Using The Shared Phidgets Connector And Plug-Ins

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The SharedPhidgets connector is responsible for sharing connected hardware devices (e.g., Phidgets) to the shared dictionary of the server instance. You can simply attach and detach all hardware devices to your computer, and the corresponding entries of the hardware in the model of the shared dictionary will be created and deleted dynamically.

Sharing your hardware devices

1) You have to install the SharedPhidgets toolkit on every computer where you want to run the SharedPhidgets connector (Installation Instructions).

2) Start the software: Start -> All Programs -> GroupLab -> SharedPhidgets -> Connector

3) Configuration: Because the software doesn't find the configuration file, the software opens the startup configuration dialog window. Here you can decide if you want to create a new configuration file, if you want to load an exisiting XML configuration file, or if you just want to open the main connector window.

4a) New configuration: In the IP address field insert the IP number and port of the running SharedPhidgets server instance. If you run the server instance on your local machine, this is tcp://localhost:sp. In the remaining field you can add additional meta information, like location, owner and keywords.

4b) Load exisiting configuration: If you have a valid configuration XML file, you can import these settings into the connector. Just click on the radiobutton of "1b", click the "Browse..." button and select the file.

If the file is a valid XML configuration file, you see a green confirmation message. If the file is invalid, a red error message will be displayed.

5) Connect: Now you are finished with the configuration and you can connect to the server. Just click the Save & Connect button to close the dialog and connect to the server.

6) Finished! The SharedPhidgets connector runs on your computer and shares all connected hardware devices to the shared dictionary. You can now start the Connector on other computers, or you start using the SharedPhidgets example applications and program your own software
7) Overview: In the next appearing window you see a summary of the current status of the SharedPhidgets connector. The colored panel on the right side indicated the connection status: green for successfully connected, red for disconnected. Also on the right side of the window is the summary of connected and disconnected Phidgets, notifications and actuator calls, server startup, webservices and other information.

8) Shared devices: To see all shared hardware devices and their status (attached/detached), just click on the Shared Components tab. Attached devices have a green indicator, detached devices a red one.

9) Further configuration: If want to configure your SharedPhidgets connector, just click on the Configuration tab. Here you can change the configuration, load and save the XML config file and change the connection IP address to the server.

Note: To exit the software you have to click on the Exit button on the Configuration tab, or select Exit in the context menu of the Connector icon in the Windows tray bar. If you just click the Close button (the "x" in the right corner of the window) the window will disappear, but the software is running in the background.