In this tutorial, Rimantas explains how to set up, configure, and use the EASW plugin for monitoring Server EA and Client EA connection status and get notified when they go offline and online.
Expert Advisor Status Watch (or EASW) is a plugin designed to monitor each Server EA and Client EA connected with Signal Magician, and report admin or customers when EA goes offline or online.
EASW plugin works in the background of the web-server and is executed every minute by the so-called Cronjobs system. Every time the plugin starts, it will check if there are any Server EA or Client EA offline.
Note that the EASW plugin does not check your custom EAs that you have in your EA Licensing module (EAL module is sold separately).
You can turn the EASW plugin on or off from the “EA Status Watch Settings” tab of the Admin Settings page.
When you turn the EASW plugin on, it is essential to add an email address for admin notifications.
Also, you can choose if you want EASW to send notifications to admin, customers, or both.
If you configure EASW send notifications to customers, then each customer will be able to turn them on or off individually in the Notifications tab on their Profile page. Otherwise, those configuration settings won’t be visible for customers at all.
If you want EASW to start or stop monitoring all EAs, you can do so with 1-click of a button. See those buttons in the image above? Use them to start or stop watching all Server EAs or all Client EAs.
Additionally, EASW allows you to set default settings. Each new user created (manually or automatically) will have those parameters already preset.
When configuring default settings, you have an option to apply them to all user accounts (Signal Provider and Follower accounts).
For example, you want to automatically start monitoring the EA connection status of every new user and report about the EA being offline after 5 minutes. You can set these parameters in the “Default settings” section and then additionally check the “Apply these settings to all user accounts” box before clicking on the “Update Settings” button. That will turn on monitoring of each EA of already existing customers and also make sure that every new customer has EA monitoring turned on.
EASW plugin monitors only selected EAs.
Admin can turn on or off the monitoring of each EA individually in the user’s Profile (see Notifications tab).
For this to work, the user must have a valid email address assigned in the Notifications tab.
It is possible to set how many minutes EA has to spend offline to be reported as being offline.
Recommended is 5 minutes, and the minimum allowed is 1 minute.
Note that the EASW monitoring depends on the Cronjobs mechanism, which is controlled by a Linux system, and it executes the plugin every minute. So if you set the offline threshold to 1 minute, you might get false notifications once in a while.
I know you might freak out that 5 minutes of the EA being offline is a disaster, but look at it this way.
It is better to know that the EA is offline for 5 minutes with the help of EASW than not knowing it at all.
It is very awkward when you notice offline EAs accidentally 2 days later. Or it could be worse when customers report about missing trades of last week, and you find out their EA has been offline for so long.
If you configure EASW to send notifications to customers, then each customer can turn them on or off in the Notifications tab on their Profile page.
Otherwise, those configuration settings won’t be visible for customers at all.
Example email notifications from the EASW plugin
In the above image, we see an example notification email from the EASW plugin reporting about two EAs detected offline.
We see both EAs were detected offline at 2019-12-06 01:38:15 (UTC), and the system included not only MT4 account number but also an IP address and username where that particular EA is running.
The system sent this email to admin, and it includes connection status changes of all watched EAs within the last minute. It means that if the system detects some EAs offline within a one-minute time window, and also detects other EAs back online again, it will include them all in the email.
If the system does not detect any new offline EAs and no EAs got back online within that minute, the EASW plugin won’t send any notification.
Notification email for customers looks different as it may contain only information of that particular user.
Several minutes later, the EASW plugin detected both EAs back online again at 01:48:00.
From the previous email, we know they were detected offline at 01:38:15, and this allows us to calculate that both EAs were offline for approx 10 minutes.
Each EASW notification email sent to admin is also stored in the “Email History,” as we can see in the image above.
In a case when the user or admin deactivates the EA on the web panel, the EASW plugin will detect it as offline too.
When EASW reports about an offline EA which was deactivated at that moment, it will note this in the notification email.
This way, you’ll know the user or admin wants this EA stopped, and it is probably not an urgent matter.
What to do when the EASW reports about an offline EA
When you get a notification about an offline EA, the first thing you should do is check the status of that EA on the Signal Magician panel.
You can check EA status in the MT4 Account Status tab of the user’s profile.
In this example, the EA is online, so any notification about it being offline must be outdated.
If it is online, you can relax 🙂 But it’s worth checking MT4 logs on the VPS server to see what happened.
If you see the EA offline, then you will want to find out the reason immediately.
At this stage, it is worth checking if the user or another admin did not deactivate the EA in the “Connect MT4 Account” section.
If the EA is activated and still offline, you should connect to the VPS server, find that particular MT4 platform and check JOURNAL and EXPERTS tab to see what’s happening.
In the above picture, you can see an example of how MT4 disconnected from the broker server at 01:38:17.
That’s about the same time the Client EA was reported as offline by EASW.
In reality, the connection probably was lost several minutes before 01:38:17.
When there was no data received from the broker server for a few minutes, the MT4 platform will disconnect from the server and report its connection as offline.
When MT4 does not receive any data from the broker, it means the price on the chart is not moving, and the EA does not work as well.
When the EA does not work, it does not connect to the Signal Magician panel, and when it does not connect to the SM panel, the EASW plugin will report it as offline.
From the Journal log, we see the MT4 got back online at 01:47:15, which means the EA started working again around that time too.
Shortly after that, the EASW plugin reported that the EA got back online.
Reasons why the EA might get offline
It is frustrating when the EA goes offline, but believe it or not, mostly, it never happens because of the EA.
Here are the most common reasons why EAs go offline:
- MT4 account disconnected from the broker server. It might happen because of internet connection problems or issues on the broker side.
- The VPS server is overloaded. Run less MT4 platforms on that VPS server.
- The VPS server is down. Contact the hosting company to find out what happened. If this often repeats, switch to another hosting provider. I always recommend vpsforextrader.com because their servers are very stable.
- The user or another admin deactivated the EA in the “Connect MT4 Account section”. Maybe this particular EA should be offline after all?
- Web-server hosting the SM panel is overloaded. Check with your hosting provider or contact Signal Magician support.
- SM panel is down. Check with your hosting provider or contact Signal Magician support.
Do not freak out when the EA goes offline. Find out the reason for what happened and do everything possible to prevent this.
Happy copy trading!