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Preface

Vistasource RTW is an add-in for Microsoft Excel that enables you to obtain, manipulate and publish real-time financial data using multiple data sources.

Currently supported data sources include:

  • Reuters RMDS (vsRMDS - SFC or vsRMDS2 – RFA engines)
  • Bloomberg (axbloom engine)
  • Marketfeed (vsnf engine)
  • Web-Based data, e.g. Yahoo! (rthttp engine)
  • Pre-recorded data for Playback engine (mktdemo, for testing)
  • Any data source that provides a C or C++ API and for which a custom engine can be built using the Vistasource RTW Toolkit.

For more information regarding the RTW Toolkit, please contact Vistasource at rtwsales@vistasource.com.

RTW can also integrate directly with custom COM-aware applications written in Visual Basic, C++, Java, etc. For more information about the RTW COM Interface, see the Vistasource RTW COM Interface Guide.

For news and information about Vistasource Inc. and its line of products, visit our website at http://www.vistasource.com. You can also subscribe to our newsletter from this site.

This Manual

This manual provides information about the installation, setup and configuration as well as the functionalities of Vistasource RTW and the Vistasource RTW Bloomberg engine.

Please consult the Release Notes for a list of new features, fixed and known issues. The Release Notes can be found in the installation directory or by clicking on the button Release Notes in the About Vistasource RTW dialog box.

Conventions

The following typeface conventions and symbols are used throughout this manual:

Bold type Indicates the name of fields, tabs, menus, commands, and buttons.
Indicates a sequence of actions, such as navigating to a menu option or clicking buttons in a window.
Italics Indicates path names for files or identifies placeholders inside square brackets such as [Engine name]
Text in Courier Represents text typed into a command window or a code example.

This manual contains cross-references to sections that can be accessed with a single click on the referenced section titles.

For demonstration purposes, this guide assumes an installation of Windows XP and Microsoft Excel 2007.

The following conventions are used to illustrate navigation in the RTW interface: Select [tab] → [group] → [option, command, button]

For instance, to display the About dialog box with its version number and contact information, select Vistasource → Help → About.

For users of Microsoft Excel 2002 and 2003, the navigation paths are very similar; however, some very minor differences exist. For instance, to access the About dialog box in Microsoft Excel 2003, you need to select: Vistasource → About RTW.

Getting Started

This section provides information about how to get started with RTW and the RTW Bloomberg engine. It covers the following topics:

System requirements
Installing
Uninstalling
Licensing

System Requirements

RTW requires Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, and Microsoft Excel 2002 or higher. If using Microsoft Excel 2007, SP2 must be installed. If using Microsoft Excel 2003, SP3 must be installed.

The examples in this manual are based on a Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Excel 2007 (SP2) installation.

The installation of RTW and the RTW Bloomberg engine requires approximately 30 MB of disk space.

The RTW installation program places all product files in the installation directory, makes some Registry entries, and places a few ActiveX controls in the system directory %SYSTEMROOT%\system32.

User files such as the personal favorites list will be stored in %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Vistasource\RTW or C:\ if the Application Data directory does not exist.

Installing

This section describes the installation of the product on Windows XP.

The RTW COM Interface is a part of Vistasource RTW. It does not have a user interface menu option.

Using an .exe file

By default, the product can be downloaded as an .exe file. The .exe file is a self-extracting package. After downloading the .exe file, simply run the executable. Select Yes to continue.

  1. The InstallShield Wizard dialog will appear with a Welcome screen, click Next to continue.
  2. Read the License Agreement, select Yes to continue.
  3. Select a destination location for the software. By default the destination folder will be:
    C:\Program Files\Vistasource\RTW\4.4
  4. Click Next to continue.
  5. On the Select Components screen, choose to install Vistasource RTW and the samples as well as the RTW Bloomberg engine for your installation. Click Next to continue.
  6. The installer will install the necessary files according to your choices in step 5 and then display a final screen. This screen will provide the option to review the product release notes.
  7. Click Finish to complete the installation.

Using a .zip file

  1. If you download the .zip file, unzip the archive file and save its content to a user-defined directory.
  2. Browse to the directory where the archive files were extracted and select SETUP.EXE.
  3. The InstallShield Wizard dialog will appear with a Welcome screen, click Next to continue.
  4. Read the License agreement, select Yes to continue.
  5. Select a destination location for the software. By default the destination folder will be:
    C:\Program Files\Vistasource\RTW\4.4
    Click Next to continue.
  6. On the Select Components screen, choose to install Vistasource RTW and the samples as well as the RTW Bloomberg engine for your installation. Click Next to continue.
  7. The installer will install the necessary files according to your choices in step 6 and then display a final screen. This screen will provide the option to review the product release notes.
  8. Click Finish to complete the installation.

