Tick Data Suite 2 or how to get 99.9% modeling quality in MT4
Tick Data Suite 2 is the fastest and most convenient way to get 99.9% modeling quality in MetaTrader 4. And more recently it is almost the only possible way to get 99.9% modeling quality in Metatrader 4.
I have previously written about a free way to get 99% in MT4 during testing (you can read it in this post). And until recently, I myself actively used it. But this method has one very significant drawback - it takes a lot of time, is inconvenient and does not always work (it works very unstably). But today let's talk about the fastest and most convenient (and this is really true, not just empty words) way to get 99.9% quality of modeling using Tick Data Suite v2.
The testing method using Tick Data Suite v2 can rightfully be considered the fastest and most convenient. You do not need to resort to third-party services that provide quotes (however, you can import tick data from other applications such as Tickstory, SQ Tick Downloader, JForex). All quotes are downloaded from the Tick Data Manager application.
Why is Tick Data Suite 2 needed?
Today, the maximum possible quality of modeling in the strategy tester of the MT4 terminal is only 90%. But these data are very far from the real behavior of the EA. To get as close as possible to the real trading of the Expert Advisor on history and to model the test qualitatively, you need 99.9% of the modeling quality.
Take a look at these two charts obtained by testing the same EA on the same history period:
As you can see, the difference is significant.
Tick Data Suite is the only software on the market that allows you to backtest EAs in MetaTrader 4 with variable spreads (and a host of other settings) and achieve 99.9% modeling quality. Thus, you can simulate the market situation as much as possible to the real history and get an accurate picture of the EA's trade.
The downloaded tick data takes up significantly less disk space thanks to a patented compression algorithm. So the tick data of 32 currency pairs for the entire history period (from 2003 to 2021) took me 21.7 GB of disk space. Whereas, tick data from other sources for only one pair can be 14 - 16 GB in size (multiply this figure by 32 and you will be horrified). I think many of you are well aware of this. So earlier I needed to keep about 450 GB of disk space for tick data, but now only 22 GB. This is much less !!!
In addition, TDS 2 makes it much easier and faster to optimize Forex Advisors.
Testing can be performed directly from the MT4 terminal, because TDS2 is integrated into every terminal installed on your PC. And you just have to check the box "Use tick data":
And in just a few minutes, or maybe even earlier (depending on the selected time period and timeframe), you will receive results with a modeling quality of 99.90%:
TDS 2 has the following advantages:
- No need to use multiple tools to load, transform and export tick data
- Tick data downloaded by Tick Data Manager take up significantly less disk space
- TDS v2 integrates directly into every MT4 terminal. Install once and access TDS v2 from the Strategy Tester
- Easily switch between time zones and daylight saving time settings without having to re-download and re-convert data
- Many new functions and parameters allow you to create custom backtesting environments corresponding to any broker's settings
- Powerful and easily configurable spread and slippage parameters
- Allows you to run the optimization of the advisor at the same time on several MT4 terminals
- Backtests are much faster
But it was not without its drawbacks. TDS has one major drawback - it is a paid program and you will not find a free hacked version of Tick Data Suite on the net. Therefore, if you are actively trading with Expert Advisors and are testing them on history, then I strongly recommend that you purchase this useful software. Since 90% of the quality of modeling by means of the MT4 terminal will not give you an adequate idea of the real trading of the EA.
This instruction will help you quickly understand how to use Tick Data Suite v2:
Or just watch this short video for less than 2 minutes. Turn on full screen with a maximum resolution of 1080p:
After installing Tick Data Suite v2, start the Tick Data Manager to download or import some tick data (for importing see Importing Dukascopy data downloaded by other applications).
When the download is finished, start Metatrader 4 by double-clicking its icon or by executing terminal.exe. Note that the Tick Data Suite controls will not be available if you use an MT4 instance that was started prior to installing the Tick Data Suite.
Select the symbol that you downloaded data for and activate the Use tick data checkbox in the Metatrader 4 backtesting pane:
If you'd like to change the GMT/DST of your backtest or if you wish to use variable spread, enable slippage or change any of the advanced settings, open the Tick data settings dialog:
When ready, click the Start button. At the end of the backtest check that you're getting 99.9% modeling quality and - if enabled - that variable spread was used.
If you run into any problems the first thing you should check is the backtest journal, you can typically find more information in there.
Should you run into issues that you cannot solve, run the Tick Data Suite support assistant and fill in the problem details then send the information to create a support ticket. It is typically useful to also include the log files so you can leave the checkboxes for them enabled.
The Tick Data Manager can easily import tick data that has been loaded by other software, provided the data is stored in a standard format. You can import data from the following applications:
- SQ Tick Downloader
- Birt's PHP scripts
Movie about importing tick data:
The video shows a typical import using data from the SQ Tick Downloader repository. Below you will see a guide with text and screenshots.
Data import guide
To start the import process, launch the Tick Data Manager and open the Settings dialog:
Proceed by selecting the Data tab:
From here, it's straightforward:
- If you have Tickstory installed, the Tickstory import button will be available - all you have to do is click it.
- If you're a StrategyQuant Tick Downloader user, you have to click the Manual Dukascopy import button and browse to the folder where your data is stored. The data folder is typically C:\TickDownloader\tickdata\; if you're unsure, run SQ Tick Downloader, click the settings button (on the top, with a blue icon), the folder is listed in the dialog that shows up.
- If you've previously used JForex, the data might be already cached on your disk even if you don't know it. Click the Manual Dukascopy import and browse to C:\Users\[your_username]\AppData\Local\JForex\.cache. You might need to make Explorer show all folders to see the AppData folder. If you want to verify whether there is any cached data indeed, open Windows Explorer and type %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\JForex\.cache in the address bar then inspect the folder contents.
- If your data was downloaded by means of the PHP scripts, you probably don't need a guide to tell you what to do but here it goes anyway: use the Manual Dukascopy import and browse to the folder where you downloaded the data.
Note: you do not need to enable the Override existing data checkbox if your database is empty. It only has to be enabled if for some reason you specifically want to override the data that already exists in the Tick Data Manager database.
In the next step, you are given the opportunity to select the symbols you would like to import. If you have a very large number of symbols downloaded locally, the import process might take a very long time (hours) so if you're looking to get started with the backtesting faster, only select a few symbols that you would like to use immediately. You can even select a date range for import for each symbol. You can import the rest of the symbols afterwards, perhaps even while running a tick data backtest.
To proceed, select the symbols you'd like to use. You can use the checkbox in the header row to select or deselect all the symbols at once:
Once you selected all the symbols you want to import, click OK and the data import task will start. An entry will be printed in the log after each symbol is processed. Once a symbol is imported, you can already start running backtests for the symbol even if data for other symbols is still being imported.
If you have a large amount of data, the import process can take a very long time. Depending on your computer and on the number of processing threads configured, it can easily stretch into hours if you have the full Dukascopy tick data for multiple symbols. However, the import step only has to be performed once.
Exporting tick data from Metatrader 5 is as easy as opening the symbols dialog, selecting the desired symbol, requesting the tick data in the Ticks tab and clicking the Export button after it is downloaded.
Just watch this short movie:
Tick Data Suite v2