Software and Hardware Integration
If you need to process data from your specialist hardware – for example readings from a thermometer or measuring device, streaming video from a camera, or anything else – we’ll create software to enable this.
From the creation of a system for monitoring food wastage in restaurants, to an app that interfaces with lasers via USB to control the production of pharmaceutical tablets; we’ve worked with a wide range of industries to create hardware-integrated solutions that drive innovation, create cost efficiency and automate processes.
What is Software and Hardware Integration?
In its basic form, it requires four components:
1) Hardware – the physical entity that you want to extract data from. For example, a thermometer, camera, lasers, weighing scales, a measuring device or robot.
2) A Sensor – a device that converts the analogue signal from the hardware into digital data for processing by a computer.
3) A Connector (technical term “communication bus”) to transfer the information between the hardware and a computer. The most common connectors are USB cables, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connections.
4) Software – a program that tells the hardware what tasks to perform, e.g. what measurements to take.
How we can help you
Whether you need software that interfaces with a single hardware device or multiple devices, we can build it for you. We can create mobile, tablet, web or desktop-based applications that are connected to either a cloud based or local database.
But that’s only half the story; to be useful, your system needs a front-end that’s completely user-friendly. That’s why we’ll include elements such as:
- a custom user interface (UI) dashboard – whether that’s predetermined or customisable for each user – so it’s easy and quick for you and other users to visualise and understand the data retrieved from your hardware
- the ability to securely store large amounts of data or numerous tests indefinitely, enabling data manipulation at a later date
- quick and simple reporting that can be emailed or printed: generate as many reports as you need using a variety of filters
- automatic email alerts that are triggered when readings go outside of certain parameters
Examples of Software and Hardware Integration solutions by DCSL
We’ve worked with many different industry sectors and companies. Here are just a few examples of the software we’ve created:
- A web-based temperature recording and reporting system for Cocoms, a specialist in health and food compliance services. Information is transferred between third party hardware – the Saf-T-Log thermometer – and PC via USB, without any need for user intervention.
- A desktop application to monitor food wastage in restaurants. This systems runs on a Windows Tablet, which reads data from electronic weighing scales as well as a USB camera. All the data is then sent up into the cloud for a reporting system.
- A desktop application that manages the tools used in the production of pharmaceutical tablets. The multi-language application supports European, Arabic and Asian languages and interfaces with measuring tools and lasers via USB and RS232, conforming to applicable FDA regulations.
Software and Hardware Integration Process
We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner, so our technology of choice is the C# programming language along with ASP.Net MVC5 with HTML5 for web applications, WPF for desktop/tablet components and WCF Web Services to link systems together.
For the database, we utilise Microsoft SQL Server, including extensive use of the core Database Engine, Integration, Analysis and Reporting services. We can also work with MySQL systems (open source) or Oracle, if preferred.
We also offer the following optional services for your integrated system:
- Ongoing maintenance and support – including an agreed service level agreement (SLA) and access to our in-house developers via our helpdesk. Or, if you don’t require ongoing support, a 1 year break-fix warranty.
- Hosting: We’ve heavily invested in a secure, scalable and lightning fast infrastructure with industry leaders, Rackspace. It’s a handy service if you’d rather not get involved with installing specialist server hardware
For more information on all the things that we offer as part of our service, take a look at our Working With Us page.
If we can help connect your hardware with software, give our team a call on 01252 235422.