Components and SOA for Industrial Web Apps – Part 3

By Mike Bradley, Sr.HyperUA, Industrial Web, OPC, Open Source, SOA, Web ServicesComments are off

In my third and last entry of this series of blog posts, I want to explore and reiterate Projexsys’ business vision for Ply™ and HyperUA™, and explain how we see ourselves in the Industrial software marketplace.

The rapidly changing landscape of Web technologies has for the last decade proved to be a real challenge for Industrial software OEMs and Systems Integrators, as well as large industrial automation firms. Most attempts at delivering robust Web integration have been less than impressive and aren’t flexible enough. Many of the attempts so far require compromises in client deployment (e.g. the use of Java applets, Flash or Silverlight).

Part of the problem has been that browsers and Web standards have needed to evolve into a true application platform, and that process is still very much ongoing. The other big factor is that the software engineering mindset in the industrial market has been decidedly “non-web” over the last 10 years, with the exception of some firms embracing WSDL-enabled services. This “non-web” approach has been generally true of the Microsoft-oriented engineering culture until quite recently.

A Web renaissance is now upon us in the broader markets, and every year for the foreseeable future will witness a continued explosion of new devices which communicate via HTTP. These devices provide Web browsers and JavaScript runtimes to their users — from small sensors to mobile phones and laptop-tablet combos. Software OEMs and Systems Integrators need building blocks and tools that will empower them to build and implement the industrial Web applications of today and tomorrow. These industrial implementers can’t afford to wait for automation suppliers who are entrenched in other technologies. Projexsys sees this as our raison d’être.

Our expertise is in the evolving Web. Our mission is to provide our partners and customers with the pieces they need to flexibly and securely implement Web-based solutions that complement existing technologies rather than seeking to replace them outright.

  • HyperUA provides two-way communication between the expanding world of RESTful Web devices/services and new and existing OPC applications.
  • Ply makes it possible to build branded toolkits, reusable components and templatable apps for mobile and desktop browsers. At the same time, Ply facilitates a services-oriented philosophy and smooths over the hardest parts of JavaScript control flow. The latter is a real “must” for software engineers whose projects will nearly always involve non-trivial levels of concurrency.

Ply’s security features build upon the forthcoming WebCrypto standard. The release versions of modern “evergreen” browsers — Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 11+ — already feature WebCrypto-inspired APIs, based on recent specification drafts. By 2015, it is anticipated that the specification will be finalized and browser vendors will standardize their implementations. This means that Projexsys’ Software OEM partners will be able to launch their own OPC UA applications and solutions simultaneously with the announcement of global Web standards within the next 10-12 months, thereby gaining a jump on competitors who get a later start.

HyperUA can be licensed by Software OEMs to be included alongside or embedded within their own applications. Or HyperUA can be licensed by Systems Integrators for specific projects. Licensing is based on the number of concurrent network connections.

Ply will at its core be “open source” software licensed under a business-friendly reciprocal license. Commercial non-reciprocal licenses will also be available. Ply support services will be available to commercial licensees. Software OEMs and System Integrators can develop their own proprietary (closed source) Ply modules and sell them with commercially licensed editions of Ply.

Because Projexsys is building its Ply + HyperUA system using a “pure Web” approach, the OEM will be able to target his applications for any platform that leverages those same Web standards: a desktop PC, laptop, smart-phone, smart-watch, smart-glasses, smart-car, etc. Our vision is that Ply-based apps should eventually be able to connect directly and securely to ANY web service, whether it is based on REST or SOAP/XML.

By year’s end, Projexsys will provide Software OEMs with advanced web components that:

  1. Easily deal with concurrency.
  2. Can be composed together like lego-blocks to build application templates.
  3. Securely communicate with any OPC system.

Projexsys is now actively seeking to build partnerships with OEMs and integrators who share our forward-looking, Web-oriented vision. Inquire today!