Make Money Online Automatically. Trading Commodities with JavaFX and the NetBeans Rich Client Platform

Ok, so maybe it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, but we were able to leverage an automated trading application we had previously written and the modularity of the NetBeans Rich Client Platform to create a commodity trading application that will interface with, and allow us to place trades with a new commodity broker.

Even though the original application was for the purposes of automated trading, we were able to use many of the same NetBeans plugins we had developed in order to create the new application, as well as utilize JavaFX to put a nice polished UI on the app.

The login screen is below. The commodity images on the right side of the screen scroll down the UI and represent each commodity market that we trade.
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After logging in to the application, those same commodities are in a dock at the top of the window. The images have an animated effect that will fade-in a green background when the mouse moves over the component. The first table in the UI shows orders that have been sent to the broker, but have not been fully executed, and the lower table displays commodity orders that have been completely executed.

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After clicking on a commodity component at the top of the screen, the user is presented with a dialog to enter details about the order which will be placed. In the case of the screenshot below, an order is being entered to purchase 50 contracts of gold.

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The last screenshot displays the state of the two main tables after orders to trade gold and natural gas have been fully executed, and while an order to purchase 50 Canadian Dollar futures contracts is still in process.

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And finally, the 2 minute demo below highlights the application’s functionality as well as shows off the animated transitions and other eye candy that is possible using JavaFX. I will be speaking at JavaOne at a session entitled Flexibility Breeds Complexity: Living in a Modular World [CON6767], where I will discuss this and other JavaFX applications built on the NetBeans Rich Client Platform.

twitter: @RobTerpilowski

Written with StackEdit.

Monitoring Real-Time Commodity Prices using JavaFX, NetBeans RCP, and Camel

Zoi Capital is a commodity investment firm which trades in the commodity futures markets on behalf of clients, with offices in New York and Seattle. We needed an application which could display the commodities we were currently holding as well as show any open profit/loss of our trades in real-time. In addition, we wanted to display the current performance of our trading strategy (named Telio) along with a comparison of the current performance of the S&P 500 stock index as well as the Dow Jones UBS commodity index.

Trades are placed from the Seattle office, but are monitored throughout the day from the New York office, so the application (which would be running in New York) needed a way to stay up to date with the current trades. The application also needed to be aesthetically pleasing as it was planned to put it on a large 50 inch LCD in the reception area of our New York office, where both staff and visitors could view the current trades and statistics in real time.

I had previously written an automated trading application on the NetBeans Rich Client Platform (RCP), where I had created a number of plug-ins, including a plug-in to connect to Interactive Brokers to retrieve real-time market data. Since I already had the plug-ins available in order to connect to a real-time data feed, it seemed a natural choice to also build the Quote Monitor application on the NetBeans RCP as well. Instead of using the existing Swing components however, I opted for JavaFX in order to give the application a polished look.

In order to get the trade information from the Seattle office to the Commodity Monitor application in the New York office, we made use of Camel to facilitate the communication between the 2 offices. The great thing about Camel is that it provides an abstraction layer for the actual communication mechanism between applications. Since the offices are not networked together we made use of the Camel email component in order to transfer the data from the Seattle office to the Commodity Monitor application. In the future we could move the communication mechanism to web services or JMS simply by changing a property file, with no code changes required as camel takes care of everything else under the hood.


System Architecture

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Trades are placed in the Seattle office, and then emailed to a designated email box which the Commodity Monitor watches (via Camel). Trade information is then imported into the application, at which point it requests real-time quote information of the commodities from Interactive Brokers via their Java API. At this point the application can then update the profit/loss statistics in real-time.


Application Screen Shot

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The grid in the top left portion of the screen displays the performance for our Telio trading strategy for today, for the month of August, and then the year-to-date return of the strategy. The table also shows the same statistics for the S&P 500 stock index and Dow Jones/UBS commodity index for comparison purposes.

Below the table is a candlestick chart displaying the performance of the S&P 500 Index futures for the current day. The chart made use of the charting API in JavaFX as well as CSS. The chart is updated in real-time throughout the day.

Finally, on the right half of the screen is a panel which displays the commodities that we are currently holding with current profit/loss on the trade. For example, we have a current profit of +0.18% since we bought natural gas.

To add additional eye candy to the application, I created a scrolling background with a slightly blurred Zoi Capital logo. The animation was extremely easy to set up in JavaFX, and I’ll post a short how-to blog on animations in the not-too-distant future.


Demo Video

Below is a 3 minute video demo showing the Commodity Monitor application with the animated scrolling background. About 40 seconds into the video an email is sent to the Camel email box, at which point the Commodity Monitor picks up the email and displays the commodities that were sent, and their corresponding profit/loss in real time. Another email is sent at the 2:10 mark that clears most of the commodities from the application.

