MetaTrader 6 – Is an upgrade from MetaTrader 5 necessary?
A lot of traders may be wondering whether, 10 years after the release of MetaTrader 5, there may be a MetaTrader 6 release looming in the near future.
MetaTrader 4 was released in 2005 followed closely by the release of MetaTrader 5 in 2010. Both these trading platforms have dominated in their field for the past 10-15 years.
Although, over the years, there have been continuous development to both these platforms, it would seem that there has been an increasing nudge towards traders and brokers making use of MetaTrader 5.
One of these transition factors included the increased use of MQL5 instead of MQL4 and when downloading and installing MetaTrader 4, traders are provided only with access to MQL5.
In more recent years, there has been significant improvement on the MetaTrader 5 trading platform enabling it to more thoroughly catering for both traders and brokers alike, some of the new features and functions added in 2019, include but is not limited to:
- Integration with Python – which offers support for both Market and Signal services in Wine (utilized by Linux and Mac to run MS Windows applications on desktops)
- A bridge connection to HKEX was formed with MetaTrader 5
- MetaTrader 5 iOS build 2030 was released and contains improved chats, support for new iPhone devices and QR code login
- More financial instruments were added which can be traded through MetaTrader 5
- MetaTrader Web terminal now has a plugin which can work on WordPress websites, and more
Where there is extraordinarily little to no development with MetaTrader 4, from what can be observed on the MetaTrader Website, it is apparent that there are a lot of developments pertaining to MetaTrader 5.
Where MetaTrader 4 holds first place as one of the most popular trading platforms globally, MetaTrader 5 shows a lot of alignment with some of the top brokers in the world, who are now offering the use of this platform.
While there is no mention of MetaTrader 6 being released soon, it is simultaneously also hard to think that MetaQuotes would be doing so much effort in further developing MetaTrader 5 only to release a new version of the trading platform.
Traders who would like to obtain more information on recent updates which have been applied to MetaTrader 5 in addition to news regarding the recent ventures pertaining to MetaQuotes and MetaTrader 5, can view more here.
Software Development for trading platforms
Software development companies release software based on numerous factors and one of the most important factors is customer satisfaction, ensuring that the software continuously caters for the target market.
Brokers cater for traders whose needs vary greatly and can change at any point in time, forcing brokers to adjust their services accordingly. Through this, the services provided by trading platforms need to be adapted to adequately cater for their clientele.
All companies involved with software development are subjected to a software release cycle. The cycle includes the various stages of development of software along with the maturity thereof.
The software release cycle ranges from the initial development of the software, the release and furthermore the updating of versions of the software that has been released to improve it and to fix any issues that may present themselves in the software.
The stages involved with software development can be divided into the following stages:
- Beta, which consists of perpetual beta, open and closed beta
- Release Candidate, and
- Stable Release
Consists of activities that are conducted within the project before it can formally be tested, this includes requirement analysis, software design, software development and unit testing.
This stage is the first phase in which software testing can be done. During this stage, white-box techniques are used to test the software to test the internal structure and the workings of the software instead of its actual functionality.
In addition, grey-box testing is also conducted with the purpose of searching for any defects that may present themselves due to either an improper structure of the software or through the improper use of applications.
During black-box testing, also known as alpha release, developers examine the functionality of the software without looking at either the internal structures or the workings of the software.
During this stage, the software is tested by incorporating usability testing, which is done by launching a beta release to users in order to determine where the bugs and any other issues may be within the software with the purpose of being able to correct it.
Beta releases can either be done publicly or privately, depending on the preference of the company. Beta releases can also be used for demonstrations and previews to prospective customers.
The purpose of these releases is to sort out problems and issues that may be present in the software before it can be launched for real-world scenario use.
A lot of software developers opt to keep software in a state of perpetual beta, which means that features are added continuously to the software without the developer establishing the final stable release.
A lot of developers keep their software in a state of perpetual beta and allow for it to be widely used without having a set date on the stable release allowing the developer to offer full support and responsibility for any issues which may remain on the software.
Open and closed beta
This part of the cycle consists of the stage where developers opt to either release a closed or private beta, or an open and public beta. A closed beta is often released to a certain restricted group of individuals who are invited to perform a user test.
When releasing an open beta, developers target a larger public group or any users who would be interested in testing the software.
This stage is also known as ‘going silver’ and features a beta product that holds the potential of becoming a more stable product. The product or software in question is considered ready for release only if there are no significant issues or bugs that emerge.
At this stage, the software contains all product features which have been designed, coded, and thoroughly tested without the emergence of major issues or bugs.
