Info for Testers

What you should know as a tester

If you have decided to become a tester and contribute results to the database, well done and welcome to the group! We highly appreciate everyones effort.

To gain an overview, your first step should be reading the information on this page. There is also a FAQs page to answer common questions. More details are provided in the Tests Database Announcements thread and the Coordinated Tests discussion thread. We strongly recommend subscribing to these threads in order to not miss any news.

We are interested in as much different meaningful tests as possible. The Running Tests page plays an important role in organizing us as a group. All currently active tests and their settings that differ from the defaults are listed there. We want to avoid redundancy where multiple testers run the same test. Your next steps now should be visiting that page and developing a setup for your test that doesn't exist already.

Now you are ready to download the Trade2MySQLConnector (T2M) to your platform, set up your test and start T2M in a separate chart. It will transmit your trade history (if any) on startup and then update the database daily between 23:00 and 24:00 (server time). T2M actually consists of three downloadable files: Trade2MySQLConnector.ex4 is the expert and goes into your MQL4/Experts folder, libmysql.dll and mqlmysql.dll are two libraries that go into your MQL4/Libraries folder.

On startup of T2M you must input an unique nickname for yourself. You can ensure uniqueness by using the Running Tests page again. Click the column header of "Testers" to sort the table by that column and give yourself a nickname that is not already listed. The other T2M inputs are explained on the input page, but merely need to be changed in the most cases.

After T2M has started and transmitted the trade history, you can click on the highlighted part of the feedback text. This will show and copy your personal authorization key for accessing the restricted parts of this website. All the detailed performance data and test sets are available there. You can use any of your keys to access that area, but must have submitted enough test results before access will be granted. At the moment a minimum of five days within the last twenty days is needed.

Like for nearly anything in live, there are some rules. Please obey them when running your tests. They help us all to get the most out of the project.

  • Always use the latest version of every EA you want to test. Results of old EA versions that are no longer available will not be reproducible.
  • If you mix EAs and/or settings in one terminal/account, make absolutely sure to use different magic numbers. Otherwise your trades can not be attributed to the right EA.
  • If you are testing multiple instances of EAs that use multiple magic numbers, all magic numbers must be unique for that account.
  • All tests must run autonomously, hands-off. Manual intervention may yield better results, but is not reproducible at all.
  • Don't run any trade managing EA side-by-side with your tests. That might improve your results, but will tell us nothing about the expert.
  • Avoid changing settings during a test. Every change in the setup will create a new test set and thus a completely new test.
  • Close all open trades before you change any settings that have effect on trades closure. Otherwise you will have trades attributed to an old setup, but closed by a new setup.

As you see, there is no place in our scenario for manual or algorithmic intervention in the normal expert operation. We are interested in the potential of the experts/setups, not in the trading skills of humans or trade managers. The results must be reproducible. If you have an idea for a good setup that you want to trade semi-automatically, you must either set up a second account where you run it hands-off or communicate your idea and another trader might do that. We are not interested in the semi-automatic results as they tell us nothing about the expert/setup.

Thank you again for joining the group.
René and Thomas