I started my career at a defense company in the San Francisco Bay Area on a project that involved a distributed system with several hundred nodes (sensors, controllers and servers). All these nodes were networked over different physical media including ethernet, fiber optics and serial. One of the challenges we faced was ensuring our control systems could operate within their allotted loop times. This meant data had to arrive on time regardless if a node required 10 messages per second or several thousand messages per second. We needed a more effective method of communication than point-to-point or centralized server.
To address our most extreme cases of receiving data every handful of microseconds, a colleague of mine developed a protocol that allowed any node on the network to publish blocks of data to a fiber optics network analogous to distributed shared memory. The corresponding nodes would only read messages that enabled them to compute their control algorithms and ignore all other data. This was around 2009, and little did I know at the time, this was my introduction to the concept of data-centric messaging. It so happens that the Object Management Group (OMG) had already been standardizing data-centric messaging as the Data Distribution Service (DDS), the latest version of which was approved in April 2015.
Fast forward a decade later, I have recently been hired as a product manager at Real-TIme Innovations (RTI), the leading DDS vendor. Like most avid technologists ramping up on a new product, I have been eager to get past the “setup” phase so I can start seeing Connext DDS in action. To help me get ramped up, my new colleagues shared these Getting Started video tutorials. With these videos, I was able to quickly build sample applications that communicated with each other over DDS. You can check out the Getting Started tutorials for yourself to see how to configure, compile and run HelloWorld examples in Java and C++.
Granted, there’s more work for me to do to get defense-grade computers talking over fiber, but here’s why I found these tutorials so helpful: they enabled me to quickly pass the beginner’s phase allowing me to hit the ground running right away, therefore shortening my learning curve. Check out the tutorials and see for yourself!
Before joining RTI engineering, I was a customer of RTI’s for quite some time. I started working with RTI products before Data Distribution Service (DDS) was a standard. I also happened to be one of the first users of DDS 4.0, when it was finally codified into the standard as we know it today.
I have a passion for developing tools that would help using the Connext DDS products easier — because the core product is so good. I love doing this, and this is what ultimately brought me to RTI. I’m now leading the engineering team responsible for Connext DDS Tools. I enjoy helping RTI customers adopt Connext DDS and use it in their projects.
One of my favorite tools is Admin Console. It is essential for troubleshooting, configuring and monitoring all Connext DDS infrastructure services as well as visualizing data directly from your system. Admin Console minimizes troubleshooting time and effort in all stages of application development by proactively analyzing system settings and log messages. Problems get highlighted, making them easy to find and fix.
One of my RTI colleagues, Dave Seltz, recently recorded a short tutorial video to help you learn the essentials of working with the Admin Console. It allows you to quickly master troubleshooting, configuring and monitoring all Connext DDS infrastructure services. Just like other Connext Tools, the Admin Console is included in the Pro version of Connext DDS. The examples used in the video don’t require any configuration or setup and will work out of the box, once you install the product. You can try them right away by following Dave’s tutorial; simply download the free 30-day trial for Connext DDS Pro and give it a shot!
London Connext Conference 2014 and 2015 events brought power DDS users together from a wide range of industries to share experiences, applications and expertise. For those of you who were unable to attend but curious about what you missed, head over to Community and view a list of the presenters and some of the presentations (2014 and 2015). For our third year, we wanted to switch things up a bit, and the first big change to the event is the location: we’ll be hosting our two-day event in Munich!
The second change (and the one I’m most excited to announce) relates to our agenda. In the past, we’ve created an agenda that showcases our users and their work through a curated selection of keynote presentations, demonstrations, and smaller group presentations. This year, in addition to these, we’re going to be offering 2 workshops! The first workshop focuses on using Connext Pro Tools and the other will dive into Connext DDS Secure. During these workshops, you’ll have time to get up and running with the products, ask questions and receive answers from RTI staff, and more.
This is just a sampling of what we’ll be offering. To register now, head on over to https://www.rti.com/munich-connext-con-2017. Also, if you’ll be attending and would like to be considered for a keynote spot at this year’s conference, please visit the conference page for submission details. We can’t wait to see you there!