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WhizniumSBE

The Whiznium Service Builder's Edition, finally as Open Source Software project.

WhizniumSBE is a tool for the model-based development of modern, multi-threaded, connected C++ application software, with focus on single board computers.

How it works

Besides being model-based, software development with WhizniumSBE rests on the foundation of these three principles:

  • Full coverage: one single method of model entry is used for all application aspects, ranging from database access to thread-safe inter-object communication to preferences file and web-based user interface with detailed access rights management
  • All code in plain sight: no functionality is hidden away in libraries
  • Mixing of auto-generated code with manual additions: auto-generated code provides the backbone of the (single) project source code tree; it is meant to be extended manually, with manual code carried over to the next version when the model changes

Setup instructions, reference and cheat sheet

To prepare your system for use with Whiznium and to learn how to make your first steps, please visit this separate Git repository.

Also included is a full WhizniumSBE model file reference.

To streamline the everyday WhizniumSBE-enhanced development workflow, the WhizniumSBE .pdf cheat sheet, packed with useful information, might come in handy. A paper copy (size A2) can be ordered free of charge here.

The Whiznium Developer Experience YouTube format

WhizniumSBE-related episodes so far include:

  • S1E1: Why Whiznium? Let a laser scanner do the talking.
  • S1E2: Whiznium modeling: Any aspect that's fit to code.
  • S1E3: Hunting down bugs in Whiznium application code.
  • S1E4: Boosting your development workflow: the Whiznium tooling.

Source code

Directory structure

Sub-folder Content
_ini database/tool initialization files
_mdl model files, text-based and diff-able between versions
_rls Makefiles and build/deploy scripts
apiwznm auto-generated C++ API library (not in use for now)
dbswznm auto-generated C++ database access library
japiwznm auto-generated Java API library (used for WhizniumSBE Bootstrap and WhizniumSBE Iterator)
webappwznm mixed auto-generated/manual HTML5/JS web-based user interface
wznmcmbd mixed auto-generated/manual C++ sources for all WhizniumSBE functionality
wznmd auto-generated C++ code specific for WhizniumSBE engine
wznmopd1 auto-generated C++ code specific for WhizniumSBE operation engine 1 / non-template functionality
wznmopd2 auto-generated C++ code specific for WhizniumSBE operation engine 2 / user-specific template functionality

Code highlights

Below is a non-exhaustive list of C++ source code files where interesting things happen:

File Functionality
wznmcmbd/CrdWznmVer/DlgWznmVerNew.cpp UI element (dialog) where a new project version can be created
wznmcmbd/CrdWznmRls/DlgWznmRlsWrite.cpp dialog which (re-)composes a project's source code tree, handles the required repository transactions, and which delegates code writing - fragmented into thousands of atomic operations - to the operation engines
wznmcmbd/IexWznm/JobWznmIexDbs.cpp mixed auto-generared/manual parsing (and data collecting/writing) of database structure model files; relevant method enterSgeParse()
wznmcmbd/IexWznm/IexWznmDbs.cpp auto-generated combined XML/text reader/writer for database structure model files
wznmcmbd/WznmPrctree/WznmPrctree.cpp parsing of source code files and tokenizing for identification of insertion points, the feature allowing Whiznium to extract manually written code from source code trees
wznmcmbd/WznmGen/WznmGenDetui.cpp generate detailed user interface (panels, queries, dialogs and controls) based mainly on basic UI and database structure information
wznmcmbd/WznmGen/WznmGenJob.cpp generate job tree (hierarchy of run-time C++ classes) based on previously imported and generated model information
wznmcmbd/WznmWrdbs/WznmWrdbsTbl.cpp write wrapper code for single database table, morphing records in C++ objects and record sets in C++ STL containers; includes convenient SQL-free load functions
wznmcmbd/WznmWrsrv/WznmWrsrvJob.cpp write basic structure of every job (run-time C++ class) including sensitivities and optional state machine
wznmcmbd/WznmWrsrv/WznmWrsrvDlg.cpp write code specific for dialog (UI element) jobs
wznmcmbd/WznmWrweb/WznmWrweb.cpp write HTML and JS code e.g. for controls

Template files

WhizniumSBE's automated source code generation relies on template files with inline placeholders and insertion points for multi-line code fragments. For each version of WhizniumSBE, the relevant template files can be found online; they are part of the tool initialization routine.

