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AzeoTech

Presales FAQ?

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We received this email directly and it covers most of the common questions that users of the big, expensive packages like Wonderware and Citect often ask:

Thank you for your inquiry. Here are the answers to your questions:

1) Support plans available and cost per install.

We do not offer support plans in general. Support is free as long as it doesn't get to the point of us developing your application. If you need to provide significant support in developing your application it is available on an hourly or flat rate basis. This rarely happens as DAQFactory is rather easy to use and most everyone can develop their applications with little or no support.

2) If not on support plan is it still possible to get limited online or phone support?

You can also get support from our forum, which has a lot of information as well. Email support is available. Phone as well, within reason.

3) Hardware and software key options and pricing.

With the exception of DAQFactory Developer which requires and includes the hardware key, all versions of DAQFactory can either be soft or hard licensed. By default they are soft licensed and the key delivered on purchase. The hardware key can be purchased as an option for $40 plus shipping. This allows you to easily move the development license around. I should point out that DF is very different from other apps in that the runtime and development are the same application. With a hardware key, you can go to a runtime installation, put in the key, switch to development mode, make changes, then pull the key and it will revert to runtime without every having to stop your application.

4) Is soft key option a floating license, or is it subject to limited hardware change, such as hard drive only or motherboard only? Please specify criteria.

DAQFactory is licensed like most any other software. For every license you purchase, you can run it on one machine at one time. The soft key typically locks to a computer, but really is not terribly strict. If you wanted to steal from us, you certainly could, but we trust our customers first. The key has a limited use, to avoid simple posting to the internet, but otherwise, if your harddrive crashes or you just need to move the license, you can reuse the original key. If you plan on moving back and forth between computers you should purchase the $40 hard key option.

Note that Developer gives you royalty free runtime licenses. You are still licensing each Runtime, but you don't have to pay us for it. There is no unlock mechanism. The license is stored in your document.

5) If hardware changes are too drastic what is the re-activation procedure and how long does it take? Is the re-activation possible if head office overseas is on public holiday?

Instant, as long as you haven't used the key too many times, in which case it will probably take 24 hours as we'd have to manually reset the key. Getting to the key limit would indicate that you had reactivated many times. Note that we monitor or email every day, even holidays and weekends as a holiday or weekend here in the states is not necessarily a holiday or weekend elsewhere. Plus many of our systems run 24x7 and don't stop at 5pm on friday.

6) Provide pricing breaks for runtime license up to 300 tags. Please specify how the tags are counted.

Runtimes are limited by the development version you purchase and all cost $99 (except Developer runtimes, which are free). Base is limited to 64 tags ($399). Pro ($899) and Developer ($2499) are unlimited (within the limits of DF itself, which is maybe 3000 tags. You could do more, but it would be challenging. DAQFactory is simply designed for smaller systems < 3000 tags)

7) What was the price of the last major upgrade, for a 150 tag runtime?

We do not currently charge for upgrades.

8) Provide price for development license.

See #6.

9) Is there a demo version for development and runtime? How is it limited?

Yes, and we strongly recommend trying it as DAQFactory is very different from what you are used to, both in how it works and how it is licensed. We have tried to make it simple but flexible. It is obvious from your questions that you are used to the big SCADA companies that charge an arm and a leg for everything. The demo is limited to 25 days and you don't have access to all the symbols in the symbol library (though you can browse through them). Otherwise it is fully functioning and most people at least start their app to prove that DAQFactory will work for them.

10) What native drivers are provided, if any? If it is an option, please provide pricing for major PLCs.

ModbusRTU/TCP/ASCII, AB DF1, Mitsubishi FX, A, Q are native. You can create your own protocol for PLC's and other devices with simpler protocols. DAQFactory is also an OPC client, so will talk with any OPC server. There is no additional charge for any of the drivers (though we do not offer OPC servers).

11) Do you recommend a specific OPC driver, and how much if you can supply it?

No, we recommend using our native drivers if possible. OPC just adds another software layer. PLCs and other devices are moving quickly towards universal Modbus support and we recommend selecting these devices over ones with proprietary protocols that would require an expensive OPC server. We do not supply OPC servers, but recommend the ones from Software Toolbox

12) Is remote access possible using web browser, and is it client platform independent? If web server is a separate module please quote pricing.

DAQFactory has moved to offer DAQConnect service, which gives client platform independent access to DAQFactory data. DAQConnect is a completely different product and is offered as a monthly service. Data is pushed from DAQFactory (or any other device or software really) to the DAQConnect servers where it is stored. Screens are created in a browser and then can be accessed from anywhere from any Javascript compliant browser (which includes the iPhone). Since DAQConnect hosts the data and the pages, there is a monthly fee. Please see www.daqconnect.com for more information. DAQConnect works with both DAQFactory and other SCADA packages and can even be incorporated into hardware devices. Because the remote access is to the DAQConnect servers and not to DAQFactory and the internal corporate network, there is no security risk to the SCADA system, nor are any firewall changes required.

I see from your website that you work with some of the other SCADA packages (Wonderware, Citect, etc). Please note that DAQConnect is not limited to DAQFactory and will work with these other packages as well to make them web enabled without the security issues of the SCADA software hosting a webserver themselves.

13) Are existing projects automatically converted to a webpage, or do they need to be recreated?

They would need to be recreated because DAQConnect is a different product than DAQFactory. Also, since it runs in a browser using native Javascript (not flash or Java, which don't work on all platforms and require a download), the visualization options are different to DAQFactory which runs only on a PC.

14) Ability to generate emails on an alarm.

No problem.

15) Make changes without having to recompile whole project.

Definitely. Not only that, but you can make changes without even having to stop the project. In fact, during development, one will typically start acquiring data, then creating screens while the data is coming in.

16) What sort of scripting features are available? vba, c or custom language?

Custom language, similar to C. Ability to access external DLL's if needed, but otherwise its rather powerful.

17) How are global variables handled between different pages? E.g. internal global variables or need to use OPC tags. If OPC, do these tags count towards total tag limits?

DAQFactory isn't as tied to OPC as other SCADA packages. OPC tags come in as channels, just like the native protocols. Global variables don't count towards anything and are accessible from all pages. Really you should try DAQFactory because these annoying limitations that other SCADA products have just don't exist in DAQFactory.

18) Please provide an example of graphics, eg trending, dials, gauges, push buttons and other general graphics.

I recommend simply downloading a trial and running some of the samples. For DAQConnect samples, go to www.daqconnect.com

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