For the TTP a visualization tool has to be developed. This tool communicates over a device driver with an standard ethernet controller. This ethernet controller communicates with a monitoring node installed in the field bus system. So the tool runs on every PC, where the special device driver is installed. The whole status of the field bus is stored in a shared memory in the PC using the monitoring node and and the ethernet connection. This shared memory can be accessed by the visualization tool to get the desired data of the field bus.
Because of the existing driver for Windows NT, the visualization tool was developed with MS Visual C++ under Windows NT. This Windows NT Application consists mainly of two section. The first section consist of the data sources, which are represented in a hierarchical tree. So each data source has its place in this tree. There are several structures of tree elements. So you can choose whether the data sources (they are called messages) are grouped by frame (this is the smallest data unit transported by this field bus) or by slot and so on. There are five different grouping possibilities. The second section is the display section. Here the virtual instruments described above are created, configured and displayed.
The interaction of the system consists mainly of two main parts. The first consists of configuring the system. This is done by dragging data sources onto the view. Then the user can change the position and the properties of the so created instrument. The second consists of monitoring the hardware system. This is mainly done by switching between views.
In the phase of testing the software tool, we had the possibility of evaluating, whether the software meets the design requirements, we have found out before. The test phase showed us, that the implemented tool was easy to use, because the user is able to create a virtual view in a few second by draging and dropping all desired data sources. Then the system is working already correctly. Now you can configure all instruments at run-time and see the effect immediately.