Uninstalling

To remove the product, run the Windows XP program removal utility.

Please make sure that Microsoft Excel is closed, when you run the Uninstall option in the Add/Remove program.

Files that are not installed by the RTW installer will not be removed by it. If such files exist, they will require manual removal from the application directory.

To uninstall using the Windows Add/Remove Programs Utility

To uninstall RTW and the RTW engine(s):

  1. Select Start → Control Panel from the Windows taskbar.
  2. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
  3. The Add/Remove Program Properties dialog box appears.
  4. Click the Change or Remove Programs tab.
  5. Select RTW.
  6. Click Change/Remove.
  7. Windows prompts you to confirm the removal of this program.
  8. Click Yes.

To uninstall using the RTW Install Wizard

To uninstall RTW and the RTW engine(s):

  1. Select Start → Run from the Windows taskbar.
  2. The Run dialog box appears.
  3. Browse to the directory where the archive file was extracted and select SETUP.EXE.
  4. Click Open.
  5. Select the Remove option in the dialog box that appears and click Next. A dialog box appears requiring the confirmation of the uninstall process. After confirming the option, the uninstall process continues until the program is uninstalled.

Licensing

RTW, the RTW engines and the RTW COM Interface are licensed products of Vistasource, Inc. Please refer to license agreement.

For detailed information about setting up licensing, see the Licensing HowTo document.

To purchase licenses, contact your local Vistasource Office or email rtwsales@vistasource.com for more information.

Select Vistasource → Help → About to display the About dialog box for the RTW version number and Vistasource contact information.

Licensing Management

Select Vistasource → License Management to display the Vistasource Online Licensing Tool dialog box. This dialog box provides details about your unique VSID and specific license status. If you are running in demo mode, the VSID will be 30DAYDEMO. For more information on using online licensing and how to obtain a unique VSID, see the Licensing HowTo document.

Configuration

The RTW Bloomberg engine allows users to access Bloomberg data via the Bloomberg API in Microsoft Excel. The RTW Bloomberg engine can subscribe to all information available via the Bloomberg API. The information available through the Bloomberg data distribution system is a subset of the information available via the Bloomberg terminal. Contact your Bloomberg representative to discuss your data access with the Bloomberg API.

The bbcomm communication process must be running to subscribe with the RTW Bloomberg engine.

This section provides information regarding the following topics:

Quick Setup

The RTW Bloomberg engine requires a Bloomberg terminal with a valid login and the bbcomm communication process. This software must be installed on your machine and be actively running.

We strongly recommend that you consult the Bloomberg manual for more information regarding the Bloomberg terminal.

Bloomberg Tab – Rtconfig Editor

This section provides information about editing the RTW Bloomberg engine configuration options using the RTW rtconfig Editor. The options are located under the Bloomberg tab of the Rtconfig Editor dialog, and correspond to those found in the rtconfig file located in the installation directory.

To manually edit the RTW Bloomberg engine configuration options in the rtconfig file, see Manually Editing the rtconfig File.

To edit the generic RTW configuration options as well as some general engine settings, see Generic Tab - Rtconfig Editor.
We strongly recommend that only system administrators or experienced users make changes to the configuration options.

To edit the RTW Bloomberg rtconfig settings, select Vistasource → Settings → Rtconfig Editor and then select the Bloomberg tab.

After setting the configuration options, click Save to File to save your settings in the rtconfig file. To close the dialog box without making any changes, click Close. If you made changes and click Close without first saving to file, a caution window opens to prevent an unintentional discarding of unsaved changes.

The following options are available on this tab:

Remote Address

Refers to the rtconfig file option “bbRemoteAddress”, which allows entering the IP address of another machine in your network from where the RTW Bloomberg engine can be accessed. The IP address of the machine from which you run RTW must be registered with Bloomberg to use the Remote Address option correctly.

If an IP address is not defined, you can only use the RTW Bloomberg engine on the host machine where the bbcomm process is running.

Port

Refers to the rtconfig file option “bbPort”, which specifies the port that the RTW Bloomberg engine uses to try and establish a connection with bbcomm.

If no port number is entered, it will default to port 8194. You can also specify 0 (zero) to request that the port is looked up in the tcp services file.

Generic Configuration Options

In addition to the engine-specific RTW Bloomberg settings, some generic RTW and general RTW engine settings can be customized according to your work environment. These configuration options are located on the Generic tab of the RTW rtconfig Editor dialog, and correspond to those found in the rtconfig file, which is located in the installation directory.

When editing configuration options, changes to the RTW Engine settings require a restart of the RTW engine. Changes to the generic RTW options require a restart of Excel.

To manually edit the generic RTW and general RTW engine configuration options in the rtconfig file, see section Manually Editing the rtconfig File.

