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How To: Metastock Updating With Databoss & MSX

Introduction
This How To outlines how to retrieve historical and end of day data and maintain a Metastock data directory using the InvestorLink Databoss and MSX utilities.

This How To assumes that you have downloaded and installed the Databoss/MSX setup package.

Cautions
The Metastock format is proprietary, and historically has changed on a fairly regular basis. This means that there are many variations of the Metastock format and they are not necessarily compatible with each other. This normally does not cause any problems with charting applications reading the data, but updating Metastock data with two different applications can cause problems.

For this reason we strongly suggest that you do one of the following:

  • Back up or make a copy of your existing Metastock data before using MSX to add additional files or update.

  • Create an entirely new Metastock directory using InvestorLink data and the MSX utility.

You can avoid the possibility of corrupting your existing data if you follow this suggestion.

Databoss Setup
Before retrieving data with Databoss, you must enter the username and password that was emailed to you:

  1. Start Databoss by clicking on the Windows Start button, then Programs, then InvestorLink, then Databoss.

  2. Click on Setup on the main navigation bar.

  3. Click on User Info on the sub-navigation bar. Enter your assigned InvestorLink Username and Password if you haven't done so already. Note that your user information is case sensitive and take care not to enter a blank space (" ") either before or after the username or password. This is a somewhat common problem, especially if you are cutting and pasting from your email.

  4. Click Save.

Download Some Historical Data
Next we will download a couple of historical files which will later be converted to Metastock format.

  1. Connect to the internet. Start Databoss if it is not running already.

  2. Click on Download on the main navigation bar.

  3. Click on Stocks on the sub-navigation bar. Add a couple of tickers to the download queue by finding them on the ticker list and double clicking them.

  4. Click on Download on the sub-navigation bar. Click on Download on the Utility screen to retrieve the files you have queued.

At this point, the files you selected will exist in the ...\databoss\download folder. These files will be in InvestorLink's native ASCII format, and have the extension '.prn', for example, ibm.prn.

Convert Data to Metastock Format
We will now convert the files you downloaded to Metastock format using the MSX utility. This How To will create a new Metastock directory for the Metastock data to reside in.

  1. Make sure your charting software is closed. Many charting applications lock Metastock files while they are in use. If locked, it is not possible to import new data or update existing data.

  2. Start MSX by clicking on the Windows Start button, then Programs, then InvestorLink, then MSX Lite.

  3. Click on Utilities, then Import ASCII to Metastock.

  4. Click on Select ASCII Files.

  5. Browse to the Databoss download folder, probably at C:\Program Files\InvestorLink\databoss\download.

  6. Select the historical files you previously downloaded. Note that this dialog supports multi-select (hold down the SHIFT or CONTROL keys while selecting files). Click the Open button after the files have been selected.

  7. In the Metastock Directory entry field, type in "c:\msxtest" (without the quotes).

  8. Click on Start Import. The status bar will display 'Done' after the files have been imported.

Congratulations! You have now started a new Metastock directory using InvestorLink data. To verify everything is working, open up your charting software, point it toward c:\msxtest, and you should be able to open charts for the historical files you downloaded.

Updating Your Data
Each day, InvestorLink releases a daily update file (actually three files, one each for stocks, funds, and futures) which contains that day's data for the stocks, commodities, and funds we provide data for. These files are called EOD files, which stands for End Of Day. EOD files contain one day of data for many stocks whereas a historical file contains many days of data for a single stock.

To update your data, you first need to download the EOD files you need. You then apply this data to your historical files. For example, if the current date is the 11th and your charts are updated through the 10th, you need to download the EOD file for the 11th then update your historical files with it. You do not have to update each day - whenever you are ready just download the EOD files you need in a batch.

  1. Make sure your charting software is closed. Many charting applications lock Metastock files while they are in use. If locked, it is not possible to import new data or update existing data.

  2. Connect to the internet. Start Databoss if it is not running already.

  3. Click on Download on the main navigation bar.

  4. Click on EOD on the sub-navigation bar.

  5. Use the arrow buttons to set the date of the EOD file you want. If you are running through this tutorial from start to finish, you may not need to update your historical files yet but you may still download the EOD file for the current date or previous date to run through the procedure.

  6. Once the date is set, click on the Stock button to queue the EOD file for that date.

  7. Click on Download on the sub-navigation bar. Click on Download on the Utility screen to retrieve the files you have queued.

At this point, the EOD files you selected will exist in the ...\databoss\eod folder. These files will be in InvestorLink's native ASCII format, and have the extension '.stk', '.csf', or '.fnd' for stocks, futures, or funds respectively. For example, 20041001.stk is the EOD stock file for October 1, 2004.

Now that you have downloaded at least one EOD file, it is time to use the MSX utility again to update the Metastock directory.

  1. Start MSX if it is not already running by clicking on the Windows Start button, then Programs, then InvestorLink, then MSX Lite.

  2. Click on Utilities, then Update Metastock Directory.

  3. Type in or browse to the folder c:\msxtest in the Metastock Directory box.

  4. For the End of Day Datafile entry, browse to the \databoss\eod folder, probably at C:\Program Files\InvestorLink\databoss\eod.

  5. Select the EOD file you wish to apply to your Metastock directory, then click Open.

  6. Click on Start Update. The status bar will display 'Done' after the updating is finished.

Summary & Notes

  1. To add files to your Metastock data directory, first download the historical files using Databoss, then import them using MSX.

  2. To update your Metastock data directory, first download the EOD file you need using Databoss, then update using MSX.

  3. The daily updating routine should become a quick and simple operation. Browsing for your historical, EOD, and Metastock files is somewhat inconvenient the first time you run through the procedure but the paths are saved so your next update is a lot easier.

 



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