Our friends at Tridium continue to improve the Niagara Framework’s software tools to meet customer’s rapidly changing demands.  To user’s, these change seem to be a long time coming.  To the development team, there’s never enough time.  Niagara 3.7 includes some great new features that will allow application engineers to deliver more value to their customers.  Here’s a quick run down of the goods:

= Time to get mobile –Tridium has finally created mobile Px pages that actually work for today’s devices.  3.7 will allow application engineers to quickly create views that have a user interface that will be familiar to mobile users.  The number of widgets is limited in this release, but this is a tremendous improvement over hacked looking hx pages or sinking time into creating a custom app for iPad, Android, and Windows mobile.

= Those who don’t study history are condemned to repeat it – 3.7 promises to improve the ability for Niagara application engineers to create informative comparison charts.  This version will allow multiple histories to be displayed simultaneously on one chart.  Tools will allow histories to be summed to create virtual meters.  API’s will allow this data to be pulled out for analysis outside of the framework.

= Feeling more secure – 3.7 adds two very important security enhancements that are dear to corporate and government IT departments several times.   There are tremendous improvements to ssl encryption for the Niagara framework.  Previously only web traffic could be ssl encrypted, but now connections between stations can secured by ssl.  To facilitate administration, tools were added for managing trusts and certificates. Password security administration is greatly improved.  Password can be set to expire periodically, and users can be required to change them to a new, unique password.  Finally, passwords can be recovered by users with an email me function.

= New graphics and themes – Tridium will overhaul their standard graphics in 3.7 and add over 250 3-D and photo-realistic BAS images.  Memory optimization will mean that only graphics that are used will be stored on the JACE.  Also, Tridium announced the ability to create custom themes using a version of CSS that they call NSS (Niagara Style Sheet).  Users can now choose from standard themes or create their own.

= Better tools – 3.7 will enable application engineers to create custom objects that Tridium calls Synthetic Types which will enable non-coders to define modules without any Java code.  Px graphics can be bound to a certain type, which will speed development of larger projects.

= Virtuals to Virtuals – Now Niagara virtual machines can easily link to other Niagara VMs which will greatly enhance the framework’s scalability.  For projects that out grow their supervisor environment, it will be much easier to add capacity.

= Capacity based Licensing – You will soon see new models for licensing that are intended to simplify the licensing model to allow customers to only purchase as much capacity as needed.  Instead of buying infinite amounts of a feature, you’ll only pay for what you need.

= Write in script – Tridium announced Bajascript which will be familiar to javascript junkies.  This will facilitate more robust development by non-Niagara developers, which Tridium hopes will propel uses for the Niagara beyond the engineering office.

And that’s not all folks

There are other features, hardware scanning, an event service and more.  Equally exciting, is the promise of 3.8 early next year and 4.0 after that.  The Niagara platform is healthy and growing which definitely equals more than the sum of its parts.