Some highlights

File Functionality
CrdXxxxYyy.html HTML code for a card, representing the top-level file for a browser tab
CrdXxxxYyy.js JavaScript code for a card, handling - among other things - server XHD interaction
DbsXxxx.h database access library C++ header
JobXxxxYyyZzzzz.cpp C++ code for every job (run-time C++ class)
Makefile_Cmbeng Makefile for combined engine
PnlXxxxYyyZzzzz.js JavaScript code for a tabular data view panel
Xxxx.h C++ header for common engine/operation functionality
Xxxxcmbd_exe.cpp combined engine executable C++ code including main()
Xxxxcmbd.cpp combined engine exchange object C++ code
XxxxcmbdAppsrv.cpp GNU Libmicrohttpd-based application server C++ code
XxxxcmbdJobprc.cpp job processor C++ code

Dependencies

WhizniumSBE-generated code is free from any use restrictions, except for the obvious fact that no exclusivity for the resulting coding style and / or web UI look & feel can be claimed by any user.

WhizniumSBE-backed projects

Only few libraries are required, all of which are equipped with permissive licenses, allowing to deploy WhizniumSBE-backed software both as Open Source Software and commercially:

  • Gnome libxml2, to serlialize / deserialize XML blocks both for HTTP(S) transfers and preferences files
  • GNU Libmicrohttpd, a lightweight multi-threading-capable web-server library included in every WhizniumSBE-backed project
  • libcurl, to handle inter-executable master / slave XML-over-HTTP(S) communication. Required only for large WhizniumSBE-backed projects, such as WhizniumSBE/DBE themselves, where functionality is distributed across a central engine executable and multiple operation engine executables

Furthermore, at least one DBMS client library is needed; options include:

  • SQLite 3, the only server-less solution supported, best suited for embedded software projects
  • MariaDB, the open source branch of MySQL
  • MySQL, the most widely-spread DBMS provided by Oracle
  • PostgreSQL

In some applications so far, WhizniumSBE-backed projects needed either OPC UA or DDS connectivity. While code generated to use the corresponding library API's is license-free, the corresponding SDK's are commercial software:

WhizniumSBE itself

WhizniumSBE is a WhizniumSBE-backed project. Accordingly, it requires libxml2, GNU Libmicrohttpd and libcurl to work. Our preferred choice for DBMS is MariaDB.

Further Reading

Upcoming book

  • The Whiznium book (draft available here), offering an introduction to WhizniumSBE/DBE by means of a handy use case

Use cases

  • Whiznium StarterKit: a tabletop 3D laser scanner reference implementation on various platforms. Zynq (ARM and Xilinx FPGA) and i.MX6 (ARM) available, PolarFire SoC (RISC-V and Microchip FPGA) and standalone (workstation and MCU-based peripherals) in the making. Git repository
  • FabSight: montioring of industrial appliances, .pdf datasheet and YouTube video showing device in action including .NET API access
  • The ICARUS detector: a European robotics research project alongside which WhizniumSBE/DBE developed lots of its functionality, .pdf datasheet
  • Multi-spectral detector: developed from the ICARUS detector, combines stereo vision with a thermal imager and a laser mounted on a tilt/pan unit. .pdf code walk-through available
  • BeamRelay: a cool air traffic simulation developed when Whiznium's focus was still on distributed simulation applications, .pdf datasheet available and ICNS conference proceedings .pdf

Marketing material

Most of these publications pre-date Whiznium's Open Source era.

  • WhizniumSBE/DBE .pdf flyer
  • WhizniumSBE technology overview .pdf datasheet
  • A .pdf datasheet highlighting M2M communication options in WhizniumSBE-backed projects
  • Whiznium-related services offerings for the photonics industry .pdf flyer
  • Co-marketing of Whiznium and Matrikon's FLEX OPC UA SDK for industrial automation applications .pdf flyer
  • Elektronik.net interview at Embedded World 2020 with the founder of MPSI Technologies video, German only
  • MPSI Technologies start-up pitch at Embedded World 2020 video, from 20:15

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Contact

The Whiznium project is developed and curated by Munich-based start-up MPSI Technologies GmbH. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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