 

twitter: @RobTerpilowski

Use JavaFX to Add Google Maps to your NetBeans RCP Application

By utilizing the GMapsFX library which provides a JavaFX API for Google Maps, it is relatively straightforward to add a map component to a desktop application built on the NetBeans Rich Client Platform (RCP).

Assume we would like to add a map to a new TopComponent in the Editor mode in the frame, or for those who are not as familiar with NetBeans jargon, we would like to add a Map to a new tab within the main portion of the application frame.

First create a new NetBeans Module project which will utilize the GMapsFX component.

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Enter project details
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Use RELEASE80 of the NetBeans Platform. Please also note that the application will require Java 8 in order to run.
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Once the project has been created, add the GMapsFX library as a dependency to the project.
The binaries are available on Maven Central and the source is available at GitHub: https://github.com/rterp/GMapsFX
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Once the dependency has been added, right click on the project in NetBeans and select “New” -> “Other”. Select the “Module Development” category and then select “Window” file type. This will create a new TopComponent class which will be used to host the map component.

 

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Enter a prefix for the new TopComponent class.
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Once this is finished a new GMapTopCompoent class will be created. The GoogleMapView component can then be added to this class in order to display the map.

Below is the code for the entire TopCompoment class including code in which I added the map component as well as a couple of map markers and an info window, all without having to interact with the underlying Google Maps JavaScript API.

package com.lynden.gmapsfx.module;

import com.lynden.gmapsfx.GoogleMapView;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.MapComponentInitializedListener;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.Animation;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.GoogleMap;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.InfoWindow;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.InfoWindowOptions;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.LatLong;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.MapOptions;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.MapTypeIdEnum;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.Marker;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.MarkerOptions;
import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import javafx.application.Platform;
import javafx.embed.swing.JFXPanel;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.layout.BorderPane;
import org.netbeans.api.settings.ConvertAsProperties;
import org.openide.awt.ActionID;
import org.openide.awt.ActionReference;
import org.openide.windows.TopComponent;
import org.openide.util.NbBundle.Messages;

/**
 * Top component which displays something.
 */
@ConvertAsProperties(
        dtd = "-//com.lynden.gmapsfx.module//GMap//EN",
        autostore = false
)
@TopComponent.Description(
        preferredID = "GMapTopComponent",
        //iconBase="SET/PATH/TO/ICON/HERE", 
        persistenceType = TopComponent.PERSISTENCE_ALWAYS
)
@TopComponent.Registration(mode = "editor", openAtStartup = true)
@ActionID(category = "Window", id = "com.lynden.gmapsfx.module.GMapTopComponent")
@ActionReference(path = "Menu/Window" /*, position = 333 */)
@TopComponent.OpenActionRegistration(
        displayName = "#CTL_GMapAction",
        preferredID = "GMapTopComponent"
)
@Messages({
    "CTL_GMapAction=GMap",
    "CTL_GMapTopComponent=GMap Window",
    "HINT_GMapTopComponent=This is a GMap window"
})


public final class GMapTopComponent extends TopComponent implements MapComponentInitializedListener {

    protected GoogleMapView mapComponent;
protected GoogleMap map;

public GMapTopComponent() {
    initComponents();
    setName(Bundle.CTL_GMapTopComponent());
    setToolTipText(Bundle.HINT_GMapTopComponent());
    setLayout(new BorderLayout());
    JFXPanel panel = new JFXPanel();
    Platform.setImplicitExit(false);

    Platform.runLater(() -> {
        mapComponent = new GoogleMapView();
        mapComponent.addMapInializedListener(this);
        BorderPane root = new BorderPane(mapComponent);
        Scene scene = new Scene(root);
        panel.setScene(scene);
    });

        add(panel, BorderLayout.CENTER);        

    }


  @Override
    public void mapInitialized() {
        //Once the map has been loaded by the Webview, initialize the map details.
        LatLong center = new LatLong(47.606189, -122.335842);



MapOptions options = new MapOptions();
        options.center(center)
                .mapMarker(true)
                .zoom(9)
                .overviewMapControl(false)
                .panControl(false)
                .rotateControl(false)
                .scaleControl(false)
                .streetViewControl(false)
                .zoomControl(false)
                .mapType(MapTypeIdEnum.ROADMAP);

        map = mapComponent.createMap(options);

        //Add a couple of markers to the map.
        MarkerOptions markerOptions = new MarkerOptions();
        LatLong markerLatLong = new LatLong(47.606189, -122.335842);
        markerOptions.position(markerLatLong)
                .title("My new Marker")
                .animation(Animation.DROP)
                .visible(true);

        Marker myMarker = new Marker(markerOptions);

        MarkerOptions markerOptions2 = new MarkerOptions();
        LatLong markerLatLong2 = new LatLong(47.906189, -122.335842);
        markerOptions2.position(markerLatLong2)
                .title("My new Marker")
                .visible(true);

        Marker myMarker2 = new Marker(markerOptions2);

        map.addMarker(myMarker);
        map.addMarker(myMarker2);

