Kinesix Software Uses .NET Architecture to Bring Real-Time Graphics to Back-End Data
April 24, 2006 (Houston, TX) - Houston-based Kinesix Software, an HTC Client Company, has announced the release of KX EDGE, a real-time graphics product based on Microsoft’s much-anticipated .NET architecture.
KX EDGE allows companies in almost any industry to create and use complex graphical user-interfaces for command-and-control applications. It represents one of the most innovative deployments of the increasingly popular .NET framework, a new set of Microsoft tools that are expected to become the industry standard forsoftware protocols.
By building KX EDGE on the .NET framework, Kinesix has created a product that can seamlessly connect a wide variety of back-end data sources through dynamic graphics and data animations. In effect, Kinesix has created a product that serves as the front-end to a command-and-control system – providing both data display and data input through intuitive graphics. Moreover, Kinesix has designed KX EDGE so that it requires very little graphics programming and network programming.
“The main goal of KX EDGE is to allow the user to separate graphics and networking capabilities from the primary command-and-control application, simplifying the overall development and maintenance,” says Russ Jamerson, CEO of Kinesix.
Jamerson emphasizes the fact that KX EDGE allows users to monitor huge volumes of data across a networked user base via sophisticated graphics – without the need to develop or maintain complex proprietary software. “It’s the perfect system for companies that need to make their command-and-control functions come alive with sophisticated dashboards and graphics – allowing them to concentrate on their specific domain expertise,” he says.
A History of Success
KX EDGE builds on the previous successes of Kinesix’s flagship dynamic data-visualization product: Sammi, a long-standing custom-graphics tool that has been used by more than 250 companies worldwide, including some of the world’s largest aerospace corporations such as Lockheed Martin, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the Japanese Space Agency and a variety of companies with intensive SCADA environments. These include gas-pipeline operators, nuclear-power companies and mass-transit systems.
NASA, for example, uses Sammi as an integral component of the graphical displays at the Johnson Space Center Mission Control
– where NASA oversees all Space Shuttle flights.
Bringing User-Friendly Benefits to The Command and Control Market
While KX EDGE offers similar capabilities to the Sammi software, it also adds a number of new user-friendly benefits tied to its innovative adoption of the .NET framework – most notably a simple non-programming format that allows users to bypass the time-consuming and expensive programming phase usually required to develop complex graphical interfaces for command and control applications.
Jamerson believes that KX EDGE’s simplicity will appeal to a broad range of end users. “With KX EDGE, almost any company can produce and share vital data across their entire enterprise with impressive, dynamic graphics, and they can do it far more easily than developing them in-house,” he says.
KX EDGE is sold as an Application Development Kit featuring four components:
· Display Builder – The KX EDGE Display Builder allows users to custom-create user interfaces and dashboards for almost any data-driven need, without generating any graphics code (a common problem with other software products and in-house solutions). The Display Builder also allows users to customize graphics using pre-built “drag and drop” dynamic controls, as well as familiar vector-based drawing tools for creating project specific animations of systems and processes. In addition, users can import third-party and custom .NET controls as part of the KX EDGE framework.
· Runtime Environment – The KX EDGE Runtime Environment coordinates all commands, events and data interchange between the graphical displays created in the Display Builder with networked back-end data sources. The end result is live graphical displays that are updated in real time. The Runtime Environment also takes advantage of a multi-threaded framework to create highly efficient applications.
· Data Adapters – KX EDGE features a set of pre-built Data Adapters for interfacing with well-known data sources. Initially, these data sources include database interfaces via OLEdb and ODBC. Kinesix is developing additional data adapters for other third party applications – enabling true plug-and-play interfaces.
· Application Programming Interface – The KX EDGE Application Programming Interface, or API, provides users with tremendous flexibility when integrating custom applications such as data acquisition or telemetry servers directly with the KX EDGE Runtime Environment. By utilizing this set of C# methods, a user can create a very tightly coupled connection to their legacy application – one that manages all network connectivity to a back-end data source. This allows users to enjoy complete control of their graphics without having to worry about the back-end application. As a result, a company can dynamically present graphics at runtime instead of compiling and linking them into the application code. It also allows third-party and custom applications to access data through the KX EDGE interface.
Through the Application Programming Interface, KX EDGE easily connects with any data source using a variety of protocols, including: RPCs, .NET remoting, XML, SOAP and user-specific protocols – as well as CORBA, TIBCO, BEA, NDDS and other middleware systems. The Application Programming Interface also utilizes built-in web services to easily integrate in-house applications with the graphics created in the Display Builder.
The combined benefit of these KX EDGE components is a ”dynamic product that can animate almost any type of real-time data,” according to Jamerson.
Initial KX EDGE Deployment Underway
Bigelow Aerospace is one of the first companies to use KX EDGE. The much-watched Nevada aerospace company is using KX EDGE to create graphical displays for its mission control center in Las Vegas, where the company will oversee the deployment of its first “inflatable” space-station module later this year. The module will be rocketed into space in a compacted form, and once in orbit, will deploy itself using self-inflation technology – all of which will be visualized through KX EDGE dashboards.
“This is an exciting initial deployment for KX EDGE,” says Jamerson, “and we expect several additional end users to adopt KX EDGE in coming months.”
About Kinesix Software
Kinesix Software is the developer of KX EDGE and Sammi, graphics tools used by more than 20,000 mission-command and process-control workers. Its products allow users to build custom graphical displays that animate and manage massive volumes of streaming data across dozens – or even hundreds – of workstations. With KX EDGE and Sammi, users see full-color dashboards, instead of rudimentary numeric readings or basic, conventional GUIs. While the products are often categorized as graphics products, their real value lies in their proven ability to display live data across a network of command and control systems. Kinesix is based in Houston, Tx. To learn more visit www.kinesix.com.
Houston Technology Center
Houston Technology Center (HTC) is a business accelerator that assists Houston-based emerging technology companies in key sectors such as: Energy, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Nanotechnology and NASA-originated technologies. See www.houstontech.org for more information.
# # #