Kaufbeuren, Germany, 13 June 2003 - Kontron Modular Computers (formerly PEP Modular Computers) is proud to present SOPH.I.A. – a development and runtime environment for web-based automation that is both platform and operating system independent. The concept utilizes numerous standard components to offer a complete solution for Sophisticated Industrial Automation (SOPH.I.A.). Compared to pure web server applications, SOPH.I.A. is the first universal and easy to use all-in-one module for the development and configuration of applications ranging from standalone production machinery and modular distributed applications to complete systems. SOPH.I.A. also provides web-supported application management. OEMs that choose SOPH.I.A. are guaranteed a secure long-term return on their investments since the product is based on powerful approved standard modules. SOPH.I.A currently includes a user-friendly Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with an integrated Application Programming Interface (API) and an extensive runtime system. The runtime system includes an XML data server which enables a platform and operating system independent link to a customer specific application and all necessary front ends such as a web server, alarm server, escalation manager, authentication server and download server. The web server is compatible with Windows, Linux and VxWorks. The first version of SOPH.I.A runs on VxWorks. Versions for Linux (SOPH.I.A. V1.1) and Windows CE (SOPH.I.A. V 2.1) will follow in the near future. A configuration server also is integrated to enable application-specific configuration to take place during runtime. This allows the functionality of a web application to be determined by an OEM or end customer on site without requiring system shutdown. The basic functions included are User Configuration (that determines which user has access to which data) and Alarm Management (which specifies procedures to be run upon the occurrence of the various alarm messages) with Escalation Routines (procedures that are run if an alarm message is not acknowledged). It also is possible to configure download options for new software and user authentication in accordance with application-specific requirements.
SOPH.I.A is resourcefully designed and platform independent. This is achieved by integrating a data server parallel to the web server. The data server provides a bridge between the web server and an operating system specific data provider that communicates with the actual application via a data module. The data server accepts data from the application via the data provider and converts it to XML, the standardized neutral format, before passing it on to the web server. Since the data provider’s footprint and resource overhead is kept to a minimum, it can be loaded onto the most modest of embedded systems.