Introducing Cimetrix HostConnect

Cimetrix is proud to release its first new product to assist in GEM host application development, and I’m excited about how this is going to change the development of new host applications. Prior to the release, I was given access to HostConnect, a native .NET software development kit, and used it to create a couple of applications that connect to GEM equipment.
Introducing Cimetrix HostConnect
Developing Host-Side Applications that Connect to GEM Equipment
Cimetrix HostConnect
Cimetrix HostConnectTM is a software toolkit for rapidly developing host-side applications that connect to GEM equipment. It features a layered architecture to support a wide variety of host-side applications including equipment data collection, monitoring, process control, and optimization in a production manufacturing environment. HostConnect can be used for testing equipment-side applications for compliance to the GEM standards.

HostConnect contains four interface layers for interacting with the equipment as shown in the diagram below. The highest layers eliminate the need to understand the specifics of SECS message formats and protocols by managing the detailed aspects of messages, timeouts, and transactions for the developer. The low-level SECS message interfaces are still available for developers that want a more detailed level of control.

Cimetrix HostConnect Architecture

Our software toolkit includes an equipment configuration editor which has the ability to automatically discover event, variable and data item format information from the equipment. This simplifies the manual process of configuring the host to define reports, gather data and monitor the equipment. 
HostConnect can be used by equipment OEMs to build sophisticated and robust factory-side testing tools for their GEM interfaces. It combines the familiarity and power of .NET with the flexibility of the various abstraction layers to allow custom test scenarios to be easily created and maintained. No special scripting language is required.

The Cimetrix HostConnect tool kit offers:
  • Multi-layer architecture
  • Standards-based modules that encapsulate GEM quipment capabilities
  • High-level configuration utility
  • Dynamic configurable data types and communications settings
  • Native .NET programming language design
  • Management of message timeouts and transactions
  • Built-in library of SECS-II message classes
  • Ability to support custom message formats
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