Cascade Middleware Connects Linux and Windows in Real Time

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Modular technology allows Linux and Windows applications to share real-time data across a network or the Internet.

Linux and Windows each bring unique advantages to business and industrial computing

Cogent Real-Time Systems, providers of real-time data connectivity software, announced the release of new versions of their Cascade DataHub and Cascade Connect middleware products. Linux programs can now exchange data in real time with a wide range of Windows programs, across a network or the Internet.

"Linux and Windows each bring unique advantages to business and industrial computing," said Mr. Andrew Thomas, president of Cogent. "We see the benefits of uniting the low cost, reliable, open environment of Linux with the familiar programs and interface of Windows. With Cascade Middleware you can run Linux in the back office or shop floor, but access your data in an Excel spreadsheet, in real time."

Cascade Middleware uses standard data exchange protocols: DDE, OPC, and TCP. DDE is the protocol used by Microsoft Excel and other Windows applications; OPC is the protocol for many industrial processes in Windows. TCP is the protocol for the Internet and most networks. Cascade Middleware connects Linux and Windows using the TCP protocol, giving Linux programs direct access to any Windows program that uses DDE or OPC.

"One obstacle to Linux in industrial applications has been its inability to access OPC," said Mr. Thomas. "This technology gives Linux a single interface for the full range of OPC products and drivers in Windows."

Cascade Middleware was originally developed for process control engineers using QNX, a real-time operating system, and then made available in Linux. This release of a Windows version brings real-time data to a wider range of users, including stock market traders, researchers, and project managers who use Windows. At the same time, it gives process control engineers a bridge for data across QNX, Linux and Windows applications.

Founded in 1995, Cogent Real-Time Systems provides data connectivity software for professionals with a need to share real-time data among applications and users. Cogent's customers include the Bank of Canada, Cadbury Chocolate and the European Space Agency. The company has an engineering background, with a history of developing real-time applications for the industrial process control market.

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