We strongly recommend that only system administrators or experienced users make changes to the configuration options.

Select Vistasource → Settings- > Rtconfig Editor to open the RTW rtconfig Editor dialog box.

Generic Tab - Rtconfig Editor

The Generic tab refers to the sections “Generic RT Engine Settings” and “RTW Settings” in the rtconfig file.

After setting the configuration options, click Save to File to save your settings in the rtconfig file. To close the dialog box without making any changes, click Close. If you made changes and click Close without first saving to file, a caution window opens to prevent an unintentional discarding of unsaved changes.

The Generic tab contains the following fields and controls for editing RTW and generic RTW engine configuration options:

Trace

Refers to the rtconfig file option “Trace”. Tracing collects a detailed log of engine initialization, all transactions between engine and data distribution system as well as general information. It is typically used to debug network or connection problems. In order to obtain tracing information, select Trace. This option is turned off by default.

Verbose

To collect more detailed information, select Verbose (in addition to Trace).

The trace information is written to a file. Enter the name and directory location of this file in the field Trace File. You can browse for an existing trace file or create a new one.

Turn Trace off, when it is no longer needed, because it significantly slows down the performance of the software.

Engine throttle (in seconds)

Refers to the rtconfig file option “rtFlushInterval”. Setting a specific value (in seconds) defines the interval by which the engine sends updates to RTW. The default value is 0 seconds and implies that the engine should send data as soon as it is available.

Republish Stale Data Interval

Refers to the rtconfig file option “rePublishStaleDataInterval”, which sets the interval after which the engine will republish each field value. Intervals between 1-3600 seconds (1 sec to 1 hour) are permissible. If no new value is received within the specified interval, the current value is published again. By default, this option turned off.

RTINSERT Returns Value

Refers to the rtconfig file option “rtInsertValueEcho”. When set, the published value from a successful publish displays in the formula cell instead of the string OK. By default, this option is turned off, and OK will be returned.

Date/Time as String

Refers to the rtconfig file option “rtDateTimeAsString”, which specifies how date and time fields are handled when subscribing and publishing.

If checked, date and time fields are treated as strings. This option is checked by default.

If unchecked, date and time fields are treated as spreadsheet date and time values.

No Excel Events

Refers to the rtconfig file option “no_excel_events”, which specifies whether RTW listens to certain Excel events. If you add RTW to an installation that also includes other add-ins listening to Excel events, these add-ins may not receive the events that they are waiting for if they are loaded after the RTW add-in is loaded.

If checked, RTW is no longer listening to Microsoft Excel events, thereby allowing other add-ins to properly trap the events. By default, this option is turned off.

If this option is selected, the RTW menu items will not always be enabled or disabled as appropriate, for example when there is no workbook in Microsoft Excel, or when no engines are running.

In addition, the following functionalities are affected if this option is selected:

RTW Wrapper Functions

With the No Excel Events option selected, the RTW wrapper functions no longer automatically calculate when the file is opened, but require a manual calculation to start them. See RTW Functions for more information regarding the wrapper functions.

WorkbookBeforeClose

The WorkbookBeforeClose event is used to prevent the RTW Add-ins from being unloaded when the user exits a work book, but then chooses to cancel the operation. With the No Excel Events option selected, this functionality is no longer available.

WorkbookBeforeSave

The WorkbookBeforeSave event is used to maintain any RTW settings that are saved with a workbook. With the No Excel Events option selected, this functionality is no longer available.

Status Window

Refers to the Generic RT Engine setting “suppress_rt_status”, and the RTW Settings “rtexcel:SWOption”, “rtexcel:SWDir” and “rtexcel:SWPromote”. These settings control what information is logged to the status window and when the status window should be displayed.

Status Window Options

The following options apply to the rtconfig file options “rtexcel:SWOption” and “rtexcel:SWDir”.

Full Debug Mode

Logs engine start, warnings, errors, other status information and debugging information, and generates two files: xll.log and rts.log. By default, these files are created in the default installation directory. You can browse to change the log directory.

Information Mode

Logs engine start, warnings and errors. The log file rts.log will only be created if a log directory is specified.

Errors Only Mode

Logs errors only. The log file rts.log will only be created if a log directory is specified.

Hidden Mode

Status Window is never displayed. If selected, the menu option Vistasource → Info → Show/Hide Status Window is disabled. However, the log file rts.log will still be created if a log directory is defined.

Log Directory

If Full Debug Mode is turned on, two log files are created; xll.log and rts.log. If no log directory is specified, the files are created in the RTW installation directory. To use a different log directory, specify one here.

If Information Mode, Errors Only Mode or Hidden mode is selected, and a log directory is specified, then the log file rts.log will be created.

To specify a directory, enter a directory in the Log Directory field or browse to a directory of your choice.

