The Sky-Walker Integration Platform has a Service Oriented Architecture, which means that the software is built up out of services, designed to run 24/7 in the background.
Services work autonomously without user interaction and start automatically with the Windows operating system, independent of the user log-on, thus giving more flexibility in virtual environments. Another asset of services is that they are generic, modular and accessible for multiple clients.
The front-end software or application layer consists of the operational client, the configuration client and the reporting module. The operational client and the configuration client are inseparable from one another as the configuration client is used to configure the operational client.
The operational client is the software used by operators to control and monitor the connected systems. They have a Graphical User Interface (GUI) available that visualizes maps and floorplans and enables them to navigate through different buildings. The interactive Sky-Walker GUI is often configured on two screens. For example, plans and navigation could be displayed on one monitor, and the alarm handling buffer and CCTV screens on another.
The Configuration Client is a separate application which allows modifications to the system at all times, depending on the access level of the user. No programming is required and with the help of available wizards, the complete set-up of a Sky-Walker project can be configured easily.
The user has the ability to generate reports, graphs and statistics and to visualize them in a real time display via custom-made dashboards. Sky-Walker can register trends of system performance, maintenance performance and operator performance, such as the top ten most occurring events per object or number of alarms handled by operator.
Reporting helps to optimize processes and reduce alarms/events. For example, integrated event/alarm reports can easily be generated, allowing the operator to find the actual cause and effect of a certain alarm. The real time display of statistics allows management to easily see the current performance. It is then possible to drill down further into this information for more detailed statistics.
The data layer or back-end software takes care of the communication between external systems (fire panel, intrusion panel, CCTV, access control, HVAC, lighting systems, …) and graphical workstations. The Sky-Walker database uses Microsoft SQL server and the Express Edition is supplied as standard with our software.
The central database is the core of the software. This database stores the operational data (users, system points, active alarms, …) and the archived data (alarms, operators’ actions, …). All of the software components interact either directly or indirectly with the database.
Data Service controls and communicates with all components of the integration software, acting as a gateway through which all data is exchanged. For example, passing real-time data communication sent by a driver towards the client applications, managing access to specific domains based on access rights of the user, or notifying applications and services when a specific component becomes unavailable or available.
All communication with the subsystems is done via communication driver modules, each of them running with a system loader service. The system loaders operate as a layer between the server and driver modules. They are responsible for the communication between the integration platform and the external connected subsystems.
Every subsystem speaks a different language; a driver is a software module that acts as a protocol translator between a hardware device and the applications or operating systems that use it. The number and type of driver modules depend on the project. As the Sky-Walker Integration Platform is built in a modular way, it can be expanded with additional drivers at any time.
Entelec’s database contains hundreds of drivers. Our engineers are constantly developing new drivers for new systems, which are not yet in the existing database.