        //Add an info window to the Map.
        InfoWindowOptions infoOptions = new InfoWindowOptions();
        infoOptions.content("<h2>Center of the Universe</h2>")
                .position(center);

        InfoWindow window = new InfoWindow(infoOptions);
        window.open(map, myMarker);

    }    

    /**
     * This method is called from within the constructor to initialize the form.
     * WARNING: Do NOT modify this code. The content of this method is always
     * regenerated by the Form Editor.
     */
    // <editor-fold defaultstate="collapsed" desc="Generated Code">                          
    private void initComponents() {

        javax.swing.GroupLayout layout = new javax.swing.GroupLayout(this);
        this.setLayout(layout);
        layout.setHorizontalGroup(
            layout.createParallelGroup(javax.swing.GroupLayout.Alignment.LEADING)
            .addGap(0, 400, Short.MAX_VALUE)
        );
        layout.setVerticalGroup(
            layout.createParallelGroup(javax.swing.GroupLayout.Alignment.LEADING)
            .addGap(0, 300, Short.MAX_VALUE)
        );
    }// </editor-fold>                        

    // Variables declaration - do not modify                     
    // End of variables declaration                   
    @Override
    public void componentOpened() {
        // TODO add custom code on component opening
    }

    @Override
    public void componentClosed() {
        // TODO add custom code on component closing
    }

    void writeProperties(java.util.Properties p) {
        // better to version settings since initial version as advocated at
        // http://wiki.apidesign.org/wiki/PropertyFiles
        p.setProperty("version", "1.0");
        // TODO store your settings
    }

    void readProperties(java.util.Properties p) {
        String version = p.getProperty("version");
        // TODO read your settings according to their version


       }
    }

What is important to note is that no map related classes can be instantiated until the GoogleMapView has been initialized. This is because the underlying JavaScript peer objects can’t be created until the JavaScript runtime has been initialized. The TopComponent is added as a MapComponentInitializedListener so that it can determine when it is safe to begin manipulating the map and its associated objects.

This module is now ready to be included as a dependency in a NetBeans application in development, or be added as a plug-in to an existing Netbeans RCP application at runtime, or even added to the IDE itself.

One word of caution: The underlying JavaFX WebView and Javascript runtime which the GoogleMapView component is making use of to render the map appears to be a memory hog. I have had to play with memory settings in order to avoid OutOfMemoryErrors, so something to keep in mind as you play with this.

Below is the final product of running the GMapsFX plug-in within a NetBeans RCP application.

enter image description here

The GMapsFX project is open source with the project home at GitHub as mentioned above and can be accessed at:
http://rterp.github.io/GMapsFX/

twitter: @RobTerp

GMapsFX :: Add Google Maps to your JavaFX application.

We have been considering adding a map component to our Freight Management application built on the NetBeans RCP and JavaFX, which would allow Lynden dispatchers to track its drivers throughout the city as well as highlight where trailers have been dropped off at customer locations and are ready for pickup.

Google Maps is a logical tool which could be utilized to accomplish this task. While there are examples out on the web for integrating Google Maps with JavaFX, these solutions require mingling JavaScript within the Java code in order to interact with a Google Map loaded within the application.

In an effort to remove the need to code JavaScript within JavaFX in order to use Google Maps, I have created a Java API ‘wrapper’ around the Google Maps JavaScript API and have dubbed this framework GMapsFX. This allows one to add a Google Map component to a JavaFX application and interact with it utilizing a pure Java API.

While at the present time only the most basic Google Map functionality has been ‘wrapped’ by the Java API, I am making this project open source in the hopes that if others find this library useful and require additional functionality, that it could be added and contributed back to the community.

The project can be found on GitHub at:
http://rterp.github.io/GMapsFX/

with the JavaDocs available at:
http://rterp.github.io/GMapsFX/apidocs/

Below is an example of using GMapsFX to add a map component to a Scene, setting the location to Seattle, and then adding a Marker to the map.

package com.lynden.gmapsexampleapp;

import com.lynden.gmapsfx.GoogleMapView;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.MapComponentInitializedListener;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.GoogleMap;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.LatLong;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.MapOptions;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.MapType;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.Marker;
import com.lynden.gmapsfx.javascript.object.MarkerOptions;
import javafx.application.Application;
import static javafx.application.Application.launch;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.stage.Stage;


public class MainApp extends Application implements MapComponentInitializedListener {

GoogleMapView mapView;
GoogleMap map;

@Override
public void start(Stage stage) throws Exception {

    //Create the JavaFX component and set this as a listener so we know when 
    //the map has been initialized, at which point we can then begin manipulating it.
    mapView = new GoogleMapView();
    mapView.addMapInializedListener(this);

    Scene scene = new Scene(mapView);

    stage.setTitle("JavaFX and Google Maps");
    stage.setScene(scene);
    stage.show();
}