Status Window Promote Options

The following options refer to the “suppress_rt_status” and “rtexcel:SWpromote” rtconfig settings, which define when the status window is displayed. The default is Show Always.

Show Always

The status windows displays the first time a real-time request is made.

Suppress Always

The status window is not displayed, except when Vistasource → Info → Show/Hide Status Window is selected.

Show on Error Only

The status window only displays when an error occurs.

Promote on Error

The status window is promoted to the foreground when an error is encountered.

Manually Editing the rtconfig File

The RTW and RTW engine configuration options are saved in the rtconfig file located in the installation directory. The RTW rtconfig Editor edits this file. Alternatively, the rtconfig file can be manually edited using any text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad.

The options in the rtconfig file can appear in any order; however, the configuration options are grouped into logical sections for ease of use. Each option is commented in detail in the file, explaining the different settings and their actions. For editing RTW and RTW Bloomberg engine options, look for the following sections:

  • Generic RT Engine settings
  • RTW settings
  • Bloomberg RT Engine Settings

The other sections in the rtconfig file are not relevant to your installation as they apply to other Vistasource RTW engines. Any line beginning with a pound symbol (#) is interpreted as a comment line. Active options must not be preceded by this symbol. In most cases, editing a configuration option requires modifying pre-defined options.

Changes to the RTW Engine settings require a restart of the RTW engine. Changes to the Generic RTW options require a restart of Excel.

Working with RTW Bloomberg

This section provides information about working with the RTW Bloomberg engine. It covers the following topics:

To subscribe and publish data in Microsoft Excel, RTW provides a COM Server (rts.exe) that works in conjunction with Microsoft Excel’s RTD function (available only in Excel 2002 and higher; see the Microsoft Excel Help for more information on RTD and COM automation). The RTW COM Server can also be used with custom stand-alone applications. For more information about the RTW COM Server and the RTW COM Interface, see the Vistasource RTW COM Interface Guide.

Subscribe

RTW offers three menu options that facilitate building an RTD formula for subscribing to data. These options are:

  • Quote Wizard – Steps through the process of building an RTD formula
  • Quote Table – Creates a table of RTD formulas referencing record and field names in a spreadsheet
  • Quick Quote – Provides an easy way to automatically build a RTD formula

For more details regarding these options, see sections Quote Wizard, Quick Quote and Quote Table below.

The generic syntax for Microsoft Excel RTD is as follows:

=RTD(ProgID, server, topic1, [topic2], …) 

When using RTW to subscribe to data, the RTD function uses the following arguments:

=RTD(ProgId, server, command, engine, servicename, recordname, fieldname1, […, fieldnameN]) 

The arguments have the following meaning:

ProgID The name of the RTW RTD Server: Vistasource.RtdServer
Server This argument remains null.
Command “rt”, to indicate the subscribe command
Engine The name of the engine, axbloom.
Servicename The name of the service to which you are subscribing. For Bloomberg, this references the record type, e.g. TICKERX.
Recordname The name of the record to subscribe to.
Fieldname1,… The name of the first field, such as BID or ASK.
FieldnameN The name of the last field.

Example of an RTD function for subscribing

The following formula subscribes to the Microsoft ASK price via the RTW Bloomberg engine with the TICKERX record type:

=RTD("Vistasource.RtdServer",,"rt","axbloom","TICKERX","MSFT US Equity", "ASK")

Example of an RTD function for subscribing to multiple fields

To retrieve multiple field values with one formula, the RTD function would need to return an array of data. However, RTD does not support this functionality (see Microsoft KB article 286258). To work around this limitation, the RTW wrapper function PARSE_DATA can be used. This function “parses” the string array of incoming data. The Quote dialogs will automatically use the PARSE_DATA function when creating array formulas. See section RTW Functions for more information about PARSE_DATA and other wrapper functions.

The following formula subscribes to the Microsoft ASK and BID prices in real-time via the RTW Bloomberg engine with the TICKERX record type:

=PARSE_DATA(RTD("vistasource.rtdserver",,"rt","axbloom","TICKERX","MSFT US Equity","ASK","BID"))

Quote Wizard

The Quote Wizard steps through the process of building an RTD formula and subscribing to data provided by the data distribution system.

Select Vistasource → Bloomberg→ Quote Wizard to start the Quote Wizard.

The Quote Wizard consists of a total of five screens. Each screen details the steps of building a formula, displaying the status of the formula as you build it.

By choosing multiple record and field names, the Quote Wizard also allows you to create, format, and determine the layout of a “quote table.”

Quick Quote

This option provides an easy way to automatically build an RTD formula which subscribes to fields of a single record.

Select Vistasource → Bloomberg→ Quick Quote to create a subscribe quote. The Quick Quote dialog box provides an easy way to automatically build a RTD formula which subscribes to fields of a single record.

