|pronounced: TEE-NEH |
|General||APIs||Services||Examples & Help||Workshops & Tutorials||Low Level Support|
|Bird's Eye View||C API||Alarm System||Getting Started||TINE Workshop 2007||Network Queue|
|Overview||EZ API/Buffered API||Archive System||TINE Server Wizard||Quick Tutorial (Windows)||Common Device Interface (CDI)|
|Features||Java API||Post Mortem/Event Archive System||Console Server (C)||Quick Tutorial (UNIX/Linux)||TINE CanOpen Manager (TICOM)|
|Configuration||.NET API (C#)||State Server||Console Client (C)||Workshop Tutorial (Buffered Server)|
|Data Types||LabView API||Name Server||GUI Server (C# and VB.NET)||Workshop Tutorial (Standard Server)|
|Transfer Modes||MatLab API||Remote Debugging Tools||Workshop Tutorial (Clients)|
|Access Flags||XCOMM Matlab API||Network Globals||Console Client (Java)||CDI Tutorial|
|Array Types||Python API||Time Synchronization||GUI Client (Java)||Servers for Dummies|
|Time Stamps||CDI Native API||Security||Console Server (Java)||TINE Users Meeting|
|Naming Conventions||RESTful TINE API||Command Line||Trouble Shooting||TINE Presentations|
|Data Flow Tips||Video System||TINE Studio Demos|
|Stock Properties||error codes||TINE Repeater|
|Meta Properties||TINE Combobulator||TINE/DOOCS Issues|
|TINE Scope Servers||Configuration Tips|
|TINE Motor Servers|
|TINE Watchdog Server|
You may want to have a quick look at a Bird's Eye View of TINE.
Download TINE here.
Questions or comments can be addressed to tine@.email@example.com@m..de
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature about TINE is its integration of client and server components of vastly different networking environments. To begin with, TINE is a multi-platform system, running on all Windows, Linux, and MAC platforms as well as VxWorks and many legacy platforms such as Solaris and any most other Unixes, along with MS-DOS, Win16 (Windows 3.X), Win32 (Windows 95,98, NT, 2K, XP), VAX and ALPHA VMS, and NIOS. TINE is also a multi-protocol system to the extent that UDP, TCP, IPX, and in-proc data transfer via PIPEs or shared memory are all supported as data exchange. Finally TINE is a multi-control system architecture system, allowing client-server, publisher-subscriber, and producer-consumer data exchange in any variation. We shall describer these in more detail below.
TINE runs on a number of platforms, and can be thought of as a 'software bus', meaning that one can intermingle host platforms at will. At the basic protocol level, the members of a client-server pair are agnostic as to the host platform of its partner. Although the general user type is carried in the protocol headers. Note that for small systems or subsystems it usually makes more sense to stick to one specific platform for front-end components and/or console components. Although there is nothing that precludes using a heterogeneous mixture, issues of maintenance (where a small number of persons are responsible for a large number of components) come into play.
Note also that by allowing a heterogeneous system, expensive front-end hardware can be used where warranted (for mission-critical devices) and inexpensive hardware used elsewhere. Furthermore a systematic, piecemeal upgrade of a control system is possible, since TINE will run fine on older systems such as VAX-VMS and MSDOS as well as the more modern systems such as Window, Linux, MAC or VxWorks.
TINE supports data exchange via both UDP and TCP in the IP domain as well was as the (now little used, if ever) IPX ethernet protocols. IPv4 and well as IPv6 are both supported.
TINE defaults to UDP datagrams for data transfer. In most cases this is fine. If client-server communications occurs over a 'lossy' network, or there are other flow control issues, you may want to resort to TCP streams, at least for commands which change settings or involve large payloads. This requires only an additional flag to be set in the communications API calls, or can be coerced at the server side. The default data transfer can also be configured by the environment variable TINE_TRANSPORT (e.g. TINE_TRANSPORT=TCP). There are actually two kinds of TCP. Simply specifying "TCP" signifies a payload transfer which can be 'parceled' and reassembled (as per UDP) if the payload is large and which dutifully respects all 'timeout' parameters. By specifying "STREAM", a TCP/IP transport is used which passes the entire payload on to the local network stack and only times out at the connection establishment level (only available on multi-threaded builds). A local pipe or memory-mapped file is used if the transport is from a client-server pair on the same host machine.
Tine supports three modes of data exchange, each of which could be used individually to define the control system architecture. More likely, you will want to use these modes in combination.
If the control system name server is up and running, TINE clients and servers participate in a plug-and-play scheme for address resolution.