@Override
public void mapInitialized() {
    //Set the initial properties of the map.
    MapOptions mapOptions = new MapOptions();

    mapOptions.center(new LatLong(47.6097, -122.3331))
            .mapType(MapType.ROADMAP)
            .overviewMapControl(false)
            .panControl(false)
            .rotateControl(false)
            .scaleControl(false)
            .streetViewControl(false)
            .zoomControl(false)
            .zoom(12);

    map = mapView.createMap(mapOptions);

    //Add a marker to the map
    MarkerOptions markerOptions = new MarkerOptions();

    markerOptions.position( new LatLong(47.6, -122.3) )
                .visible(Boolean.TRUE)
                .title("My Marker");

    Marker marker = new Marker( markerOptions );

    map.addMarker(marker);

}

public static void main(String[] args) {
    launch(args);
}
}

 


 

The code above produces the following result

enter image description here

 

twitter: @RobTerp

Written with StackEdit.

My Interview with TechTarget.com on JavaFX, Swing, and the NetBeans Rich Client Platform

I sat down with Jan Stafford of Tech Target at JavaOne in September and discussed our experiences with beginning to migrate to JavaFX from Swing while continuing to use the NetBeans Rich Client Platform (RCP) as the foundation for our application.

I discuss some of the pros of using JavaFX and the NetBeans RCP, such as having the ability to develop very polished looking components using effects such as drop shadows, reflections, and gradients  which may have been do-able in Swing, but were extremely painful and time consuming.  These effects however are baked into the JavaFX framework.

The largest negative at this point has been the learning curve with getting up to speed on Cascading Style Sheets.  Since much of the look and feel of the UI can be applied via CSS, it took a bit of work to learn how to use the style sheets to properly style the UI components.  However, the benefit to using CSS is that the work can be given to a UX/UI developer rather than a Java developer, thus truly decoupling the UI development from the business logic development.

A link to the interview on Tech Target’s website is below.

Interview with Tech Target: JavaFX beats Swing: Changing RIA development platform

techTargetInterview

twitter: @RobTerp

JavaFX is Eye Candy and I Have a Sweet Tooth. (Another Extreme UI Makeover)

In a previous article I showed a redesigned user interface for our Freight Management System (FMS) application using JavaFX as we begin to migrate away from Swing.  We are continuing to design screens for new functionality in FMS, and in this article I will illustrate a makeover I implemented for this new screen using JavaFX, which we had originally had planned to use Swing when the UI was first designed.

The screenshot below shows the original wireframe mock-up of what will be the new “VFC Recovery” screen within our Inbound Planning module of the FMS application.  This module will be used by our warehouse planning personel to display all “Trips” that will be arriving at their terminal.  A trip could be an incoming truck, ship, rail, or flight which has freight destined for the terminal.  On this screen, inbound planners in our warehouses will have the ability to see these incoming trips by arrival date and time.  This is the first layer of nested tables on this tab.  The next layer of tables below the arrival date, is reserved for each trip.  ie in the example below “TOTE*11027” is a ship which is scheduled to arrive on 07-18-12 08:00.  Expanding the trip table, will show the next level of tables, which are the plans for the freight once it arrives at the terminal.  Expanding this table then would show all the shipping containers (called VFCs) that the inbound planners have assigned to their plans, and finally, the VFC rows in this table can be expanded one last time to display all the shipments within the specified container.  As can be seen, the amount of data displayed to the user can get overwhelming pretty quickly.

image
Wireframe mock-up of VFC Recovery screen

The first step in a makeover of the VFC Recovery screen was to try to separate the data in a way that was intuitive for the users to navigate while also giving them the information they need to make their planning decisions.  Below is a picture of what was designed during a whiteboard session.  The inbound trips to the Lynden Transport terminal (Anchorage in this case), would be displayed in a table in the top portion of the screen.  The table would contain a summary of information related to the incoming trip, such as the mode of travel (ie truck, rail, barge, etc), as well as the origin of the trip, and anticipated date/time of the arrival.  The user could select a trip in this table, and the details of the trip would be displayed in a section below the table.  The details section would contain additional information about the trip, as well as contain an “Accordion” component which would have a separate section for each Plan that the inbound planners would be putting together.  The user could then expand one of these sections to view details on all of the containers that had been assigned to a particular plan.

RecoveryDrawingUI
Results of UI design whiteboard session

Once again I used the JavaFX design tool, Scene Builder to construct the new user interface.  In addition, I wanted to make use of the open source JavaFX components that are part of the JFXtras project, which are located here.  Components that are in the JFXtras project unfortunately can’t be added to the component palette in Scene Builder, but it was still easy enough to manually add them to the FXML code that Scene Builder generates, at which point Scene Builder will display them in the application’s UI as if they had been part of the component palette.  (Exactly how I accomplished this could be a future blog post.)

