Often you may want to send a strategy or indicator to another person, but without them being able to see your code. Or you may want to restrict a person’s use of your indicator or strategy e.g. you may want to send them a trial version that expires after a certain period of time. This section covers how to protect your code and how to put restrictions in your code so that it can only be accessed under certain conditions.
The most important part of the process is to ‘encrypt’ your code so that no-one else can see it:
You can also put restrictions in your code so that it can only be used under certain circumstances. The most common methods are to restrict by Customer Number and Date, though other options exist:
- Restricting access to a PC
- Restricting access to a person
- Restricting access to a symbol
- Restricting access to an exchange
- Can TradeStation staff see my strategies or the EasyLanguage code on my PC?
- If EasyLanguage code protection can be broken, are there other methods of sending people my code that will make it unbreakable?
There are no 100% guaranteed methods of protecting code. For a higher level of protection than the EasyLanguage protection scheme, you can rewrite your strategy in another programming language (such as Delphi or C++) and then reference it from TradeStation. Code written in other programming language can be strongly encrypted and various licensing schemes used. This would be a very advanced project. See the SDK section for more details.
- I’m not comfortable sending my strategy to someone. Are there other ways they can get the benefits of my strategy without me actually sending them the code?
There are a few other options, but they can be complex and expensive. You can send alerts (email, text, website) from your strategy to tell people to ‘buy at 100’. They then have to manually enter those orders. Obviously, this method isn’t suitable for real-time trading. There are also third-party providers who will run your strategy for you. You give them your strategy and they run it on your behalf. Your customers then have accounts with these providers and they buy and sell on behalf of your customers without revealing the code to them. These services can be expensive and obviously you still have to send your strategy to the third-party providers. See also the TradeStation Strategy Network below.
- Will TradeStation run my Strategy for me or for others?
TradeStation will not run your Strategy on their network. The TradeStation Strategy Network is a new service that was released with TradeStation 8.8. This allows for easier distribution, management and administration of Strategies sent to end-users, but this still requires that an end-user PC is available to run the Strategy.
- If I send my code to one person, is there some way I can prevent them forwarding it on to others?
No. Once your code is ‘out there’ you have no control over who it is passed to. Obviously, if you protect the code with Customer ID etc then only that person can run it but there is nothing preventing them sending the actual ELD on to others.
- Can I set an ‘auto delete’ mechanism such the code automatically deletes after a certain amount of time?
No, this is not possible. You can put a date in your code so that it won’t work after a certain amount of time, but there is no way to automatically delete it.
- Can I set a ‘self destruct’ mechanism so the code automatically deletes if it is tampered with or if someone tries to crack it?
No. You’ve been watching too many ‘Mission Impossible’ movies.