MathWorks’ MATLAB and Simulink integration on the latest Vortex OpenSplice v6.8.1

OpenSplice 6.8.1.pngPrismTech is pleased to announce the availability of Vortex OpenSplice version 6.8.1. with Mathworks’ MATLAB and Simulink integration as major enhancements, such as:

  • The generation of MATLAB classes from existing IDL including support for IDL sequences and bounded strings
  • The Simulink integration now supports wait conditions on both read (wait for regular and historical data availability) and write (wait for matching subscribers). In addition, IDL sequences are now also supported for Simulink
  • The Vortex DDS ‘block set’ now also supports Simulink Coder, allowing users with a Simulink Coder license (as available from MathWorks) to generate C/C++-code from their Simulink models. This code can then be deployed as a regular Vortex OpenSplice DDS application on supported target platforms.

As of version 6.8, Vortex™ OpenSplice™ provides OMG DDS-based integration with MathWorks’ MATLAB® and Simulink® products. MATLAB classes as well as Simulink BUS definitions are automatically mapped to their corresponding Topic definitions in DDS.

To ensure type agreement between DDS and MATLAB/Simulink applications, MATLAB classes and Simulink blocks can be exported to the IDL format that is well-known for DDS applications. The integration allows users to create DDS entities in their MATLAB/Simulink model and associate them with desired Quality-of-Services in separate XML files to provide maximum flexibility and control how and when data is exchanged. These capabilities allow users to transparently share any data between different MATLAB/Simulink applications and/or pure DDS applications no matter where they have been deployed in the network.

The Vortex OpenSplice v6.8.1 software is now available for evaluation download from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex/software-downloads

What’s new with Open Source DDS Community Edition v6.7 Software

DDS Community v6.7 Mailer Poster

PrismTech recently released its latest version of Open Source DDS Community Edition, the 6.7 version which adds significant new functionality and a new open source licensing model to the DDS Community Edition.

The DDS Community Edition v6.7 is being released to the open source community under the widely adopted Apache license, version 2.0 source code license. Unlike many other code licenses the Apache license places very few restrictions on the use or availability of the code.

Here are the new features included on this release:

  • Durability: Full support for TRANSIENT_LOCAL durability is now offered without relying on each standalone ‘single-process’ application to include a full durability-service (DS).  As typically a DS is run as part of a federation, we have introduced the concept of ‘client-side durability’ where standalone ‘single-process’ applications will transparently obtain historical data from dynamically discovered durability-services (as provided by our commercial OpenSplice version)
  • DCPS API’s: Support for the latest ISOCPP and JAVA5 DCPS language bindings
  • FACE: This release includes a reference implementation of the FACE 2.1 Transport Services Segment (TSS)
  • GPB: Support to use Google Protocol Buffers (GPB) as an alternative to the OMG-IDL definition for topic-types. GPB is a popular technology that supports evolvable data-types and we’ve added annotations for key- and filterable-fields to retain the data-centric features of DDS.

The new release also includes numerous other updates to the code base such as: performance and footprint improvements, bug fixes, robustness and maintainability improvements.

With having Apache license version 2.0 open source license available, this will help reduce the IoT adoption barriers and further accelerate the penetration of DDS in this new and exciting market.

Find out more details on DDS Community v6.7 or click here to download the software.

 

Reflections on DDS at Undersea Defense Technology (UDT)

I’m writing this blog tonight whilst traveling home from exhibiting at the Undersea Defense Technology (UDT) conference in Bremen, Germany with my PrismTech colleagues Peter Steele and Gregg Shenton.

It’s always good to catch up with the latest innovations and tech in the naval and subsea industry – and of course the major suppliers were all in attendance.  A lot of interesting things were going on.

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UDT is a particularly appropriate event for PrismTech.  We have many customers in this industry, with DDS (the Data Distribution Service) already being widely applied and often even mandated by the standards bodies and organizations.  Our leading DDS implementation, Vortex OpenSplice has many successful naval deployments and a long history in this market.  Many people will know how its early version was initially designed to address the specific problem of moving data around a complex, real time, combat management system.  The middleware aspect was standardized to form the DDS specification, which of course addresses a lot of those problems – namely delivering time critical data to the applications that need it in an efficient, fault tolerant and scalable manner.