Below is a screenshot of the new UI for the VFC Recovery tab.  I took a bit of inspiration from what I had seen at Grand Central Station in New York, with my goal to make the trip arrivals portion of the UI look something like what you may see in an airport or train station. Two components in the JFXtras library were perfect for this task.  I used the DotMatrixSegment component to create the arrival board’s column headers as well as display the terminal where the trips were arriving at, in this case Anchorage.  I then used the Splitflap component to display the actual summary data about the trip, including arrival date/time, the trip ID, the origin and also the mode.  I found a nice brushed metal background, and used inner and drop shadows to give the board a sense of depth. In the screen shot below, the trip that the user had selected is highlighted by giving the row a green background.

The details section below the arrival board is formatted in a similar fashion to the table found in the previous article’s JavaFX makeover.  I used CSS to create the gradients, rounded corners, borders, background, etc for the section header, accordion component, and data table.

image
JavaFX Mock of VFC Recovery Screen

As mentioned in my previous article, this screen will still reside as a TopComponent within a NetBeans RCP application which will manage our other freight management modules that we will be designing with JavaFX as the UI toolkit.

twitter: @RobTerp

2012 JavaOne Summary

It was quite a busy week last week at JavaOne in San Francisco, but it was one of the best JavaOnes I have attended to date despite the disappointing accommodations at the Powell Hotel (No A/C and bed bugs)  There were so many interesting sessions lined up that it was hard to choose which ones to attend.  I participated on a NetBeans discussion panel as part of NetBeans community day on Sunday before the conference started, and also in a similar panel discussion in a JavaOne general session on Thursday. Listed below are some of the highlights of the sessions that I attended.



JavaFX

If there was one thing that I learned from the sessions that I attended related to JavaFX, its that it will be the UI framework of choice moving forward for desktop and rich Internet applications.  Probably more than half the sessions I attended were related to JavaFX in one way or another.  Adding rich content to applications such as gradients, translucency, reflections, blurring, animated transitions, etc. that were possible, but very painful to do in Swing are baked into the JavaFX toolkit.

JavaFX UIs can be constructed using a WYSIWYG designer called Scene Builder which is available as a free download from Oracle’s website.  The tool supports drag and drop of the various JavaFX widgets onto a JavaFX scene.  Scene Builder then generates a .fxml file rather than a Java class, which I feel is the biggest downside to this tool.  The FXML can still be used within a Swing component however as I detailed in a previous post here.  NetBeans IDE can also be integrated with Scene Builder so that Scene Builder will launch when a .fxml file is clicked within the NetBeans IDE.  Below is a screenshot from Scene Builder.

image

Probably the most interesting session I attended last week was titled “Building JavaFX Interfaces for the Real World”.  The presenter (Simon Ritter) went through an example of developing a JavaFX application using the Microsoft Kinect and the OpenNI (Natural Interaction) library which is a Java API for communicating with the Kinect.  Ritter demoed a black jack card game written with JavaFX for which he used gestures to interact with the game.

Ritter also demoed an interface with NeuroSky, which is a USB EEG sensor for monitoring brain activity.  While it was interesting to see his brain activity plotted with JavaFX chart components and gauge components from Steel Series (located at the JFXtras website), he admitted there wasn’t much practical application for such an interface yet, although it highlighted where things are heading with the future of user interface design.

Here at Lynden we have begun work with designing a new user interface for our Freight Management System (FMS) application using JavaFX on the NetBeans Rich Client Platform, which will give us the best of both worlds.  JavaFX for a rich set of UI components, effects and animations and the NetBeans platform which will provide the underlying framework/plumbing for the application including windowing system, menu, tool bar, property sheets, etc.

Anyone interesting in kicking the tires of JavaFX can tryout the Ensemble application which highlights the various UI components, effects and transitions that are possible with JavaFX.  There are also open source JavaFX components that can be found at the JFXtras website located here, for which there is also a demo “Ensemble” application as well, highlighting the library’s components.


NetBeans Platform Logo

NetBeans Rich Client Platform (RCP)

The NetBeans RCP made a strong showing at this year’s JavaOne and is gaining momentum as a solid platform to design rich client applications on.  In fact, two Netbeans RCP applications won a Duke’s Choice Award this year.

The first application from NATO is called “MICE console” which stands for “MASE Integrated Console Environment” and is used to support the execution of air operations in a real-time environment.

The next application called “AgroSense” is an open-source platform for and by the agricultural sector.

