The World’s First SCADA/HMI built with pure Microsoft .NET
Sterling-ES is now selling TATSOFT, a new SCADA/HMI software. SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and HMI stands for Human Machine Interface. A SCADA system usually includes one or a bunch of PLCs (controllers), communication devices (radios, cell modems, dial up modems. or just Ethernet Switches) and the computer software. In this note we will focus on the software for the computer. This software talks to the PLCs and is usually programmed to provide graphic displays that represents the process. Operators can see in real time what’s going on. The graphics show data representing how the process is running and allow the operator to interact with the control system, for example by starting and stopping motors and opening and closing valves. Selling this kind of product is a fun part of what we at Sterling-ES do. Keep in mind we are geeks. Here is an example:
I love the 80’s, but…
I hate legacy code from that era. Other SCADA products we have sold in the past are pieced together with code dating back to the 1980’s. You don’t want 30 year old code slowing you down. Tatsoft is new and done right. That means a lot of great things for the user and systems integrator. This is the first software I have found that is 100% .NET based and 100% new. I can’t begin to touch all of the benefits in this short note (call us for details) but here are the features that our customers have raved about so far.
Marcos Taccolini is the brains behind Tatsoft. He has been in the business for a long, long time. Marcos and his engineering team take a great deal of pride in the product and the service that his firm provides. When our customers have questions, Marcos or Dave Hellyer, VP of Sales and Marketing, make sure they have answers. It is personal for them. This is not the case with other SCADA firms we have dealt with who are almost all part of multinational conglomerates.
Incredibly Easy to Install.
We have the same version installed and running on XP, Windows 7, 8.1 and embedded Windows. Since it is .NET based, it installs in .NET and is completely independent of the OS. It is so compact it can even run off of a flash drive without installing into the computer. No, I did not believe this when they told me so I tried it. It works.
Ease of Configuration.
It is a breeze to remote into a computer running Tatsoft and make changes. If an operator needs a change like a graphic update, then we can use tools on our own computer to work on the file on that operator’s computer without him losing his runtime screen. As we edit the graphics and save the changes, the operator immediately sees them. No rebooting or even switching in and out of a screen. Obviously care must be taken with regard to security and safety but ease of change is unheard of with other packages. Remote clients will also update without rebooting. It is amazing.
If you already know how to program .NET then you will appreciate that everything configurable in Tatsoft is a .NET object; the little image of a tank in the graphic screen, the PLC tags and the PLC devices themselves, everything. These objects all have properties that can be manipulated in runtime. If you are not a .NET programmer already then don’t worry, the structure is easy to pick up. And it is a skill you can take with you anywhere.
This one may seem stupid but with SCADA programs we have used in the past, if you change monitors you may have to redraw your graphics to accommodate the new pixel layout. That one is really aggravating. Tatsoft uses Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) so any graphics will stretch to the screen they are being run on. Multi-monitor support is also standard and very easy to configure. Other packages we have worked with support multi-monitors to some degree but they tend to make it difficult to provide incentive to buy more licenses. It is built right into Tatsoft and expected to be used. Integrators can also program any screen to be easily viewed from an iOS device. The iOS App is a free download.
Easiest Client Integration Around.
If your project has multiple PCs then Tatsofts .NET smart clients make maintenance a snap. With other packages we have always had to update each computer on the network when a change is made. With smart clients the project does not even need to reside on the client computer. The client runs the project on the server and is automatically updated when any change is made to the server. I have a shortcut on my desktop that I have used to run as a client to a computer next to me without ever seeing the actual project file. It was so cool I tested it over a cell modem to a project running in another state and I could not tell a difference in performance.
I could go on and on, but a few of the game changing differences we have seen with this software. Pricing can be found on our Web Store. Or call us. We are eager to help! 888-554-2021