A new server if properly configured can "plug" itself into the control system database maintained at the TINE name server, without requiring administrative intervention. At startup, the server name and all equipment module names are sent to the name server, along with the server's
address, port offset, and other descriptive information. The name server will check its database for name and address collisions. If the name server sees that a server is trying to reuse an existing name, the name server will attempt to contact the existing entry. If this entry does indeed respond, the name server does not update its database, but instead sends an "address in use" message to the server which is starting up. On the other hand, if the previous entry does not respond, the name server assumes that the front-end server (or equipment module) is being moved to another location and allows the address change to be made.
When a TINE client first attempts to contact an equipment module, it sends the equipment module export name to the name server for address resolution. If the name server can identify the equipment module, it returns the address information. If not, the client then resorts to its local database. If an address is still not found, the error message "non existent element" is returned. If a match is made however, the address information is cached locally at the client.
Subsequent attempts to contract the same equipment module obtain the address from the local cache.
If a link to a server goes down, the client will generate timeout notifications. After several consecutive failures, the client will again attempt to acquire the address information. In this way, a server process can actually be moved from one machine to another, without requiring a restart of the client.
A TINE server will look for the environment variable FEC_HOME to establish the local database directory. (This supercedes the legacy variable FECDB). All server-specific .CSV database files should be located in this directory. If this environment variable is not set, then the server will look in its startup directory. TINE Clients look for relevant .CSV files according to the environment variable TINE_HOME. We note here that TINE servers take on the behavior of clients at startup when they register their services with the equipment name server (ENS). Thus both settings are relevant to TINE servers.
Furthermore if a server is keeping local histories according to specifications in the 'history.csv' configuration file (or via the AppendLocalHistory() API call), then the environment variable TINE_HISTORY_HOME is used to determine the repository for the long term history data. If this variable is missing, and its legacy equivalent (HISTORY_HOME or HISTORYDB) is missing then the location specified by FEC_HOME will be used. These environment settings should include the database path up to the final slash "/" (UNIX) or backslash "\\" (DOS, WINDOWS). Thus you might have
set FEC_HOME = ~/database/
in the UNIX world, or
set FEC_HOME = C:\DATABASE\
in the DOS, WINDOWS world.
The identity of a particular device is needless to say an important bit of information regarding data exchange between a client and server. A client application will typically make a request to a device via its full device name and not further concern itself with the location of the equipment module. However the devName argument entered in an API call (see ExecLink() and AttachLink()) needs to be resolved into a specific device being serviced by a specific equipment module running on a specific front end server.
As a case in point, a client might want the beam position, i.e. property "POSITION" from device "WL167" (to use the HERA naming convention). So devName might be specified as "BPM/WL167" to denote the targeted device on the "BPM" device server. In this case, the default context is assumed. The devName might also be specified in full as: "/HERA/BPM/WL167". In either case, the system kernel must be able to find the "BPM" device server, and determine that it is located on a local equipment module called "BPMEQM", which runs on a front-end computer called "BPMFEC". The system kernel finds the latter quantities by either consulting a name server or a local database. Thus, the BPM device server must be properly registered for this to work. That is, the information entered in the name server or database must match the information contained locally at the front-end server. If a request for the local equipment module "BPMEQM" comes to the "BPMFEC" front end and there is no such equipment module, then the error code "non existent element" will be returned.
To reiterate, the TINE name-space consists of four levels, consisting of context, device server, device name, and property. Both the context and device name are optional to the extent that the equipment name server will be able to resolve the address for the device server (if no context is given) if any entry matches the device server name specified. The device name (or absence thereof) is passed along the server and dealt with there.
When a server starts it will inform the equipment name server of its identity and its address, as if to say "If anyone asks for a device server named BPM under context HERA, tell him to ask for equipment module BPMEQM at my network address."
Thus, in establishing a front-end server in the control system, some thought must be given for the following quantities:
The above discussion is illustrated in the figure below:
Finally, note that some naming schemes will want to consider device 'groups' rather than device servers. If a particular server is replicated N times in a given facility, so that there are N phyiscal servers (each with its own unique FEC name and exported device server name) it might be nonetheless desireable to take a purely device view of this set of servers. In other words, server #1 might have the first 5 devices of a group, server #2, the next 5 devices, and so on. The TINE naming hierachy will let you define a device 'group' which acts as a logical server for this collection of individual servers. This uses the TINE redirection features and requires a running Group Equipment Name Servers (GENS), which can either be configured by an administrator or which allows plug-and-play requests from the booting servers. In the plug-and-play scenario, an initializing server will signal it's intentions to 'join' a device group.
So a client might make calls to power supply controllers on what looks like a device server called "MAGNETS" and really be redirected to various phyisical servers ("MAGNETS.1", "MAGNETS.2", ... for instance) which really handle the devices requested.