Of particular interest this year was integrating JavaFX components within a Netbeans RCP application which I discussed during my demos for the panel discussions that I participated in.   I will be blogging about this further in the near future as we develop our FMS application at Lynden.  I’m also working on an automated trading application built on the NetBeans RCP as well, which I would like to incorporate JavaFX chart components as they seem to be far more polished than the current charts that are available through JFreeChart.


java neural network

Neuroph

java neural network

I also attended an interesting presentation by Zoran Sevarac regarding a neural network design tool that is written on the NetBeans RCP called Neuroph.  The application allows one to quickly design neural networks for such usages such as facial recognition, music classification, predicting poker hands, etc.  I will be researching this further to see if neural networks can be used to determine how to best handle the loading/unloading of trailers at our warehouses in order to optimize the time spent moving freight from the inbound trucks to the delivery trucks.  I would also like to investigate this in regards to trading stocks/futures/currencies, maybe not as a sole predictor of price movement, but used as aid in an existing trading strategy to help improve performance


Javeleon

Allan Gregersen presented on Javeleon which allows you to apply code changes in a running application immediately, without losing any of the application state. The result is that development time is cut down since the application doesn’t need to be shut down and restarted for every change that you would want to see.  We have been using Javeleon for a little over a year now in the development of our NetBeans RCP application and we are able to deploy individual modules to our app running on our development desktop without having to stop this application, thus greatly reducing the amount of time spent waiting to start up the application.

During the demo, Gregersen showed a numer of modifications to a space invaders application that were deployed while the application was running, and also while preserving the application state.

Javeleon supports Swing applications as well as NetBeans RCP applications and has announced support for Java applications servers such as Tomcat, Jetty, and JBoss as well.


Hazelcast

Distributed data made easy is what I walked away with from the Hazelcast presentation.  Hazelcast is a lightweight distributed Map (and more) that has a fairly small footprint, a single 1.7MB jar file with no dependencies.  There are also a number of other interesting distributed constructs in addition to maps such as, Queues, Sets, Lists, Locks, Semaphores, Topics, and Executor Services.  We will be investigating distributed caches at Lynden at some point for storing data for quick retrieval by our FMS client application.


Raspberry Pi Logo.svg

Raspberry Pi

Finally, I attended a very cool demo on the Raspberry Pi which is a small ARM Linux device designed for the teaching of basic computer science in schools.  The board is the size of a credit card and includes a 700MHz ARM processor and retails for $25.  There a number of articles on getting Java SE Embedded set up and running on the device, which can be found here.

RaspberryPi.jpg

twitter: @RobTerp
twitter: @LimitUpTrading

Add a JavaFX Component Built with Scene Builder and FXML to a NetBeans RCP App

Most of the tutorials and demos I have seen up to this point for integrating JavaFX with NetBeans Rich Client Platform (RCP) applications have created and configured JavaFX components by using the JavaFX Java APIs that are now shipped as part of the JDK as opposed to using the FXML markup language.  This seems logical since if one is already coding a panel or container in Java, it makes sense to instantiate and configure JavaFX components for that container in Java as well.  The disadvantage to this is that you are not able to leverage the benefits of Scene Builder to design your JavaFX components.  Scene Builder is a WYSIWYG design tool for creating components and UIs in JavaFX.  Behind the scenes (pun intended) the application generates an FXML representation of the UI, and does *not* generate Java code.

In the following example I will create a JavaFX component with Scene Builder and add it to a NetBeans RCP TopComponent window alongside a plain vanilla Swing JLabel.


Creating the Application

The first step in the process is to create an ordinary NetBeans  RCP application.  We use maven, so I create a new NetBeans application from the Maven Category

image

In NetBeans IDE there are now 3 projects.

image


Creating a JavaFX Runtime Wrapper Module

The next step is not create a wrapper module for the JavaFX runtime library.  If you are running Java 1.7.0_06 or higher (and you should be if you are developing a JavaFX app), you don’t need to include any of the native libraries in the wrapper module, only the jfxrt.jar itself needs to be included.

I created a new module called jfxrt (JavaFX runtime), and include the jfxrt-2.2.jar in it, which you can find in the JRE’s lib directory.  Below is a screenshot of the jfxrt wrapper module in the IDE.

image

You will then need to update the pom.xml file for the wrapper to include any JavaFX packages that you want to access within your application.  Below is a code snippet showing the JavaFX packages that my app will need in order to run.

<plugin>
   <groupId>org.codehaus.mojo</groupId>
   <artifactId>nbm-maven-plugin</artifactId>
   <version>3.7</version>
   <extensions>true</extensions>
   <configuration>
       <useOSGiDependencies>true</useOSGiDependencies>
       <publicPackages>
          <publicPackage>javafx.scene.layout</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.application</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.collections</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.scene.control</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.event</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.geometry</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.beans.property</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.beans.value</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.concurrent</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.scene.web</publicPackage>
          <publicPackage>javafx.fxml</publicPackage>
       </publicPackages>
   </configuration>
</plugin>

Now the fun begins

I create a new NetBeans module called “NumberLabelModule”, which contains a TopComponent to host both the Swing JLabel and JavaFX label.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the NetBeans IDE WYSIWYG designer, Matisse supports drag-and-drop of JFXPanel, which is the Swing panel that can contain JavaFX components, so the JavaFX portion must be added to the TopComponent by hand. (I attempted to add the JFXPanel to the IDE’s component palette to make use of it in Matisse, but when I attempted to drag the JFXPanel onto the TopComponent the IDE froze and had to be killed with extreme prejudice).

image


Building the JavaFX Label with Scene Builder

For this project the next step is to place a style sheet in the “Other Sources” portion of the project, which the JavaFX component will use for its formatting.

