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The Power of Groups in a World of Widgets

Our Trade Talk blog has covered many diverse topics in recent weeks. But today it’s time to squeeze in a few words on new product functionality.

The primary focus of our new TT platform is simple: provide the best trading experience available anywhere. That’s an easy statement to make and sounds really nice, but it typically makes users roll their eyes. Why? Because delivering on that goal is extremely difficult.

But what about me?

As a trading system vendor, we deliver a set of functionality designed to meet the demands of a broad-based set of users, sometimes with very different needs. But there’s a dilemma in that product delivery model because the process of trading—and trading well—is a very personal endeavor. You want trading software that is customized to *your* style, not a bland, generic, cookie-cutter set of windows.

So how do we address that desire for custom-tailored software and be able to deliver it within a practical framework of commonly used functionality? Well, tucked within our new front end is a hidden gem called widget groups. The “secret” code to unlock this feature is easy to remember: “Control. Shift. Drag.” It’s that simple, but the end result is very effective.

Drag and snap

Creating widget groups takes only seconds. Watch our quick video (see below) to see for yourself, then try it out on just about any widget.



By the way, I admit I personally struggled with the term “widget” when we first introduced TT, but I’ve come to like that name for what we traditionally referred to as “windows.” And I think you’ll see how the term “widget” fits very well with our “widget group” feature.

Bright-colored borders indicate which edges can be attached to one another.

Blue to blue, yellow to yellow, green to green, and pink to pink. (I know, I know, a nice pretty pink, but bear with us, they work).

Drag your widget’s colored edge to the same colored edge on another widget and release the mouse button. The two widgets join together and morph into a “widget group.” That widget group will now function as a custom standalone widget that can be moved, resized, minimized, etc., all as one entity.

Better together

When widgets are joined in a group, they become more than just a bunch of snapped-together windows that you can move around as one. They smartly behave and respond based on their partners within the group.

One widget will drive other widgets within that group. For example, if you group together a Market Grid, MD Trader® and Chart widget, the instrument displayed in the MD Trader and Chart widgets will represent the most recently selected instrument from the Market Grid in that group.

 

 

 

Some users prefer pop-up order tickets, but if you’d rather have an attached order ticket, then creating a widget group the way you like is the way to go. Just snap an order ticket on top of a Market Grid or on top of an Order Book, and the row selected in the grid below will drive the order ticket and seeds that contract ready to place an order.

Market Grid with an attached order ticket.

Snap a chart alongside a tabbed MD Trader. As you change tabs, the chart contract will update along with the MD Trader. The combinations you can create are really only limited by you.

MD Trader with an attached chart.

You can create variations of the legacy Order and Fill Window (OFW) that exists in our X_TRADER® 7.x product. Just attach a Fills widget and Positions widget below an Order Book. Select one or more orders, and you’ll see the fills and resulting positions for those orders.

Order and Fills Window (aka OFW).

Similarly, you can create an investigative tool for Autospreader® or algo activity. Dock an Algo Dashboard (or an Order Book) to an Audit Trail and you can select any algo or synthetic order and see every action it and its child orders took for its lifetime.

Algo Dashboard with Audit Trial.

As a testament to the power of widget groups, we are using this technology ourselves for what appear to otherwise be hard-coded widgets. We currently ship with some pre-configured widget groups such as the Algo Dashboard.

With widget groups, there’s no need to ask us to develop a window with X on the right, Y on the left and Z on the bottom; just snap it together yourself and go. And all these widget groups that you create play nicely within your workspace, where endless combinations of multiple widget groups co-exist with standalone widgets.

Market Grid with an attached Time & Sales (minimized).

Widget groups have a few features available only to them. If you don’t love the group you’ve created, or simply change your mind, you can pop out one of the widgets.

Or if you just need a little more space temporarily, you can minimize a widget within the group, and it quietly slides off to the side by itself, ready to be expanded back with the click of the mouse.

 

Continuous improvement

This blog just scratches the surface of describing our plans for widget groups. We will soon release an update that exposes widget grouping via a right-click context menu for those who would prefer that to Ctrl-Shift-Drag. We’re also working to allow you to name and save your creations as custom widgets, which will act as personally designed templates that you can launch again and again.

Trading Technologies has been blessed with a time tested, full-featured legacy product that is used daily by thousands of users. That knowledge base is helping us innovate at a pace never before seen in our industry.

We are rapidly filling out the new TT platform with a keen sense of urgency. Literally every day, we add something to the platform. Widget groups are one more step in the new direction we’re heading. Try them out and let us know how they work for you. Thanks for reading.

Posted by: Steve Decker, Senior Product Manager

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