Data is downloaded by a copy of Microsoft Internet Explorer® (MSIE) that is run as an embedded application within the Browse window of Options Laboratory Strategist. Therefore, when you have problems, you can always run Internet Explorer in the usual way you do your web browsing; go to http://www.cboe.com/ and try the delayed quote service from your web browser.
A lot goes on "behind the scenes" before Options Laboratory receives an option chain. You type in a ticker symbol. Then Internet Explorer must navigate to the right web site and issue the request for data. The prices come from more than one exchange, and must be gathered and consolidated before being passed on to you. This can take a little time and occasionally may not work at all, especially when the markets are extremely active.
There are still potholes in the Information Superhighway.
If a download doesn't work, the first thing to do is click the yellow "stop sign" button in the browse window. Then test whether Internet Explorer is properly configured on your computer to download option chains.
To test whether MSIE is properly configured, do the following.
If all this works, your computer is properly configured and Options Laboratory should also be able to fetch option chains.
Assuming you entered a valid ticker symbol, for a stock that has options, then here are some common reasons the process might fail.
All these reasons for failure apply whether you run Internet Explorer manually, or from within Options Laboratory. If you can do it by hand, it should also work in Options Laboratory. If you can't do it by hand, following the steps outlined above, please contact your systems administrator for help.
Occasionally, the CBOE servers may not respond at all within a reasonable time. Then an error message will eventually be displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the Options Laboratory window (like when you browse to a web site and nothing happens), and Internet Explorer should report the problem in the Browse window. If you get impatient, you can abort a chain retrieval by clicking the little yellow "stop sign" next to the Get option chain button.
If things don't seem to be working, visit the CBOE web site with your web browser, without running Options Laboratory. If your web browser is slow or unresponsive there, then Options Laboratory will also get bogged down because it asks Internet Explorer to perform its downloads.
Previous versions of Options Laboratory incorporated an Internet Trace Tool to help diagnose network problems. This feature has been eliminated, since Options Laboratory itself no longer incorporates any programming code to directly access the Internet. Microsoft Internet Explorer® does all the work; Options Laboratory just asks it to do so.