JavaFX Scene Builder is then used to graphically design the new JavaFX label and generate the  FXML markup code, which will be saved right along side the style sheet in the “Other Sources” portion of the project. (NumberLabel.fxml)

image


Adding JavaFX to the TopComponent

Once the component is designed and saved, the .fxml file within the IDE is updated automatically.  The final step is to add the JavaFX component to the TopComponent along with a JLabel.  The TopComponent contains a JPanel that uses a FlowLayout with the JLabel added to it as the first component. (See below).

image

The JavaFX label will be the 2nd component added to the panel, and this is done in the constructor of the TopComponent as follows.

public final class SwingFXDemoTopComponent extends TopComponent {

    JFXPanel jfxPanel = new JFXPanel();

    public SwingFXDemoTopComponent() {
        initComponents();
        putClientProperty(TopComponent.PROP_DRAGGING_DISABLED, Boolean.TRUE);
        putClientProperty(TopComponent.PROP_UNDOCKING_DISABLED, Boolean.TRUE);
        setName(Bundle.CTL_SwingFXDemoTopComponent());
        setToolTipText(Bundle.HINT_SwingFXDemoTopComponent());

        Platform.setImplicitExit(false);
        // create JavaFX scene
        Platform.runLater(new Runnable() {
            public void run() {
                Parent root;
                try {
                    root = FXMLLoader.load(getClass().getResource("/com/lynden/fxlabel/NumberLabel.fxml"));
                    Scene scene = new Scene(root);
                    jfxPanel.setScene(scene);
                } catch (IOException ex) {
                    Exceptions.printStackTrace(ex);
                }
            }
        });
        jPanel1.add(jfxPanel);
    }

A few more details on the above code:

 Platform.setImplicitExit(false);

This will prevent the JavaFX runtime from exiting when TopComponents are moved around the NetBeans RCP windowing system or when a TopComponent is undocked from the main application frame.  If this is not set, what you will see is that your JavaFX components will disappear when you undock a TopComponent from the main window.

      Platform.runLater(new Runnable() {
            public void run() {
                Parent root;
                try {
                    root = FXMLLoader.load(getClass().getResource("/com/lynden/fxlabel/NumberLabel.fxml"));
                    Scene scene = new Scene(root);
                    jfxPanel.setScene(scene);
                } catch (IOException ex) {
                    Exceptions.printStackTrace(ex);
                }
            }
        });
        jPanel1.add(jfxPanel);

 

The code snippet above will create the JavaFX label within the JavaFX event thread (separate from the Swing event thread).  The first step of the process is to load the FXML representation of the JavaFX label that was built in Scene Builder.  Once the root node is loaded it can then be added to a new Scene.  The Scene can then be added to a JFXPanel, which as mentioned earlier, is a Swing component that can contain JavaFX components.   The final step is to then add the JFXPanel to the JPanel that the JLabel is living on.


Final Result

Once this is set up, the application can be run, and displays Swing and JavaFX components (built with FXML) living side by side in perfect harmony.

image

twitter: @RobTerp

Designing an Automated Trading Application on the Netbeans Rich Client Platform (Part 1)

Over the past 10 years new opportunities have opened in the stock, futures and currency markets to allow retail traders the ability to produce their own automated trading strategies which was once only the realm of hedge funds and investment banks.  Interactive Brokers was one of the first brokerage firms to offer a Java API to its retail customers. Originally envisioned as way for developers to augment Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) desktop application with features such as charting or record keeping, the API has gained popularity as a way to automate trading strategies.

In my first iteration of developing a trading strategy and software to automate the trades I built a Java desktop application using Swing components which would monitor stocks throughout the day and place trades when certain parameters were met, and then exit the trades at the close of the trading day. The software worked well, and it was adequate for the strategy it was designed to trade, however it was not extensible and attempting to implement new trading strategies to automate as well as connect to different brokerage accounts proved difficult and cumbersome.  Also, there are restrictions on how many stocks could be monitored via the broker’s data feed so the software had to be able to accommodate real-time market data feeds from other sources in addition to the broker’s data feed. 

I was introduced to the Netbeans Rich Client Platform (RCP) a couple of years ago and have recently decided to begin porting my application to the platform due to a large number of advantages that it provides.  The Netbeans RCP is built on a modular design principle allowing the developer to define abstract APIs for features and then provide modules which may have different implementations of the API, allowing the application to select at runtime which implementation to use.  Not only does it provide for a cleaner design by separating concerns, but by using the Netbeans Lookup API it also decouples the application and its various components from each other.  There are numerous other features that can be leveraged including a built-in windowing system, text editor, file explorer, toolbar, table and tree table components as well the Action API (just to name a few).

