T2W edit: The validity of this review is in question and the author has been asked to provide some evidence to indicate that he is a bona fide customer of Aspen Graphics.
I have been an Aspen Graphics user for many, many years now. I continue to be amazed at the power and functionality underlying the clean, simple user interface. Yes, some of the functionality is masked and takes a little poking around to uncover, but there are undoubtedly features which far surpass other platforms for ease of use.
I really enjoy having the ability to add or remove technical studies and chart overlays using nothing more than the right-click function on the mouse. I have found over time that this is much easier than having to resort to the menu bar every time I wish to change the indicators areound. Being a loyal customer, I would like to make a comment regarding a previous review regarding volume bars. To display these on the chart simply split the chart, right click and add volume - under "studies". Another bonus feature is the great Market Profile display.
All in all I would never move forward, or comfortably change to another platform expecting to retain the functionality of Aspen Graphics. Their formula writer requires nothing more than College level algebra to accomplish anything you could imagine. This is a very robust platform backed by a very responsive, friendly company. The tech support cannot be beat! Undoubtedly a favored RT analysis platform! :)
Aspen Graphics is a standalone technical analysis software package.
You must provide your own data through a compatible feed.
The Good bits
Aspen Research offer two solutions: Either a typical over
the internet setup, with the data being provided by Aspen servers or something
they call FlexNet where the traders workstation (or specified machine) acts
as the server. This gets around limits on data requests from the first setup.
The support team at Aspen are really very helpful indeed. I can recall their IT department helping me
from the pub early on a Friday evening, and in one instance while a lady stopped
feeding her kids their tea!
Aspen also has plenty of add-on services, some of which are
not available on mainstream packages, such as Tom DeMark indicators.
The Bad bits
Unfortunately this part of the review should be longer than
the first. It really is too hard to try and structure it into prose, so Ill
leave it at bullet points:
Clunky interface. Dreadful.
Limited charting options (no volume bars, for
Only one page per session
Very resource intensive code (crashes were a
Code is difficult to learn, tricky to implement
Even as I type the review, Aspen are scrolling a message on
their website that there are problems with their servers (and data outages) on
4 exchanges, including LIFFE and, FXCM and GAIN forex.
I had to use this produce for about a year. There is simply
no way I can endorse this product, it is terrible. In comparison to other
packages at this price point, Aspen is measured and left wanting on nearly all
facets of what a modern day technical analysis package should be capable of.
For a premium charting package the Aspen Graphics workstation falls short. I did a free trial of this software that I thought was supposed to be for 2 weeks but they cut it off after 9 days. This charting package is not user friendly but they made up for it by providing training via telephone.
The first problem I had was getting several of my charts to work during the electronically traded non-pit hours. I was never able to get the S&P (SP) and NYMEX crude (CL) to work after hours. Substituting ES (the e-mini) and QM (the CME e-mini for oil) didnt help. Nothing the Aspen people suggested worked.
The next problem was that the connection was broken every day. Im not sure if this happens after a period of inactivity or if it closes briefly at the end of the day, but every time I went back to my computer after getting some sleep I was no longer connected to the data. The only way to reconnect is to close the program and restart it. Of course this is intolerable if you rely on audio alerts to warn you of breakouts.
Another annoying feature is the snap-to-grid function. This is supposed to make it easy to line up all of your charts on a page. However it doesnt work properly and always forces some of your charts to overlap others, leaving gaps between some of the charts. This feature can be disabled but the program always starts up in the snap-to-grid mode which means that at the beginning of every trading session you have to waste time dragging your charts around.
This program also malfunctioned once causing everything on my display to go haywire. I had to reboot my computer to fix this. My computer is a very stable and well maintained (P4, 512 Ram, Windows 2000 Pro) and the problem originated with the aspen charting program.
I also found that there were not enough colors and shades of colors to choose from for the charts and indicators.
Overall, I can not recommend Aspen charts for anyone. CQG is better and the Futuresource workstation is better for less money than Aspen.