The RTW Bloomberg Quick Quote dialog box contains the following options:

Cell Range Enter a start or cell range for the formula’s output. To select a cell directly in the worksheet without having to type its reference, click on the icon next to the entry field.
Orientation The orientation must be horizontal.
Build As Array Formula A single RTD array formula can be created which returns values for all the fields of the record. Each record will have its own RTD formula. Turn this option off to create individual formulas for each field. NOTE: If Build as Array Formula is selected, the wrapper function PARSE_DATA is used. To edit an array formula, select the entire output range, place the cursor in the edit line, edit, and then press Ctrl-Shift-Return. If an attempt is made to edit a single cell in the range, a message box displays indicating that the cell cannot be edited, because it is the output of an array formula. For more information on PARSE_DATA, see section RTW Functions.
Engine The engine name is axbloom.
Record Type Select the record type, e.g. TICKERX.
Record Enter the record name. Clicking on the control on the right displays a history list with your previous choices. The list is stored in a file called [Engine name]_history.txt, located in the user’s Application Data directory, %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Vistasource\RTW, (or C:\ if the application directory does not exist).
Fields to Retrieve Enter the names of the fields you want to subscribe to, then press RETURN or click the Add Field button after each field name to add the field to the list box.
Remove Selected Field To remove fields, select a field and then click on the option button.
Up and Down Arrows To rearrange the order of the fields, click on the field name and move it with the arrows.
Field List The RTW Bloomberg Field List dialog box displays all valid fields for the specified record. Select the required field from the Available Fields list box and click Add. The field name is added to the Selected Fields list box. To remove a field name, select the field and click Remove. Once the required fields are selected, click OK to return to the RTW Bloomberg Quick Quote dialog box.
Add to Favorites To add frequently used records to a list of favorites, select a record and click the option button. To check which records have been added in previous and current sessions, click View Favorites to access the RTW Bloomberg Records - Favorites List.

Click OK to insert the formula in your workbook.

Quote Table

This option allows you to create a table of RTD formulas which reference record and field names in a spreadsheet.

Organize your spreadsheet with record names in a column and field names in an adjacent row. Select Vistasource → Bloomberg → Quote Table to display the RTW Bloomberg Quote Table dialog box.

The RTW Bloomberg Quote Table dialog box contains the following options:

Cell Range Enter the cell range for your table. Cells can be selected directly in the worksheet without having to type their reference by clicking on the icon next to the entry field. The desired range can also be selected before launching the dialog box.
Build As Array Formula By default, an individual RTD formula will be created for each chain record. Turn this option on to create a single RTD array formula which returns values for all the records in the chain.
Note: If Build as Array Formula is selected, the wrapper function PARSE_DATA is used. To edit an array formula, select the entire output range, place the cursor in the edit line, edit, and then press Ctrl-Shift-Return. If an attempt is made to edit a single cell in the range, a message box displays indicating that the cell cannot be edited, because it is the output of an array formula. For more information on PARSE_DATA, see RTW Functions.
Engine The engine name is axbloom.
Record Type Select the record type, e.g. TICKERX.
Record Name Location The record names can only reside in a column.
Use Cell Addresses for Rows/Columns Check this option to use the cell references in the formula instead of the record and field names. This option is turned on by default, and ensures that the formula stays valid if the record or field names are changed. If this option is turned off, the actual record and field names will become part of the formula.

Click OK to insert the RTD formulas in your workbook.

Chain

The RTW Bloomberg Chain dialog box allows you to subscribe to groups of records of related data. Records linked within the chain are placed in consecutive cells with RTD formulas. By specifying a chain record root, the name of each record in the chain is returned. For a list of valid chains, please refer to the appropriate Reuters Services guide.

To construct a chain of data select Vistasource → Bloomberg → Chain to display the RTW Bloomberg Chain dialog box.

The RTW Bloomberg Chain dialog box contains the following options:

Record Name Enter the name of the record root, e.g. MSFT.US
Market Sector Select the appropriate Market Sector for the record. For instance, for MSFT US, choose Equity.
Chain Field The following choices are available:

  • Futures Chain [FUT_CHAIN].
  • Option Chain by Unique Bloomberg Identifier [OPT_CHAIN_ID_BB_UNIQUE].
  • Option Chain [OPT_CHAIN].
  • Warrant Chain [WARRANT_CHAIN]
Cell Range Enter a start cell or a cell range for your formula’s output. You can select cells directly in the worksheet without having to type their reference by clicking on the icon next to the entry field. In many cases you just need to enter a start cell.
Build As Array Formula By default, an individual RTD formula will be created for each chain record. Turn this option on to create a single RTD array formula which returns values for all the records in the chain.
Note: If Build as Array Formula is selected, the wrapper function PARSE_DATA is used. To edit an array formula, select the entire output range, place the cursor in the edit line, edit, and then press Ctrl-Shift-Return. If an attempt is made to edit a single cell in the range, a message box displays indicating that the cell cannot be edited, because it is the output of an array formula. For more information on PARSE_DATA, see RTW Functions.
Engine The engine name is axbloom.
Record Type Select the record type, e.g. TICKERX.
Chain Direction The chain can only reside in Columns.
Use Cell Addresses for Rows/Columns This option ensures that the chain setup stays valid if you change the record or field names.