The benefits of DDS, though, are perhaps quite abstract, and for non-software developers probably initially difficult to appreciate.  Because of that, we wanted to provide a visual demonstration at the event that would be interesting for the passer-by yet allow them to relate to what the technology can provide.

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We came up with a mini simulation of a combat system whereby data from the raw environment is captured, processed and delivered to where needed for further analysis.  Our demo used a webcam to capture the raw environment – which in real terms could represent a radar, sonar or video system.  The demo then performed some local analysis, in our case some image processing to track specific colours as they move across the camera.  We had some different colored balls that people were encouraged to wave around (or if brave, juggle) in front of the webcam.  These moving colours were tracked, with their positions published into DDS.  We had another computer which subscribed to that data and presented it to a would-be operator on a mocked-up Blue Force Tracking system, i.e. naval symbols on a sea chart.  We were simulating how position and routes of other vessels and obstacles could be tracked within a networked system in real time.  Of course, DDS is even more valuable when you have to deliver the data to potentially hundreds of machines that might exist within a ship or vessel but there is only so much you can show on a stand!  Still, people appreciated the demo and we had some very interesting discussions.

On reflection, those discussions were generally centred around two key areas.  Firstly, how companies can simplify and optimize their own internal data communication systems.  They usually have some existing solution to deliver data around the network but they are often quite legacy and difficult to extend, enhance or deploy to different scenarios.  DDS is great for that purpose.  Secondly, we spoke about easy integration with other vendors in the naval supply chain.  DDS has strong yet evolvable typing that allows for the clear definition of what data is and represents, while also providing an interoperable wire protocol so applications can automatically discover each other and share data with little integration effort.

OT/IT Connectivity with Vortex Edge Connect

One of the main challenges facing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) community is connecting operational or field systems, comprised of devices and other data sources utilizing a diverse range of protocols with higher level Internet of Things (IoT) systems. This is where Vortex Edge Connect comes in.

Vortex Edge Connect ingests data from industrial devices such as PLCs, PAC, RTUs, DAQs, sensors, actuators, etc. using a range of Operational Technology (OT) protocols. This ingested data is then converted into a normalized in-memory data model which enables this data to be shared with other higher level systems such as SCADA systems, analytics engines, ERP, MES, etc.

Due to the Vortex Edge Connects innovative design, it is highly scalable and can support 1-to-1, 1-to-many, or many-to-many data connection models. Whether you’re in a Linux or Windows environment, Vortex Edge Connect is platform and operating system independent, enabling you to deploy with ease and peace of mind for expansion and integration.

For more information on Vortex Edge Connect, please visit our website.

Getting Started with Vortex OpenSplice Configurator Tutorial

Revisit the features of Vortex OpenSplice Configurator on a step-by-step tutorial. The Configurator is a tool that allows you to parse and set all the XML data properly.

The Vortex OpenSplice Configurator includes a rich online guide describing Vortex OpenSplice Configuration options as well as providing context-sensitive help and parameter validation.

Vortex is available to evaluate FREE, click here to download.

Getting Started Tutorial with Vortex OpenSplice Tester Video

In this tutorial video presented by Nate Wieselquist, you can learn about how to get started using the Vortex OpenSplice Tester tool in order to help you automate the process of testing and debugging your DDS system. Both passive and active benefits of the Vortex OpenSplice Tester tool are covered in this video as well as an example walkthrough.

MathWorks MATLAB and Simulink with Vortex OpenSplice DDS Tutorial

To coincide with the release of PrismTech’s Vortex OpenSplice 6.8, we have put together a series of videos to show how simple using Vortex OpenSplice DDS in MATLAB and Simulink is.

Presented by Paul Elder, these videos walk you through everything you’ll need to get up and running with Vortex: from installation, right through to building a model.