Product History

Summary of ID Systems Software products.

ID Systems has developed software for turnkey projects in the weighing and related data collection area for some 20 years, particularly to work on the Microsoft PC platforms. As operating systems and software development tools have developed, the products have been re-developed to run on these new systems.

Software Platform.

The software platform has always been based around the language Pascal. The software tools, the compilers and environments are those made by the Borland Company. These tools range over the DOS and various Windows platforms. Readily available third party libraries for screen and serial line development have been adopted, and used throughout the range of products.

Product Range

In general, these products have had a mix of capabilities. A main feature of all of the programmes is their ability to operate stand-alone, yet most of them have extensive data file output features to allow them to interface to host mainframe accounting and company wide data reporting systems. These can be on a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Unix, VMS, Prime, and many 4GL applications written under Oracle, Informix, SQL server as examples.

Many of the recent stand alone applications were developed between 1996 – 2003, and the “engines” still run in DOS. The reason for this is the relative robustness compared with Windows, most versions.

First Generation

The first generation FO product was a system for full operator attendance, for forestry based data entry and transmission applications. It has no partial or fully unattended capability. Its interfaces are to a weigh scale, and to a parallel printer for printing dockets and reports. Now, this product has been re-engineered slightly to operate under all Win32 platforms, replacing the serial interfaces with a Win32 based interface programme called IDScale to gather weights from the serial lines, and using Local Area networks as the file interchange medium.

Second Generation

The second generation DOS products, TS, WB, MS and FS, all had capabilities for automatic unattended, partially unattended (automatic with some operator intervention), or full operator attendance. They are all variations of a similar screen and operation structure, and vary in their data handling features.

The TS programme was designed for the dairy milk collection industry, for weighing and farm collection data input. The MS programme was designed specifically for handling the distribution and sale of bulk cement products, generally using a weighbridge. The FS programme was designed for the Forestry weighing and data entry industry, ( a later development of FO) and the WB programme was designed for a repetitious bulk relocation weighbridge, with a limited number of materials carried to a limited number of sites.

Third Generation

Of the third generation DOS products, the CHS (Cheese ) system is an automatic weighing and data collection programme for a specific process, and the programme, Inkjet, was used downline to control the printing of cheese cartons using an inkjet printer prior to stacking on a pallet. (These are examples of the few non-weighbridge applications developed.)

Included in these third generation products are the companion products to the Windows based programmes, IDServer, IDSlave, IDGate, and NCC. These are DOS programmes that run stand-alone on DOS PC’s, communicate via serial lines back to the host, and control much of the custom hardware. Normally, access to them is limited to the companion Windows product.

Fourth Generation

The fourth generation Windows 32 based products, are split into a number of categories.

The first category is called Aggregate, and is designed for full operator attendance. It presently has no partial or fully unattended capability. It is designed for the data collection and reporting functions for quarries.

The second category is the Forest series, including the Windows based IDForest plus the utilities IDUtils, IDLink and IDDial. They have as companion products, the DOS programmes, IDServer and IDSlave, and are designed mainly for complete unattended operation, with partial facilities for full operator attendance on IDForest.

The now defunct Windows (16 bit) Rayonier product was also included in this set, with the earlier RAY DOS weighbridge programme. This had the most complete functionality for operator intervened use.

The third category is the Access series , the Windows based IDAccess, GateLink and the companion DOS product IDGate. These are designed for access control only, and have no weighing functions. They do have partial operator intervention capabilities for gate or barrier control.

IDScale is a Windows based interface product to allow completely DOS products to get information from a scale attached to a serial line under Windows. It is generally used in conjunction with FO.

The (16 bit) Windows based Nelson City Council product was used in conjunction with the DOS product Blast to interface to the completely unattended DOS programme, NCC. This is used as an access , weighing and data collection system.

At the end of 1999, the Nelson City Council System was upgraded to a 32 bit programme, now under Delphi 5. The comms section, which used the DOS product Blast for the data transfer, has been upgraded to use the same comms protocol as the IDForest range of software. This means the Nelson DOS end, called NCC, has been upgraded to handle this protocol. To do the file transfers from the Windows office end, a new 32 bit dialler / file transfer programme, called IDLink, has been developed. This has a script based section which is user programmable to dial up the remote site, move files and perform maintenance functions. This replaces the IDDial programme, used in the IDForest set, and the Gatelink programme used in the Access products. Each has its own script to perform the file transfers required.

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