Click OK to initiate the construction of the chain.

RTW Functions

RTW specific functions are added to Microsoft Excel upon installation. They can be accessed by selecting Formulas → Insert Functions → Select a Category → Vistasource RTW.

In versions prior to Microsoft Excel 2007, select Insert → Function in the menu bar to display the “Insert Function” dialog box. Select the Vistasource RTW category to display the RTW functions.

Wrapper Functions

The following functions call the RTD function with the required default arguments, plus the given arguments. In this way, redundant arguments are hidden, exposing only the data that is important to you.

FUNCTIONRTS
ARGUMENTS Engine, service/record type, record, field1, field2, … fieldN
EXAMPLE
=RTS("axbloom","TICKERX", "MSFT US Equity", "ASK")
DESCRIPTION Subscribe to data using the specified engine
NOTES Engine, Service/Record type, Record, Field1 are obligatory. The maximum number of fields is 51 (24 for Excel versions prior to 2007).
FUNCTION RTS_BLOOM
ARGUMENTS Service/record type, record, field1, field2, … fieldN
EXAMPLE
=RTS_BLOOM("TICKERX", "MSFT US Equity", "ASK")
DESCRIPTION Subscribe to data using the RTW Bloomberg engine
NOTES Service,Record,Field1 are obligatory. The maximum number of fields is 51 (24 for Excel versions prior to 2007).

PARSE_DATA, PACKAGE_DATA and PARSE_BULK

The function PARSE_DATA facilitates some of the limitations of RTD when subscribing to multiple fields in the same RTD formula (see Microsoft KB article 286258)

FUNCTION PARSE_DATA
ARGUMENTAn Excel-style string
EXAMPLE
{=PARSE_DATA(RTS_BLOOM("TICKERX","MSFT US Equity", "BID", "ASK"))}
DESCRIPTIONEvaluates an Excel-style string
NOTESFor PARSE_DATA to work properly, the “Decimal separator” in Microsoft Excel needs to be set to “.” (period), and the “Thousands separator” needs to be “,” (comma). To verify these settings, please check Excel Options → Advanced → System Separators.
To edit an array formula, select the entire output range, place the cursor in the edit line, edit, and then press Ctrl-Shift-Return. If an attempt is made to edit a single cell in the range, a message box displays indicating the cell cannot be edited because it is the output of an array formula.

The PACKAGE_DATA function can be used together with the PARSE_DATA function to pass an array of field names to the RTD function.

EXAMPLE
=PARSE_DATA(RTS_BLOOM("TICKERX", "MSFT US Equity", PACKAGE_DATA(A1:A2)))
DESCRIPTIONIn this case, A1 contains BID and A2 contains ASK

The PARSE_BULK function allows parsing bulk data from the Bloomberg data distribution system that is retrieved via an RTD function. In Bloomberg, the bulk format data type is used to return multi-element or multi-dimensional data.

FUNCTIONPARSE_BULK
ARGUMENTAn Excel-style string
EXAMPLE
{=PARSE_BULK(RTD("vistasource.rtdserver",,"rt","axbloom","TICKERX","UKX Index","INDX_MEMBERS"))}
DESCRIPTIONIn conjunction with an RTD array formula displays bulk data in a user-friendly format instead of as one string in a cell.
NOTESTo edit an array formula, select the entire output range, place the cursor in the edit line, edit, and then press Ctrl-Shift-Return. If an attempt is made to edit a single cell in the range, a message box displays indicating the cell cannot be edited because it is the output of an array formula.

Favorites

The RTW Bloomberg Records – Favorites List dialog box allows you to manage your favorites list.

This list displays previously added selections of records and fields. To delete a selection, mark the item and click Delete.

To modify an item, click Modify List to access the RTW Bloomberg Favorites List dialog box.

Modify Favorites

The RTW Bloomberg Favorites List dialog box allows you to add, delete, and update your list of favorite records or pages. To access this list, click View Favorites in the Quick Quote dialog box, or select the dialog box launcher in the Vistasource → Bloomberg group.

