HMI Pad Q&A

 

What can I do with HMI Pad ?

The HMI Pad is a System to develop and deploy advanced native HMIs on the Apple’s iPad platform with no need for intermediate servers or boxes. The system components are the HMI Draw app, the HMI View app and the HMI Pad Service. With the HMI Draw app you create panels and place HMI objects in them.

 

What objects am I able to use on my HMI interface?

Available objects include text/number inputs, images, an extensive range of graphical indicators and controls, even a web browser, gesture recognizers and more. You can link Objects together and with PLCs variables using expressions. The iPad sensors such as accelerometer, gravity, geo-localization and more are available as well for you to use in your projects.

 

What you mean by ‘Native HMI’ development ?

This essentially means that the HMI Pad is not web based or depending on a tag or page server in any way. You create HMI screens right on your iPad and they run natively on it. Think on a spreadsheet program, the concept behind the HMI Draw app is very similar. This is not like a web browser displaying elements delivered by a server. The HMI Pad apps just run your HMI projects as a spreadsheet program would play your spreadsheet documents.

 

Which PLCs are supported ?

Unless you are using a very little known brand or a rare or old controller, chances are that we already support your PLC.

 

Can I send my HMIs developments directly to my customers ?

Yes, you use the HMI Draw app to develop your HMI projects on your iPad, then you store your projects to the HMI Pad Service and purchase an Activation Code. Your customers (or users) download the HMI View app and use Activation Codes you provided to them to install your HMIs on their own iPads. After that, internet connection is not required anymore.

 

Why is the HMI Pad System so different ?

The HMI Pad system is the only set of fully Native apps available today for building HMIs on the iPad platform. It is not a web based platform. Virtually everything else is web based or implements some kind of remote desktop technology. If you are not sure about what Native means for you start with this: The HMI Pad is fast, responsible and fun to use; You do not need a server or intermediate Box or PC; You can use the iPad Sensors; Your HMI Interface is fully integrated with the iPad look and feel; Your end users will open the app and it will just work, and fast. If you recall having used the former LinkedIn -web based- app, and compare with the new -native- one, then you already grasped the difference.

 

Where is the HMI Pad Service physically located ?

We currently use Apple CloudKit infrastructure to deploy the HMI Pad Service in the cloud. CloudKit provides authentication, a private and a public database, and structured asset storage services that software developers can use to deploy their services in the Cloud. At the time of writing there were as much as 4,000,000 active users using CloudKit for their storage needs. It is the best and most reliable available cloud platform for iOS developers. 

 

Can I run or test my HMI Projects on the HMI Draw app?

Yes, controls and indicators on the HMI Draw app remain always active, also in edit mode. Everything is dynamic, you instantly see the effects of your changes on your project. There is no need to wait for a separate ‘run’ mode to launch. Your HMI interface keeps updating at all times. You can even add/modify/remove tags dynamically with no need to restart anything, as said all your changes are just immediately displayed on the interface.

 

Why do we need two apps ?

The HMI View app is the run-only version of the system. You create and edit your HMI projects on the HMI Draw app and deploy  to end user’s iPads running the HMI View app. The HMI View app does not have editing capabilities and projects are stored in an encrypted format. This helps to preserve your Know How and prevent your projects from being spoiled, modified, run without your control, or transferred to undesired devices. Essentially, you keep full control on your projects.

 

How do I transfer my projects to the HMI View app ?

You register into the HMI Pad Service in the cloud and upload your projects using your user account. When you are ready you buy an Activation Code and send it to your customer or end user. Activation Codes can be redeemed by end users on the HMI View app. Upon redemption your project is downloaded and automatically installed on your customers iPad.

 

Can I transfer my project to HMI View in some other way?

The only way to move a project to the HMI View app is through purchases of Activation Codes on HMI Draw and subsequent redemptions on the HMI View app.

 

Can I update a project after it has been activated?

Yes, there is no restriction on this. You just upload your project again and ask your end user to tap Update on their HMI View app. As simple as this, and you can do as many times as you want. We decided to keep this a manual procedure as opposed to automatic updates to give more control for you to decide when is the right time to update projects for your end users without affecting already running projects.

 

Do I need to pay for a project after it has been activated ?

No. Once you get an Activation Code for a project you will never have to pay again for the same project. You can update or reuse the same project over and over and the existing Activation Code will continue working.

 

Does the HMI View app require a permanent internet connection?

No. An internet connection is only required on the HMI View app to redeem Activation Codes or to update projects. Once a project is installed on the HMI View app it will continue running with no restrictions.

 

What if my end user breaks or replaces her iPad ?

No problem. Just ask your end user to login on the HMI View app on her new iPad and to delete any Redemptions belonging to the replaced iPad that will no longer be used. Then allow her to redeem on her new iPad the Activation Code that remains associated to your project. Your project will be downloaded and installed on her new iPad.

 

I did loose an Activation Code. Can I recover it ?

The HMI Draw app will list at all times the Activation Codes that you generated (and paid for), so technically you can not loose them. If an end user replaced her iPad and lost the Activation code you sent to her, you can just email the code again.

 

More about the HMI Pad System

 

 

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