When it comes to automated trading, MetaQuotes Language (MQL) is the go-to programming language for developing trading robots and custom indicators on the MetaTrader platform. However, there is often confusion about which version of MQL to choose – MQL4 or MQL5. In this article, we will explore the differences between MQL4 and MQL5 and help you make an informed decision.
- History and Compatibility:
MQL4 was introduced in 2005 and is associated with the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform, which is widely used by traders worldwide. On the other hand, MQL5 was released in 2010 along with the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform, which offers enhanced features and improved performance. While MQL4 possesses a large user base and community, MQL5 is considered the successor, bringing new capabilities to the table.
- Language Syntax and Features:
MQL4 and MQL5 have similar syntax and are both based on the C programming language. However, MQL5 introduces several new features and improvements compared to MQL4. MQL5 supports object-oriented programming, providing better code organization and modularity. It also allows multi-threading, enabling concurrent processing and better utilization of computer resources. Furthermore, MQL5 offers a wider range of data types and functions, making it more powerful and flexible for strategy development.
- Platform Compatibility:
One of the key factors to consider is platform compatibility. MQL4 is exclusively designed for the MT4 platform, while MQL5 is built for the MT5 platform. This means that MQL4 programs are not directly compatible with MT5, and vice versa. If you are using MT4 and are satisfied with its features, sticking with MQL4 might be the better option. However, if you are planning to migrate to MT5 or take advantage of the advanced features it offers, learning MQL5 would be beneficial in the long run.
- Available Resources and Community Support:
MQL4 has been around for a longer time, establishing a vast community of traders and developers. As a result, there are countless online resources, forums, and expert advisors specifically tailored for MQL4. Conversely, while MQL5 has a growing community, the available resources might not be as abundant as for MQL4. However, as the popularity of MT5 increases, so does the community support for MQL5.
- Indicator and EA Marketplaces:
Both MT4 and MT5 have their own ecosystems for buying and selling trading indicators and expert advisors (EAs). The MT4 marketplace is more established, boasting a wide range of ready-to-use tools developed using MQL4. However, the MT5 marketplace is gaining momentum, providing access to newer indicators and EAs built with MQL5. Depending on your specific requirements and trading platform, you may find more suitable options in one marketplace over the other.
Choosing between MQL4 and MQL5 boils down to your specific trading needs and platform preferences. MQL4 is well-established, compatible with MT4, and has a vast array of resources available. On the other hand, MQL5 offers more advanced features, multi-threading capabilities, and is compatible with the MT5 platform – the future of MetaTrader. Consider factors like your desired platform, available resources, and the features you require to make an informed decision. Whichever you choose, both MQL4 and MQL5 can empower you to create robust trading strategies and enhance your automated trading experience.