Numina Group Releases RDS Web2™ Web-based Dashboard Interface for RDS™ Warehouse Control and Execution System

Jennifer Maloney
April 5, 2016

Numina Group announces the release of its latest web based user interface for RDS™

Numina Group announces the release of its latest web based user interface for RDS™, a top tier WES-WCS warehouse automation software platform. The web2 dashboard user interface is what software developers call a “rich web experience,” allowing web-based applications to have the responsiveness of desktop applications, with the added capability of being able to operate on virtually any device!  Web2 screens contain live data, and reconfigure individual parts of the page just like the best desktop applications.

Numina Group’s software development team researched, prototyped, benchmarked, and ultimately selected the fastest web development toolsets to implement the new generation of RDS dashboard and user interfaces. 

“We wanted screens that are fast, responsive, and operate on the highest percentage of Phones, PC’s, and PDA’s, so we selected tools from Google,” stated Mark Woodworth, VP of  Software Research and Development for the Numina Group. 

Prior to the release of the Web2 dashboard RDS™ used a Java based user interface. The current RDS Java based web screens co-exist with Web2 so current customers can continue to use their existing PC web screen interfaces and  can add enhanced web2 functionality to existing RDS applications.

RDS Goes Open Source for latest Web based Dashboard Technologies

The software chosen is based on open source tools. This allows for inclusion of hundreds of readily available viewing tool widgets such as bar charts, gauges and other tools to enhance and simplify the operator and management visibility experience. The main tools are from Google so the software is assured to run on virtually any user’s device from smart phones to a 75” flat screen operational dashboard display.  

Browsers that support web2 found on today’s phones, tablets, and laptops, include Apple, Android, Microsoft phones, virtually every tablet, including Amazon Fire, Apple iPad, and Microsoft based tablets and laptops. 

RDS web2 software will connect to these devices without downloading apps or plugins; “It’s as easy as accessing Google News or Maps! Web2’s responsive visibility, integrated to our RDS™ Dashboard allows users to access data from almost any smart device. We have designed and built the framework to quickly and easily tailor screens to match customer specific application requirements,” Woodworth said.

Techie Software Stuff!

The RDS Server uses Node.js, (JavaScript) the high-performance Google V8 JavaScript engine.  Inside the user interface browser is Node.js and Sails.js which are used in the web user interface application framework.  

Sails.js provides connections to many types of databases, authentication and authorization, and data routing using a variety of powerful technologies including Web Sockets.

Numina also extended the Node.js environment to allow direct and immediate access to the underlying RDS real-time control environment, essentially a web browser interface with proper authentication that can access the real-time control engine to read and write variables, force I/O and set control parameters for DC-wide monitoring and tracking operation productivity, order status, barcode scan rate statistics, print and apply labeling systems, and conveyor and sorting applications.

The use of Google’s Angular.js application framework future proofs the software.  Angular’s directive-based markup and two-way data binding is the tool of choice for rich web applications. This software is augmented with Twitter’s Bootstrap library so RDS has a uniform and straight forward means for operators to access screens regardless of size and or the orientation of the user’s screen.   

Angular.js includes support for many other libraries that seamlessly enhance the front-end browser software developer’s productivity, including CreateJS for HTML5 canvas screen graphics and Data Driven Documents (D3.js) for diagrams, charts, and graphs.

“Using Open Source tools provides a rapid development environment for our software development team to more quickly test and develop RDS™ Dashboard with responsive and easy to use visibility. 

Users can now access data from almost any smart device and the framework allows us to more quickly and easily tailor screens to customer specific application requirements,” added Woodworth.

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