predictive models, combine different data sources, and analyze data at high speed. Machine learning is a new trend in algorithmic trading that investors can only accomplish with Python.

The most important factor in choosing an algorithmic trading approach is suitability. Third-party software is geared towards beginners who need a quick and easy algorithmic trading experience. To become a professional algorithmic trader who can develop various trading strategies, investors will need a trading system that can be customized to a high degree.