The RTW Bloomberg Favorites List dialog box contains the following fields:

Favorites List Displays all the records you have previously added. Add or delete records in this list or update them by modifying the associated fields:

  • To add a record, enter the name of the record, select the fields via the entry fields on the right, and click Add.
  • To delete a record, select the record and click Delete.
  • To update a record, select the record in the Favorites List. All relevant entry fields will automatically fill in. Make your modifications and click Update.
Record Enter a name for the record you want to add or choose from the list of favorites to update.
Fields to Retrieve Enter the names of the fields you want to retrieve. Click on the icon next to the entry field to display the list of available fields. Press RETURN or click the Add Field button after each field name to add the field to the list box. To remove a field, select it and click Remove Selected Field.
Up and Down Arrows Rearrange the order of the fields by clicking on one and moving it with the arrows.
Field ListThe RTW Bloomberg Field List dialog box displays all valid fields for the specified record. Select the field you are interested in from the Available Fields list box and click Add. The field name is added to the Selected Fields list box. To remove a field name, select the field and click Remove. After all fields have been created or deleted, click OK to return to the list of fields in the RTW Bloomberg Favorites List dialog box.

Status Window Overview

The RTW Status Window displays information about both the RTW server and the installed engine(s). The information is divided into contexts (server or engine) and message types (errors, warnings, etc).

At the top is a toolbar with buttons that represent the various contexts available. The RTW context represents the RTW server and is always displayed. When an engine is started, a button for that engine will be added to the toolbar. To view a context, click on its button.

Below the toolbar are tabs for the different types of messages that the server or engine might send to the Status Window. The RTW context can display the following message types: information, warnings, and errors. Each engine has its own message types. To switch between message types, click on the appropriate tab.

The Status Window will automatically switch to a context when either 1) the context has just been created or 2) an error occurred in that context.

If necessary, you can copy lines in any of the tabs to the clipboard. To select lines, either left-click on one or more lines in the tab, or right-click in the tab and choose Select All from the menu (alternatively, Ctrl+A will select all lines and Ctrl+D will unselect all lines). To copy the selected lines, type Ctrl+C or use the right-click menu and choose Copy. Once copied, the lines are ready to be pasted into your favorite editor or email program.

RTW Button

Click on the RTW button to display the following tabs: Information, Warning, Errors.

Information Provides data about RTW , such as version, network status messages, type of engine, directory paths etc.
Warnings Lists warnings about files not found or other problems
Errors Displays error messages

Bloomberg Button

Click on the Bloomberg button to display the following tabs: General, Requests, Status.

General Provides licensing and connection information
Requests Displays information about record requests
Status Displays status information

Cell Status Messages

When information about a real-time value is not available, the cell displays #N/A. When an Excel spreadsheet file containing RTD formulas is opened, all real-time values display as #N/A until the data distribution system delivers the initial value and the cells are updated.

Similarly, when editing, copying or cutting/pasting a real-time formula, the cell displays #N/A until the value of the cell changes and the cell is updated. A cell which references a cell with a #N/A status message also displays #N/A.

If a cell displays #VALUE!, the formula is incorrect. For instance, if an invalid field name is entered, the cell displays #VALUE! and the status window displays information from the data distribution system about the incorrect field name. A cell also displays #VALUE! if it references another cell which contains #VALUE! or #N/A or no data.

Show/Hide Status Window

You can show or hide the RTW Status Window by selecting Vistasource → Info → Show/Hide Status Window.

By default, the status window first appears when a real-time RTW request is made. Real-time requests are made with the “rt” and “rtinsert” commands in the RTD function or in the RTW COM server.

The status window will automatically close when no engines are running. An engine will shutdown if it is not handling any more real-time requests.

The debug level and display rules for the RTW Status Window can be changed in the Status Window section of the Generic tab of the Rtconfig Editor. See section Generic Configuration Options for detailed information about the different methods of editing the RTW configuration options.

Interface Preferences

The Interface Preferences are used to customize the behavior of the RTW user interface as well as setting default values for the RTW Bloomberg engine dialog boxes.

Select Vistasource → Settings → Interface Preferences to display the RTW Preferences dialog box.

This dialog box contains a generic preference and a Bloomberg tab. On these tabs, defaults can be selected for the user interface dialogs such as Quick Quote.

For Windows 7 users: The preferences are stored in a file which RTW will read when it starts. The preferences file is %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Vistasource\RTW\preferences and can be read in any text editor, such as Notepad or Wordpad.
For Windows XP users: The preferences are stored in a file which RTW will read when it starts. The preferences file is %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Vistasource\RTW\preferences and can be read in any text editor, such as Notepad or Wordpad.

Generic Tab - Interface Preferences

On the Generic tab, you can select the options Build Formulas as Arrays and Don’t show splash screen on startup.

Build Formulas as Arrays

When this option is on, all Quote dialog boxes will create array formulas by default.

