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WindowsTM Client Software for BACnetTM Systems

If you're a developer, building owner or facility manager with multi-vendor BACnetTM systems, chances are you can't get all the specialized application programs you need to make your facility work properly and inter-operate across vendors. If you've looked at the BACnet standard, you know that even simple communications functions can present some daunting problems, and you probably don't have the time to become that much of a BACnet expert. You need fast and reliable tools to help you get right into communicating with BACnet devices and focus on solving your application problems. You need BACdoorTM.

BACdoorTM is the industry's first easy-to-use BACnet Client Software for WindowsTM. BACdoor runs under Windows 98/Me/NT4/2000 and XP, and provides a robust set of basic client features tailored to the needs of application designers.

BACdoorTM is implemented as a full 32 bit DLL. The DLL works with both Ethernet 8802-3 and ARCNET local area network types using NDIS-compliant drivers, and supports BACnet/IP. You can even use MS/TP through any standard serial COM port with an external EIA232-485 converter, or PTP through any standard serial COM port.

The DLL supports the following functions:

  • Initialize
  • Deinitialize
  • GetPeerlist
  • GetPropid
  • ReadProperty
  • WriteProperty
  • GetResult
  • GetAlarm
  • AcknowledgeAlarm
  • GetAlarmSummary
  • AtomicReadFile
  • AtomicWriteFile
  • MaxFileBufferSize
  • BroadcastIAm
  • DeviceCommunicationControl
  • ReinitializeDevice
And a number of utility functions.

After initialization, the DLL maintains a separate Windows process which continuously processes requests from client application programs, and receives and handles responses from BACnet peer devices. Multiple application programs can use the DLL at the same time, without causing interference. The DLL uses an asynchronous method for initiating a request, and the caller must periodically poll for the completion of the request. This approach leaves the control of polling frequency in the hands of the application designer, and makes it simple to interface with the DLL from "C", Visual Basic and other popular Windows development languages.

BACdoorTM will automatically locate and identify peer BACnet devices for you, even on multiple network segments. You can also configure the peer list statically in a file for faster startup, when you need to communicate with MS/TP slaves, or when using BACnet/IP without BACnet Broadcast Management Devices.

The basic operations of Reading and Writing properties of BACnet objects support all BACnet standard objects and properties with primitive data types. Proprietary objects and properties which return primitive data type values are also supported.

The DLL asynchronously receives confirmed and unconfirmed Event Notifications and maintains its own "alarm and event list" which may be examined independently by application programs when they wish to. Individual notifications requiring acknowledgment may also be acknowledged by the application program.

The DLL also provides asynchronous file transfer support, which allows calling programs to request the uploading or downloading of files or portions of files from and to peer BACnet devices completely under the DLL's control.

Ancillary functions for DeviceCommunicationControl and ReinitializeDevice are also provided.

The DLL has a flexible policy for peer management allowing both dynamic peer discovery and static peer configuration.

Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)
If your application requirements include access to information in BACnet devices through Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), then you need BACdoorTM DDE Server.

BACdoorTM DDE Server provides an intermediary interface between the BACdoor Client DLL and a process acting as a server to application programs that need to communicate with BACnet devices using DDE. Both connection-oriented (DDE-Advise) and connectionless (DDE-Execute) methods are provided to accommodate a wide range of DDE implementation styles.

Through the connectionless DDE-Execute interface, applications can perform the following functions:

  • Write to a property of a BACnet object
  • Read a property of a BACnet object
  • Subscribe for continuous reading
  • Cancel a subscription

The "subscription" is between the DDE Client and the BACdoor DDE Server, and does not rely on BACnet COV Subscription. Reading and writing are restricted to properties that have primitive datatype values such as integer, real, boolean and so forth.

The connection-oriented DDE-Advise interface supports a topic that may be used for reading a BACnet object property continuously, or to "poke" a new value to that property.

Specifications
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 98, Me, NT4, 2000 or XP
Network Interface: any NDIS-compliant Ethernet NIC, SMC COM20020-based ARCNET,
standard serial COM port and EIA232-485 converter
LANs: Ethernet, ARCNET, MS/TP, PTP, BACnet/IP

Licensing
Single Site Binary Executable

Note: Specifications are subject to change without notice!

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