Organisations are increasingly generating vast amounts of data, the meaning and value of which is not generally well assimilated. Hence a common requirement is for a web application that offers secure, meaningful access to this data in graphical and textual form. Adroit Technologies have a way of producing robust, easy-to-use web applications that can do this for you. Find out more...
Enterprise solutions like Adroit Smart SCADA are able to generate vast amounts of real-time as well as historical data that is often stored in SQL databases. In its raw form, as large numbers of rows and columns structured into tabular datasets, the true meaning and value of all this data is often impossible for the average user to assimilate. Hence a requirement that is common to most organisations: a web-application that can be hosted on the company Intranet/Internet server offering secure yet easy and meaningful user access to this data in graphical and/or text formats.
Most organisations have unique aspects to their underlying business model, which translate into varying requirements and priorities as to how all this data should be interpreted and visualised. This means that a one-size-fits-all reporting solution simply cannot be provided as part of some shrink-wrapped, off-the-shelf software offering.
So, over the years, Adroit Technologies have been commissioned by a variety of organisations to produce custom, web-based reporting solutions out of which a common approach to doing this has emerged.
This page provides an introductory overview of the approach taken and also shows some screenshots of the different report screens that have been produced. It ends off by quoting some end-user testimonials.
Model View Controller Architecture
The diagram alongside illustrates the very robust, and well-proven three-tier MVC architecture that is used.
User requests in the form of URLs sent from a web-browser are fielded by the Controller component of our MVC web application. Each distinct URL of the form …/Controller/Action is implemented as an Action method in the relevant Controller class. For example, URL …/AmHistoricalIncidents/Index is implemented by the Index method of the controller AmHistoricalIncidents (prefix Am refers to Alarm Management).
Generally, an incoming request requires some kind of SQL query to be carried out on the data in the Model. This latter has usually been scaffolded in Visual Studio IDE from the SQL database(s) containing raw data gathered by, for example, an Adroit SCADA system.
For most cases, SQL query times are not a performance turnaround issue, and we make use of a technology known as LINQ - Language Integrated Query. This is a .NET Framework component that adds native data querying capabilities to programming languages like C# which is the language we use to build these web applications.
Where SQL query times are an issue, for example when querying massively large datasets, the Controller executes native SQL queries on the underlying model data instead of the much more simple and flexible LINQ queries.
More often than not, data returned by the Model in response to LINQ or native SQL queries (dotted arrow in Model View Controller Architecture above) is transformed by the Controller into some kind of ViewModel before being passed to the View component of our MVC web application.
There is generally a one-to-one correspondence between MVC controller Actions and Views implemented in the View component, in that Action methods call View methods of the same name, passing the ViewModel constructed from the data returned by the Model. In our Alarm Management example above, the Index Controller method ends by calling the Index View method, passing it a list of most frequently occurring alarms.
Each View method is implemented as a page of HTML, specifically a file with .cshtml extension since we make use of ASP.NET Razor Syntax meaning that C# code can be embedded in the page. This is in order to be able to carry out any required processing logic on the ViewModel data that has been passed to the page, before returning native HTML back to the web-browser that initiated the original URL request.
As well as providing a systematic, logical way of factoring the web application into different functional areas, the fact that Views are totally separate from the rest of the application means that the look and feel of View pages can easily and flexibly be modified without in any way affecting the underlying compiled core base of the application. One very pertinent example of why this is such a good thing is that View pages can very easily be translated into non-English languages by end users without having any impact on the rest of the application which is shipped as compiled DLL or EXE file(s). Some of the screenshots shown later are from Views that have been translated into Serbian by Serbian end-users.
|Screenshot 1 - Most Frequent Alarms||
As a first example, this is the page that is rendered by the controller action referred to earlier, i.e.
AmHistoricalIncidents Index action which produces a horizontal bar-chart display of most frequently occurring alarms
sorted in descending order of occurrence frequency.
In the middle of the page, and purely for informational purposes we show the LINQ syntax used to achieve the query the page is based on.
At the bottom of the page, the results of the query are shown in tabular form.
|Screenshot 2 - Alarms By Hour||
Another Alarm Management example.
This is the page rendered by AmHistoricalIncidents AlarmsByHour action and shows which hours of day are responsible for producing the most alarms.
The current hour is shown as a vertical bar in a different colour.
Once again the LINQ syntax appears below the vertical column-chart.
|Screenshot 3 - Historical Incidents||
A final Alarm Management example is a tabular display of Historical Incidents (EEMUA191 parlance for acknowledged alarms) for a selected category and incident.
This time the LINQ syntax is shown above the query results.
The controller action to render this page is AmHistoricalIncidents Details/IncidentId.
|Screenshot 4 - Production Totals||
Here’s an example of a web page rendered inside a Web Browser control hosted inside the Adroit Smart UI Operator application.
In this case we are showing simulated cup production over the last 8-day shift cycle, with the colour of vertical bars corresponding to shift colour (this factory has four shifts designated Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow).
The controller in this case is ShiftTotals and the action is ProductionAllAshifts.
|Screenshot 5 - Individual Machine Performance||
Another example from the paper cup factory simulation, this time a tabular display showing performance over a selected
time for a given machine in terms of actual versus target production.
The controller is ShiftTotals and the action is ReelHistory in this case.
Screenshot 6 - Downtime Reasons
Another quite interesting graphic from our simulated cup factory, this time showing reasons for machine downtimes. There is also a Pareto curve enabling easy application of the 80-20 rule as to downtime causes.
The controller is ShiftTotals and the action is DowntimeReasons in this case.
Screenshot 7 - Predicted Completion Times and Targets
A final page from the cup factory simulation. This one shows predicted reel completion times and production targets in a tabular display with alternate lines in contrasting colours.
The controller is ShiftTotals and the action is ReelDynamics in this case.
Screenshot 8 - Mining Parameters (Serbian Language)
This is a page showing various parameters over a 24-hour period from a coal mine in Serbia. Note that the entire web-page including navigation bar, data legend, etc. are all in Serbian not English.
The controller in this case is DL_ (Data logging controller) and the action is EditDiagram1?... The question mark following the action name is a long parameter string.
Screenshot 9 - Navigation Framework (Serbian Language)
The page shown above is the Index action for the _DL controller and is a good example of how users can create their own report navigation framework. Each of the blue ActionLinks shown on the page above represents another parameterized URL report link into the application. In this way users are able to implement their own report navigation strategy in their own language, and with a layout that makes operational sense to them.
Screenshot 10 - Tooltip Example (Serbian Language)
Another graph from the Serbian coal mine. This example shows that tool-tips can be displayed on the web page when hovering over a data point in order to provide more detail.
Some End-user Testimonials
Ranko Radoja, Master of Mining Engineering and Director of Soko Mine, Serbia: "Every working day starts out with a cup of coffee and Soko Reports (The mine works 24h in three shifts, the most important part to me is what happened in the second and third shift)."
Vladimir Cvetkovic, Master of Mining Engineering and Soko Mine Manager: "I use Soko Reports application via my tablet, mobile phone and desktop PC, regularly during non-work hours, so I can see exactly what is happening in the pit. All the necessary reports have been created, I can literally see all the technical aspects and all the parameters that I need."
Dusan V. Pokrajac, Master of Electronics Engineering and principal electronics engineer: "The simple installation of the application, the stability and quick response time, the easy creation of reports, the monitoring of who accessed the application, the compatibility with all web browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Opera... etc., and accessibility from all platforms (Windows, Android, iOS). These features make the application great."
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