- Top of Page
The present disclosure pertains to applications and particularly to approaches for providing simple views of the applications.
- Top of Page
The disclosure reveals a tool or approach to automate creation of a configuration wizard from, for example, an underlying control application. In one instance, a complex application may be represented with a simple configuration view such as that of a configuration wizard. When an application is being created, a user may be provided with a feature that defines the configuration wizard. Some aspects of the present approach are that a wizard user interface may be automatically generated, a standard approach may be provided to define the wizard, and, for changes which are done in the application, the wizard may easily be edited and regenerated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative example of a present tool used by an application creator;
FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d are diagrams that reveal various kinds of uses of the present tool as illustrative examples;
FIGS. 3-32 are diagrams of an illustrative example of a first scenario of a configuration wizard;
FIGS. 33-43 are diagrams of an illustrative example of a second scenario of a configuration wizard;
FIGS. 44-47 are diagrams of an illustrative example of an approach for saving a wizard in an application library for reuse according to a first option; and
FIGS. 48-57 are diagrams of an illustrative example of an approach for saving a wizard in an application library for reuse according to a second option.
A wizard may be a user interface element that presents a user with a sequence of dialog boxes that leads the user through a series of well-defined steps. Tasks that are complex, infrequently performed, or unfamiliar may be easier to perform using a wizard. In contrast, an expert system may guide a user through a series of questions to utilize an application. For instance, many web applications may make use of the wizard paradigm to perform lengthy interactive processes.
Contractors or others who create complex building control applications often need to present their field technicians with a simple configuration view for a complex application. The application may often be represented with a configuration wizard. Creating the wizard may take a considerably large amount of time and effort. Furthermore, whenever the application is changed, the wizard should be modified. Modifications may be prone to errors.
The wizard functionalities may be exemplified as a feature in the configuration tool that could avoid the development cost of a wizard and also mitigate failures of manual interventions.
When a control application is being created, a contractor or another may be provided with a feature that defines the configuration wizard. The wizard feature may have the following sub-features: 1) Select data points from the application that will appear in the wizard; 2) Map data points to widget/user interface fields in the wizard; and 3) Define validations and rules for the wizard. Given the above information, the wizard may be generated for a configuration.
The advantages of the present approach may be: 1) The user does not have to spend effort defining the wizard user interface as it is automatically generated; 2) A standard approach may be used to define the wizard and thus will be less error prone; and 3) If any changes are done in the application, the wizard may be edited and regenerated in a quick, multi-step process.
The wizard creator may be provided as a feature in a Spyder™ programming tool. The Spyder programming tool is merely an illustrative example with the wizard. The wizard creator feature may also be provided independent of the Spyder Programming tool.
When a user creates a Spyder application, the user may get an additional command to launch a wizard creator tool. Here, the user may select data points and map them to fields in the wizard. The user may also have options to define the wizard layout and steps in the wizard.
FIG. 1 is a flow diagram of the present tool used by an application creator. An application may be created using a Spyder programming tool as indicated in symbol 21. At symbol 22, a utility may be launched for creating a wizard. Parameters from the application may be discovered which can be exposed to the user in the wizard, at symbol 23. At symbol 24, a new template or an existing template may be chosen. Based on the application, the tool should be able to suggest a template from the list of available templates, or a new template may be chosen or developed. If an existing template is to be chosen, then it may be standard template by an established entity or it may be one of the custom templates which the user has created earlier and saved for re-use.
A new template approach may be taken at symbol 24. At symbol 25, one or more discovered parameters may be selected for exposure to the user in the wizard. Attributes for the selected parameters may be defined at symbol 26. Examples of attributes may be data type, limits, range incremental, and so on. Steps may then be created at symbol 27. There may be some standard blocks from which the user can create steps. At symbol 28, the parameters may be assigned to the steps. The parameters may be rearranged under each step at symbol 29. Rules may be defined at symbol 30. There may be a library of rules from which the user can select to provide rules. A resultant new template may be previewed at symbol 31, and saved at symbol 32.