When the software has passed all verifications or tests conducted on it, it enters the stable release phase of development. Any issues that remain on the software are considered to be acceptable and do not require any immediate attention.
As soon as the software reaches this phase, the release can go to production.
MetaTrader 5 and the Software Development Cycle
When considering all the factors and processes that are involved with developing software, users may more clearly be able to understand why it can take years to develop and release software.
The world of today is complex and ever-changing with technological advances moving at a swift pace, forcing software developers to adjust and improve software on a frequent basis to ensure that companies can efficiently and adequately cater for clientele.
When looking at MetaTrader 5 and the improvements and adaptions that have been made to the trading platform since it was first released in 2010, the dedication that MetaQuotes has to catering for clients is profound.
It also shifts the focus to the fact that it may only be a matter of time before MetaTrader 4 is completely phased out due to the expectations of technological advances in addition to the needs of both brokers and traders.
MetaQuotes is still making adaptations and improvements to MetaTrader 5 in efforts to keep up with drastic changes and requirements of it as a trading platform and it is not clear whether MetaQuotes is busy with the development of MetaTrader 6.
When looking at announcements made by MetaQuotes in the past, pertaining to the release of new software, the announcements are made close to the release dates and thus there is no warning in advance of when exactly new versions will be released.
As things currently stand, there has been no indication whatsoever that MetaQuotes will release MetaTrader 6, or whether it is in development at all.
All that brokers and traders alike can do until such a time, is enjoy MetaTrader 5 and make good use of its wide array of capabilities, functions and features which cater adequately despite the changing markets and with it the needs of clientele.
When weighing the usage of both MetaTrader 4 and 5 against one another and what MetaTrader 5 offers as opposed to MetaTrader 4, it is unclear as to why most traders are still utilizing it, other than speculating that it is according to personal preference.
MetaTrader 4 is a comprehensive and advanced trading platform preferred by hundreds of brokers and millions of traders, but in the long run users of this platform may be forced to transition due to the lack of adaptions, development, and improvement of the software.
As the saying goes that ‘you should not fix something that is not broken’, software products are programmed to perform certain functions and to offer certain features.
Although software can therefore be adjusted as the need arises, or as it is required, the problem a lot of developers may face is the rate at which devices are being developed and produced.
At the rate at which these devices are being developed and produced, software developers are constantly working to ensure that their product meets the requirements of these devices in order for the product to continue serving the client continuously and adequately.
Why MetaTrader users may be forced to upgrade
Although there are still numerous users who depend on the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, both traders and brokers alike, there are factors that may drive them towards making use of MetaTrader 5.
The same will be applicable to MetaTrader 5 users when MetaTrader 6 is released in the future. Although changes may not take effect immediately, such as the option with still being able to use MetaTrader 4, software does have a cycle that ends at some point.
When considering the factors that drive users to upgrade software to newer versions, the following needs to be kept in mind:
- Cyber Crime is continuously rising – with advances in technology comes an increase in ransomware attacks that affect large systems. The longer software is available, the more time hackers have to find bugs and weak spots to exploit.
- Personal data is at risk – business is conducted online more and more, which leaves people with no choice but to have sensitive financial data which can be accessed by hackers.
- Malware is a significant issue – viruses can be spread easily, either through applications from unknown sources, infected USBs and more – a software upgrade may protect the user from security issues that may arise.
- New features – newer software presents users with new features that are not supported by older versions
- Support might end – often when seeking help with issues, users are asked whether they have the latest version of software due to support with older versions ending to shift the focus to newer versions.
With regards to support and availability, MetaTrader 4 is being phased out slowly and one of the most significant changes is that MQL5 is being used more and it is also offered when downloading and installing MetaTrader 4.
In addition, security is a significant factor especially since traders have sensitive information which is stored not only on their trading accounts, but which may be accessed through trading platforms.
Although both MetaTrader 4 and 5 are reputable, reliable and have strict security measures in place, MetaTrader 5 is still being developed and adjusted and may offer a lot more potential for further development of security functions and features.
Conclusion and Writer’s Opinion
MetaTrader 4 and 5 are both powerful, comprehensive and all-inclusive trading platforms that cater adequately for both brokers and traders alike, but more brokers are signing up to make use of MetaTrader 5’s services due to its improved capabilities and potential.
With MetaQuotes providing no indication of whether there will be a MetaTrader 6, as software development is a lengthy and complex process, users can still enjoy MetaTrader 5 and the efforts that are put in for further improvements and development.
While users who are already utilizing MetaTrader 5 through which to conduct trading activities, MetaTrader 4 users may be unsure of whether (and when) the trading platform may be phased out to make way for sole utilization of MetaTrader 5.