Extending a Proprietary Controller


Our client builds remote monitoring computers for reasonably hostile environments. They're an industrial division of a Fortune 500 company.

They needed their product extended to interface with new types of equipment. And a very quick turn-around.

Many Challenges, Little Time

There were many potential learning curves.

They use the GNU tool chain (MinGW/MSYS) to cross-compile to their PowerPC target.

They have a mature event-driven communications/management framework layered on a POSIX platform. We need to build on it.

Each new piece of equipment has its own interface specification as well.

One more wrinkle: This new equipment wasn't available for our use. We had to do almost all the development work without it, and integrate it at the very end. In fact, though we could build our code, we couldn't watch it run--even the first time--until this late stage. Simulation was prohibitive.

Solution: A Quick Turn-Around

Our experience with the GNU tool chain, PowerPC architecture and POSIX platform started us high on the learning curve.

With our extensive experience in turning a new spec into working software, knocking out several new specs at once just made it a more interesting challenge.

We delivered a robust set of applications within our short time-frame, despite the obstacles.

We wrote the software in C++ for this embedded POSIX platform. It used serial communications within an event-driven framework, and had file transfer capabilities.