Returning to symbol 24, the user may decide to choose an existing template instead of developing a new template. Based on the type of template selected, a list of steps may be generated at symbol 33. At symbol 34, the wizard may give a list of fields under each step. The discovered parameters of symbol 23 may be mapped to the steps and/or fields at symbol 35. At symbol 36, attributes may be defined for the parameters.
A decision to customize a template may be made at symbol 37. If the template is to be customized at symbol 37, then the steps may be modified at symbol 38, the parameters may be rearranged under each step at symbol 39, and the rules may be redefined at symbol 40. The resultant customized existing template may be previewed at symbol 31 and saved at symbol 32.
If a decision is made at symbol 37 not to customize the existing template, then the resultant non-customized existing template may be previewed at symbol 31 and saved at symbol 32. A saved template from symbol 32 may be output in various formats which could be used by different types of users.
FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d are diagrams that reveal various kinds of users of the present tool as illustrative examples. In FIG. 2a, a user may be an OEM engineer who launches a utility for using the tool at symbol 41. At symbol 42, the wizard may be opened for the application. If the user does not have access to Niagara™, the user may open wizard in another way. The settings may be customized according to the user\'s needs at symbol 43. The settings may be saved at symbol 44. At symbol 45, the application may be loaded to the controller.
In FIG. 2b, a Spyder application user may launch a Niagara work station at symbol 51. From a library, an application may be dropped to a worksheet at symbol 52. Incidentally, if the wizard is created using a Spyder tool, the wizard may get bundled with the application. At symbol 53, a wizard may automatically appear. The settings may be customized according to the user\'s needs at symbol 54. At symbol 55, the settings may be saved. The application may be loaded to a controller at symbol 56.
It may be noted here that WebVision™ is a building manager controller that may provide features like scheduling, alarming trending and default device graphics. Configuration wizards for Honeywell International Inc.\'s XL10™ family of controllers may be provided as a part of the WebVision device. Ease of installation and support for up to 120 devices may be other features of the WebVision building manager.
In FIG. 2c, a WebVision user may launch WebVision at symbol 61. The template may be imported in Webvision at symbol 62. A wizard may automatically appear at symbol 63. At symbol 64, the settings may be customized according to the user\'s needs. The settings may be saved at symbol 65.
It can be noted here that LNS may be regarded as the control networking industry\'s first multi-client network operating system for LONWORKS™ protocol based devices. Like many operating systems, the LNS network operating system may encapsulate common LONWORKS network operations, providing an essential directory, installation, management, monitoring and control services often needed by network applications. LNS may represent a LONWORKS network as a hierarchy of objects that corresponds to network devices, characteristics and operations. These objects may provide a set of methods, properties and events which implement the network/application interface.
In FIG. 2d, an LNS user may launch a utility for using the tool in LNS at symbol 71. The template may be imported at symbol 72. At symbol 73, wizard may automatically appear. The settings may be customized according to the needs, at symbol 74. At symbol 75, the settings may be saved. Various other kinds of users may launch a utility for using the tool in their respective application or technology.
A first scenario being a Spyder configuration wizard may be illustrated by diagrams of screen prints as shown in FIGS. 3-32. An application may be created using a Spyder programming tool, and then a wizard may be created for this application using a wizard creation tool.
FIG. 3 is a diagram of a screen print 81 of a Niagara workbench in display 82 showing an engineering mode. A function block layout is shown. A control program label 83 is shown as selected in a navigation tree 84. In a diagram of a screen print 86 in FIG. 4, on label 83, there may be a right click on control program 83. As a result of the right click 87, a menu 89 may drop down as shown in a screen print 91 of a diagram in FIG. 5. A label 92, entitled “Launch Wizard Creation Tool”, may have a click 93 made on it. This click 93 may result in a “General Settings” menu 94 for a configuration wizard in FIG. 6. A wizard name and a selection of a library may be a part of general settings 97 in menu 94 of a screen print diagram 95. Here, an option 1 is shown where the wizard is created using a new template.