CimQuest INGEAR updates Visual Studio .NET class libraries

September 132010
CimQuest INGEAR updates Visual Studio .NET class libraries

September 13, 2010 - CimQuest INGEAR announced Visual Studio .NET class libraries for Allen-Bradley MicroLogix, SLC and PLC-5 families of programmable logic controllers (PLCs.) Users writing automation and control applications in Visual Basic.NET or Visual Studio C# can use INGEAR NET.ABLINK version 3.0 software to communicate easily with popular Allen-Bradley controllers, design custom communications and data acquisition applications, and deploy them on as many machines as they want, without paying additional license fees.

INGEAR NET.ABLINK software provides an alternative to OPC- based driver software for Visual Studio .NET developers. Unlike OPC, which is a middleware application, NET.ABLINK is an embedded class that provides a direct communication channel to Allen-Bradley controllers. The sensible API of NET.ABLINK 3.0 provides an easy to use interface, which results in very fast communications without the overhead and recurring cost of OPC servers. The users of NET.ABLINK have unprecedented flexibility to develop their own Windows programs, system services, class libraries and ASP .NET solutions without being boxed in by OPC constraints.

Among the advanced features of NET.ABLINK 3.0 is a new PeerMessage class. The Peer Message class for Unsolicited Messages waits idle in a passive state for the Allen-Bradley controller to send data via MSG instructions. When the PeerMessage class receives the communication, it fires a notification event with data to so the user application can immediately process it. The PeerMessage class can receive MSG instructions from MicroLogix, SLC, PLC-5, ControlLogix, CompactLogix and ControlLogix Gateway. ControlLogix and CompactLogix can send unsolicited messages using native tag names with structured and atomic data types, or data table address format. The PeerMessage class automatically distinguishes between the various message formats so implementation is consistent between all data types and all Allen-Bradley PLC 's.

Another advanced feature in NET.ABLINK 3.0 is the new DTEncoding class which facilitates receiving User Defined Types (UDT's), Pre-Defined Types (PDT's) as objects in unsolicited messages from ControlLogix and CompactLogix controllers.

Like all solutions in the INGEAR.NET software family, NET.ABLINK 3.0 is a runtime free class library that simplifies building, developing, and deploying connected systems for manufacturing applications using Visual Basic .NET or Visual Studio C# . It uses only three primary classes of .NET code: one manages the PLC, one manages the data that are read from or written to that PLC, and one manages groupings of methods, properties, and events to optimize read/write operations on a collection.

"The better the information plant personnel have regarding operations, the greater the ability to manage costs, output, quality, and ultimately - profitability. Some of the most valuable data lies within the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that automate assembly lines. Manufacturers typically deploy PLCs machine-by-machine; however, accessing that data can be a real challenge. This new set of class libraries provides anyone who knows Visual Basic.NET or Visual Studio C# everything they need to communicate with some of the world's most popular Allen-Bradley controllers," said Chuck Karwoski, president of CimQuest INGEAR.

About CimQuest INGEAR
Since 1993, CimQuest INGEAR has been the leading developer of runtime free communication tools and library components for Visual Basic and other programming languages.