News | December 3, 2013

The Road To 'Instantly Intuitive'

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The Road to "Instantly Intuitive" A 27 YEAR JOURNEY

A 27 YEAR JOURNEY
Intuitive means many things to many people, but most agree that intuitive designs should work for you and not the other way around. It simply doesn't feel intuitive if you must source third-party products to make the solution work - like historical databases, OPC drivers, alarm notification, application version control. The right product should let you design the way you want, objects first, then graphics, or vice-versa. It should also be designed for the special needs of Industrial control, not generic IT technology that require many add-ons to manage and worry about. Discover VTScada. The Road to "Instantly Intuitive"

The Road to "Instantly Intuitive"
Glenn Wadden is the Chief software architect for VTScada monitoring and control software by Trihedral.

Back in the mid 80's, I worked for a lift station control panel company where I designed their first RTUs and created SCADA software from scratch. Each project used completely custom-written software. This had obvious problems that needed a solution. In 1986, I started Trihedral to create one of the first PC-based SCADA packages that is now known as VTScada.

A history of original thinking
We've always tackled the important problems that others fail to acknowledge. Initially it was event-driven execution to deliver high performance in large systems, on-line configuration to keep the pumps running while changes are made, and allowing multiple RTU brands to be connected on the same radio channel to allow phased system upgrades. Now, it's things like being able to rename your tags without losing any history or having to rebuild yours screens.

The freedom to make mistakes
One of our most notable recent innovations is our integrated distributed version control system. All configuration changes that anyone has ever made to your application are recorded. This log includes what changes they made, when they made them, on which computer they were made and when they were distributed to all other computers running the application. You can instantly undo any changes and distribute them to all VTScada computers without stopping. Go ahead and make mistakes - they're free.

Configure anywhere
These audit and undo capabilities were actually a by-product of a solution to a different problem. With geographic separation of servers, network interruptions occasionally happen. With other older technologies, you'd not be able to make changes on one end of the broken link, or you might be silently left with different servers running different copies of the application. With VTScada the changes are merged in both directions. The implications are that you can make changes while away from the plant, even on an airplane, and you don't even need the latest copy of what's running to do it. You simply plug in your laptop to the operations network and two-way synchronization will automatically happen. You can even synchronize the changes by sending a single file, called a ChangeSet, that can be applied while the system is running without overwriting other changes that may have been made - no more driving to site.

Be productive within an hour
Lower hardware and communication costs have driven SCADA systems to become ever larger with a resulting increase in configuration costs. Configuration needs to be more efficient and available to a broader group of users. With our latest version, VTScada 11.0, we've stepped up the game. Our goal is to have you productive within the first hour.

We take great pride in developing elegant solutions.

We've created something that's "instantly intuitive

SOURCE: Trihedral Engineering Limited

Trihedral Engineering Limited