Automation Editor

The automation editor is where you enter the actions for your bot to perform. Here is what you need to know to get started creating automations.

The Automation Editor is where you tell the bot what criteria to look for and what actions to take. The Automation Editor follows a decision tree framework where recipes are evaluated with "Yes" and "No" outcomes.

Adding an automation

To add an automation, select the "+" symbol to access your saved automations. You can choose an automation from your library or create a new automation.

Adding a new automation from the automations tab
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You can name the new automation, save it to your library, and create folders to keep your automations organized.

Naming and saving the automation
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The left side of the editor includes a control panel that displays any custom inputs the automation is using, as well as opportunities the automation references.

Control panel with inputs and opportunities displayed

You can also test your automation in real-time by selecting the "Test" button.

Control panel with inputs and opportunities displayed

Remember, you can add up to five automations for each type. For example, one bot could have multiple monitor automations to manage different strategy types.

Multiple automation types

Adding an action

To add an action to the automation, select the "+" symbol inside the editor to see the list of available actions.

Adding an action to the automation editor
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Bot actions are the automation's set of instructions.

Actions include:

  • Decision - Decision actions, or recipes, enable a bot to make yes / no decisions dynamically inside an automation.
  • Open Position - The open position action tells the bot to send an order to your broker. The open position action gives you complete control of a position's details, such as position type, number of shares or contracts, option leg attributes, and more.
  • Close Position - The close position action enables the bot to close positions and gives you complete control of when a position is closed.
  • Notification - Send yourself a notification inside the platform.
  • Bot tags and Position tags give you increased organization and customization in your portfolio.
  • Position loops and Symbol loops allow you to loop, or scan, through position types and ticker symbols.

Decision recipes

Decision recipes are split into conditional "Yes" and "No" paths to build out an automaton. There are dozens of recipes to choose from, and each recipe is unique. Decision recipes use specific criteria to reference market or position data and use natural language for simplicity.

To add a decision recipe, select "Decision" from the list of actions.

List of decision recipes
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For example, this decision recipe checks if SPY's IV rank is above 50 before proceeding through the automation.

Image of completed decision recipe

Select "Save," and the decision is added to the automation editor.

Image of completed decision recipe added to the automation editor

You can always group multiple decisions. by selecting the "+" icon under a recipe. You can connect the decisions with "and" or "or" to make one or both of the statements true.

Grouped decision recipes

Additional actions can be added to the "Yes" and "No" paths to complete the automation.

Scanners typically end with an open position action. Monitor automations usually end with a close position action. You can also add actions that trigger an adjustment, such as opening a hedge position.

Open position action added to the editor
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If SPY's IV rank is above 50 when the automation runs, the bot will continue down the "Yes" path and open a position.

If IV rank is below 50, the automation will end and run again at its next scheduled interval. You do not need to put an action at the end of the decision tree. If the necessary criteria is not met to open or close a position the automation simply ends and will run again at the next interval.

You can add many actions to an automation to check different criteria and open multiple position types.

Automation editor with multiple actions
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Editing an automation

You can edit an automation's actions at any time. All edits are automatically saved when you make a change.

It is important to know that if you edit an automation, the changes automatically flow through to any bot using the same automation. You can always copy an automation if you only want to edit the automation for a single bot.

You can edit (or remove) an automation in the Automations tab.

Automations tab

Select the decision action you want to modify inside the automation editor.

Editing a decision action
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You can change any of the variable fields. For example, you can change the SMA lookback period from 200 days to 50 days.

Editing a recipe's variable fields

You can also precede actions, delete actions, or edit an action's settings for more customization. Simply select the gear icon inside the decision block.

Customize an action
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If you delete a decision block with one or more actions beneath it, you are prompted to choose which path to delete.

Deleted action prompt

Likewise, when preceding an action, you must choose which path the action will precede.

Precede an action
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If I edit an automation will the change be updated across all the other bots using that automation?

Yes. Any change to an automation is reflected in other bots containing the same automation. You can create a copy of an automation if you want to avoid this.

What if I don’t want an automation change to be made globally across all of my bots?

You can create a copy of any saved automation in your portfolio. Automation copies are useful when you want to reuse an existing automation but want to change one or more parts of the automation's actions. Copying an automation is an efficient way to reuse a saved automation without transferring the changes to other bots. 

Can I go back to previous versions of an automation?

You can save automations to your library and return to them at any time, even if they’re not in a bot. Only the most recent version is available to view. If you create a copy, the original version is saved.

Do I always have to end an automation branch with an action?

You do not need to end an automation with an action.

When automations start what path does it take if there are multiple decision branches?

A bot begins with a single decision and moves step-by-step through an automation from top to bottom. Each decision block will yield a "yes" or "no" result and the bot will continue down the appropriate path based on the outcome.

How do I check and verify the decisions my automation is making?

The bot log shows your bot's automation activity. The bot log provides insight into what automations are running, what decisions and actions the bot is performing, and what criteria the bot is checking.

Can I see a log of the decisions and actions my automation is taking during the day?

Yes. The bot log shows your bot's automation activity. You can select the Log tab to view the bot’s activity.

Do I have to learn how to code to use the automation editor?

No. The Option Alpha autotrading platform requires no coding experience. Bots use easy-to-understand, natural language and detailed decision criteria to help you build automated trading bots. 

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