The trading application will make use of the RCP module system to define abstract APIs with the following functionality:

Broker API

  • Place and cancel orders for stocks, options, futures, or currencies
  • Provide event notification when orders are filled
  • Monitor cash balances in the account

Market Data API

  • Subscribe to real-time quote data for any ticker symbol
  • Subscribe to Level 2 data (market depth/order-book) for any ticker symbol

Historical Data API

  • Request historical price data for any ticker symbol

Trading Strategy API

  • Define a set of rules for entering and exiting trades
  • Ability to use any broker, market data, and historical data API implementations in order to make trading decisions.

The primary implementation for the Broker, Market Data and Historical data API modules will be utilizing Interactive Broker’s Java API,  but other implementations can also be created  as Netbeans modules and then imported into the trading application so that trading strategies can make use of market data from different sources if needed.

New trading strategies can be built as Netbeans modules  implementing the Trading Strategy API, where each strategy can make use of one of the implementations of the various data and broker APIs.  Utilizing the Netbeans Lookup API, strategies can query the platform to get a list of all implementations of the broker and market data APIs providing for loose coupling between the APIs and allowing the user to select which implementation to use at runtime.
Below is a diagram illustrating the organization of the various API components of the application:

In future posts I will go into more detail on how to create an API plug-in for the Netbeans RCP as well as show how to create a concrete implementation of the API.  In the illustration above the abstract broker, market data, and trading strategy APIs are installed into the RCP as plug-ins.  The broker API has a single implementation for Interactive Brokers at this point in time.  The market data API has plug-ins which provide implementations for real-time market data from Yahoo Finance as well as Interactive Brokers real-time market data.  Finally, the trading strategy API has 2 implementations in this example.  The first strategy named “Limit Buyer” will watch the prices of approx 800 stocks and place limit order to buy when certain conditions are met.  The second strategy in the example above, named AUD/NZD Currency Strategy will monitor the exchange rates of the Australian and New Zealand dollars and place orders to buy or sell when certain conditions are met.  

At this point in time the application is functional and is utilizing Interactive Brokers as the main brokerage as well as market data provider.  The AUD/NZD trading strategy is actively being traded through the application, albeit with a rudimentary user interface which is publishing messages to a text area within the strategy’s main tab.  The screenshot below illustrates Interactive Brokers “Trader Workstation” application, the large black application (which is a Java Swing app), as well as the Netbeans RCP automated trading application which is the small white application, with the large text area.  In the screenshot below the application is currently monitoring prices and placing trades for the Australian Dollar, New Zealand dollar, Hong Kong dollar and Japanese yen currencies.

screenshot

 

This post is just a high level overview on the design of an RCP application to trade in the financial markets.  Future parts to this series will include more information on how to implement abstract APIs and make them available for other portions of the application to use via the Netbeans Lookup API as well as working with some of the Netbeans UI components included with the platform such as tabs, trees and tables, showing how easy it is to render the same data via these different views using the Netbeans Nodes API.  In addition to this I would like to incorporate some JavaFX components into the application such as the charting components that can be found in the core JavaFX library which will provide a graphical representation of some of the data the strategies are monitoring which will be a bit more user friendly than the current large text area.  The integration of JavaFX components within the application will be documented in a future post as well.

You can follow my trading related blog if you would like to see the actual trading results of the application as its being refined at:
http://LimitUpTrading.wordpress.com

twitter: @RobTerp
twitter: @LimitUpTrading

Stamping Version Number and Build Time in a Properties File with Maven

Stamping the version number and the build time of an application in a properties file so that it could be displayed by an application at runtime seemed like it should be a pretty straightforward task, although it took a bit of time to find a solution that didn’t require the timestamp, version, or ant-run plugins.

I started with a version.txt file at the default package level in src/main/resources of my project, which looks as follows.

version=${pom.version}
build.date=${timestamp}

By default the Maven resources plug-in will not do text substitution (filtering), so it will need to be enabled within the <build> section of the pom.xml file.

<resources>
   <resource>
      <directory>src/main/resources</directory>
      <filtering>true</filtering>
   </resource>
</resources>

Maven does actually define a ${maven.build.timestamp} property which in theory could have been used in the version.txt file, rather than the ${timestamp} property, but unfortunately a bug within Maven prevents the ${maven.build.timestamp} property from getting passed to the resource filtering mechanism.  (issue: http://jira.codehaus.org/browse/MRESOURCES-99).

The workaround is to create another property within the pom.xml file and set that new property to the timestamp value, in this case, the property name is “timestamp”, which is used above in the version.txt file.  The maven.build.timestamp.format is an optional property for (obviously) defining the timestamp format.

<properties>
   <timestamp>${maven.build.timestamp}</timestamp>

   <maven.build.timestamp.format>yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm</maven.build.timestamp.format>
</properties>

Now, when the build is executed we end up with the version number and build time of the application in the version.txt file.

version=1.0.2-SNAPSHOT
build.date=2012-03-16 15:42

twitter: @RobTerp
twitter: @LimitUpTrading