Recently, InduSoft released an Educational version of InduSoft Web Studio v7.1. InduSoft Engineer Paulo Guerra, who was instrumental in creating this special version of InduSoft Web Studio, recently gave us a great insight into why he feels so strongly about the importance of allowing educational institutions and researchers to experiment with InduSoft Web Studio.
Why was it important to you to have an Educational version of the software?
I truly believe that knowledge exchange is a key to evolution, so I wanted to present our software to potential new users. It was important to give them the possibility to have a hands-on experience and learn InduSoft Web Studio. With that, we can collect feedback from new users who have a fresh perspective on our software. We wanted to hear from people who may have never used a SCADA/HMI development platform like this before, and people who are learning SCADA/HMI application development for the first time. This allows us to tailor our software to better serve a wide range of users.
What steps did you take to make creating the educational version a reality?
Working with a company where experimentation and development is encouraged helped me realize that providing this possibility to new users was really important. From the beginning, we set our goals really high. We wanted the experience for the participants of the program to be the best possible, and to achieve that, we figured out that some steps were necessary:
– We had to provide complete training to the Academy Institutions using our software so that the teachers would be ready to teach InduSoft web Studio to students.
– We had to provide a version of the software where they could really work with, without restrictions. Delivering a complete SCADA package all in one is one of our key principals, so we didn’t want to enforce limitations on the capabilities of the educational version of InduSoft Web Studio.
After donating several thousand licenses and receiving the feedback from universities, students, and researchers, we felt that this market should have their special version of InduSoft Web Studio. This dedicated version makes licensing easier for both our team and users, and it allows educational partners to get right to work, without jumping through hoops.
Why do you think educational licenses are important in automation and application development?
Everyone knows how much taking an idea from theory to practical applications can sometimes can be a challenge. That’s definitely the case in software development, so we wanted to give the users (students) the ability to build their application for the real world, instead of just building applications for hypothetical scenarios. With the Educational Version students will be able to build their application without worrying about time limits on development. It will give them the freedom to really experiment and innovate without restrictions.
Why do you think other SCADA development platforms don’t offer educational programs?
The company needs to be willing to invest time and resources. Releasing a new version is time consuming, and that’s just as true for the educational version. We had to complete all the necessary testing to make sure that we’re delivering the best product out there. Also, the educational program does not offer an immediate payback. We had to really believe in the value of knowledge exchange to create this program.
What kind of InduSoft user can most benefit from the educational version?
Students, researchers, and professors who want to learn and experiment with the capabilities of what SCADA and HMI software can do. InduSoft has always provided a wealth of free information through our website, from demo applications to our entire new online SCADA training class. This version adds a whole new dimension in offering students the possibility of use our software during the learning process.
When you designed the program, what uses did you envision for the educational version of the software?
We wanted it to be available to any student developing projects for theses or end of course assignments, researchers working in any field, and educational institutions that wanted to build an application to control/monitor real world variables and use that as a real case to show students what this technology is all about.
What excites you most about the results of the educational programs that use InduSoft?
It’s really gratifying when we receive a feedback from student, teachers, and researchers, saying how much they are learning. We had a special case in Brazil; a university where all the engineers graduating used InduSoft Web Studio as part of their graduation projects. Looking at the different kind of applications they developed showed to us that our main goal when developing InduSoft Web Studio was being realized. We were providing an easy to use, intuitive, powerful HMI/SCADA package that could be used in a wide range of industries.
Other great examples of the InduSoft Educational Program in action include:
To apply for your own educational partnership with InduSoft, please submit the following form to firstname.lastname@example.org!