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A Glossary of Automation Terms – Make Sense of your Data Acquisition Software

HMI SCADA software information is riddled with TLA (Three letter acronyms). It’s hard enough for those with years of experience to keep up with all the innovative trends in data acquisition software, but how are those new to the world of SCADA and HMI products ever going to keep up?

Well, the InduSoft team is working on a glossary of all these terms, so that SCADA software users aren’t left in the dark. Check back every Friday for more terms to help you navigate the world of data acquisition software.

API – Application Programming Interface.  An API is a method by which users of software can create custom add-ons or extensions that are defined or documented. An API is especially valuable for SCADA software users who need to fine tune the functions of the software to perform all the necessary tasks. Get access to the developer toolkits for IWS here.

GUI – Graphical User Interface often pronounced “gooey”. The GUI is what you see on the screen when you are setting up your control SCADA. This graphics based display makes everything a lot easier. Without a GUI, all commands would have to be entered via text input, and all displays would be text only. SCADA GUI conventions are often determined here.  The upcoming IWS 7.0 .an advanced GUI that is easy to use and allows rapid deployment of new machines and more rapid project completion than ever before.

HMI – Human Machine Interface. The HMI is the portal through which users can interact with machines. Often consisting of HMI software and computer hardware that a user can interact with, including keyboards, touch screen, mouse or other input devices. Using HMI  runtime software, users can adjust process values, make adjustments to settings, and closely monitor a process.

SCADA – Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. SCADA software is designed to collect data from machines, present it to the user, and provide portals through which the user can send and receive information to machines, monitor a process, or make adjustments to settings on pieces of machinery. SCADA software is the framework that oversees a process, whether it takes place on only a few machines, or across a vast multi acre facility. Wireless SCADA can even do much of the work remotely.  The ability of SCADA software to connect to a database such as a SQL database provides incredible flexibility that allows SCADA software to collect information across many machines, and oversee many complex processes. This oversight allows those working with the machinery to quickly pinpoint problems, troubleshoot issues, and monitor immense amounts of data with an easy to use graphic interface.

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