Friday, December 14, 2007

New version of FactoryPMI released

FactoryPMI 3.1.1 now supports Java 5 and 6 and includes its own SSL support - I still promote the use of VPNs! As Carl points out, it's ironic that the current release of Java 6 has a known SSL bug - doww! The "standalone mode" option should help (non-clustering) users by detecting network settings in various environments.

I got a chance to play with the free FactoryPMI ActiveX plugin. It's pretty sweet! Lemme preface this with, "I hate ActiveX, Microsoft's failed attempt at Java applets that they've since dropped in favor of .NET". The cool thing is that ActiveX controls have access to Windows APIs and let you do cool things like embed IE, Adobe Acrobat, and MS Office instances in other apps - namely FactoryPMI! All the HMIs have been doing the ActiveX thing for years. IMO, embed an ActiveX control in IE that controls a physical device = bad. Use an embedded ActiveX control to read a pdf or Excel spreadsheet...fine. I'm going to cry if I see too many FactoryPMI users embed Software Toolbox-esque ActiveX controls in their applications. We can do better with native Javabeans!

Dec 12, 2007 - FactoryPMI 3.1.1 released. See full changelog here:
Release Notes Java 6 + SSL The main features of this release are SSL support and Java 6 support. Ironically, Java 6 (as of "Update 3") has a bug in its support for SSL. You can prevent Java 6 from being used for Clients and Designers by setting the Gateway System Settings property Allowed JREs to "1.5+". Sun tells us that this will be fixed in Java 6 update 4, to be released later in December.

ActiveX Plugin - This release also makes available a new free plugin, the ActiveX Plugin. This plugin adds new components to embed common Windows controls into FactoryPMI windows, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Internet Explorer, etc. You can find this plugin here.

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