The wrapper function PARSE_DATA is used to work around RTD’s array formula limitation. See RTW Functions for more information.

Don't show splash screen on startup

Turn this option on to suppress the Vistasource RTW splash screen when you launch Microsoft Excel. The option is off by default.

Bloomberg Tab – Interface Preferences

The Bloomberg tab contains the following options.

Default Service

Sets the default subscribe service for the RTW Bloomberg engine. The selected subscribe service will automatically be the default service in the Quote dialog boxes. For Bloomberg, it would be the record type, such as TICKERX.

Mnemonics/Description

Sets the field name display option for dialog boxes. Choose Mnemonics first to show short field names first, e.g. ASK (Ask Price). Choose Description first to show long field names first, e.g. Ask Price (ASK).

Stop/Restart Engines

Select Vistasource → Stop/Restart Engines to close the connection to the data distribution system without exiting your spreadsheet. If you choose to stop an engine while the spreadsheet contains active real-time cells, the engine will restart automatically. You can choose to stop and restart a specific engine or all real-time engines.

Pause/Resume Data

Select the RTW Pause Data button to pause the flow of real-time data. You cannot manually update real-time values in this mode. This option lets you work in your spreadsheet without interruption from data updates. When Pause Data is selected, the menu option Refresh Data Now, which initiates a manual update, is not available and the Updates submenu is disabled (grayed out).

Select the RTW Resume Data button to resume the flow of real-time data.

The location of the Pause Data and Resume Data buttons depends on your version of Microsoft Excel. In Microsoft Excel 2007 they are located on the left side of the Vistasource tab of the Excel Ribbon. In versions prior to Microsoft Excel 2007, the buttons are located on a separate command bar under the menu bar.

Updates

Select Vistasource → Updates to display the various update options which let you alter the flow of real-time data without closing the engine. You can pause and resume your data flow, and set the update rate according to your needs. You can choose to have the data updated as it changes, manually update your data, or select various intervals including custom intervals for automatic updates. Internally, this sets the Excel application option RTD.ThrottleInterval.

Manual Updates Only

Select Vistasource → Updates → Manual Updates Only to suspend automatic updates of data. Any cells containing real-time formulas display the value that was current when you chose this option, but the values no longer continue to update automatically. If you want to restart automatic updates, choose one of the other update rate options such as As Data Changes.

By selecting Vistasource → Refresh Data Now you initiate a manual update of the real-time cells.

Refresh Data Now

Select Vistasource → Refresh Data Now to force a manual update when Vistasource → Updates → Manual Updates Only is selected, or when the Update Rate is 5 seconds or more. Otherwise, the option is unavailable (grayed out).

When data is paused by selecting Vistasource → Pause Data, the option Refresh Data Now is not available. Select Vistasource → Resume Data to resume the flow of real-time data once paused.

Rate

This option allows the setting of the rate in which data gets updated. It contains the following settings:

As Data Changes (Default Setting)

Select Vistasource → Updates → Rate → As Data Changes to have the engine update your data as the values change.

Update Rate (n Second Interval)

Select Vistasource → Updates → Rate → n Second Interval to update real-time values at preset intervals. n represents the number of seconds between updates. Available settings are 1, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds.

Update Rate (Custom Interval)

Select Vistasource → Updates → Rate → Custom Interval to define a custom interval between updates. Custom intervals are measured in seconds.

Monitor Watch List

Select Vistasource → Info → Monitor Watch List to display the RTW Monitor Watch List dialog box. This dialog shows the records and fields you are currently subscribed to.

The RTW Monitor Watch List dialog box contains the following fields:

EngineThe engine is axbloomf.
ServiceSelect a service from the Service pull-down menu. For Bloomberg, this references the record type, e.g. TICKERX.
Number of Live RecordsThe number of live records is displayed.
Record NameThe list of records appears in the list box.
Field Name/Field IDThe list of the active fields and their field ID.

Select Close to return to the work sheet.

Items from the Watch List will automatically unsubscribe when you remove the RTD formula. To flush all records, select Vistasource → Stop/Restart Engines.

Record Info

Select Vistasource → Info → Record Info to view the current values of all valid fields (FIDs) for a given record (RIC) from any available DDS (Data Distribution Server) such as Bloomberg. In case several engines are installed, you can access all available engines from a single Record Information dialog box.

The RTW Record Information dialog box contains the following fields:

EngineThe engine is axbloom.
ServiceSelect a service from the Service drop-down menu. For Bloomberg, this references the record type, e.g. TICKERX.
RecordType the name of the record (RIC) for which you want to retrieve values in the Record (RIC) entry field.
Get RecordThis button is available when engine, service and record have been specified. Click this button to get the record information.

Select Close to return to the work sheet.