How To Start With The Development Of A New Appliance

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  • Introduction
  • Using the Shared Phidgets Appliance template
  • The SharedPhidgets toolbox


With the SharedPhidgets toolkit you can easily build new applications with distributed physical user interface hardware. The toolkit library provides components for the Microsoft .NET programming languages, like C# and VisualBasic. We recommend to use C#; also all the tutorials and examples are written in C#.

If you already have experience with the development of appliances using the former Phidgets.NET toolkit, then you can use the SharedPhidgets toolkit with only a few changes. There have been a lot of extensions and additional tools, but the fundamental API of most of the components remains similar (e.g., servo, interfacekit, rfid reader). You can also read the Tutorial how to tranfer existing Phidgets.NET software to the new Shared Phidgets toolkit.

Using the Shared Phidgets Appliance template

First, start the Visual Studio IDE:

Once the Visual Studio IDE has been loaded, open the dialog window to create a new development project. This can be done by either selecting the "File" menu, "New", and "Project..." (1), or by clicking the "Project..." entry of the welcome screen (2)

In the new project dialog window, select the "Shared Phidgets Appliance" template (under "My Templates"), change the project name, and select "OK".

A new Shared Phidgets appliance development project will be created based on the template. An introduction screen of the template will appear once the project is successfully created. To start with the development, you can click on the "ApplianceForm.cs" file to open the Visual Studio form designer.

This will show the appliance main form. On the top of the appliance form you can find the common application controls (1) and (2) for all appliances. Pressing the connection button (1) will open the connection dialog, and the details button will open the appliance observer window (2).

To start with the development, you can now click on the Visual Studio toolbox to access the programming building blocks of the toolkit (3).

The SharedPhidgets toolbox

The setup software automatically adds a new toolbox with components in your VisualStudio.NET development environment. There you can find all available building blocks to develop your applications.

To add a new hardware device proxy object to your appliance, simply select the object from the toolbox list (e.g., Accelerometer) and click onto the form.

You can now proceed by adding all required objects, interface skins, etc. to your application. More information about the appliance development can be found in the tutorials.