The VTDE API

What is the vtde API

     The vtde API (vactools data exchange Application Programmers Interface) allows your third-party software to access VacTools real-time data and control vacuum controllers (VCs) in real-time without any complex, low-level communications programming. It allows OEM and end-user software developers to concentrate on their process applicatiom by providing access to vacuum system operation and performance as and when required, with no communications-related development:
 ● The vtDataEx7.dll provides 5 simple to use functions
 ● vtDataEx7.lib provides linker information for integrating into your application. (Or the library can be loaded dynamically)
 ● vtDataEx7.h provides full header information including declaration of the functions, structure definition and all parameter definitions

     Once set up, VacTools can be made to operate as a background (minimized) task with all control, data access etc. performed through your software.

Summary:

VacTools Logo

Beautiful!

  • **FREEWARE**
  • Access real-time VacTools data from your software
  • Control vacuum controllers and VacTools directly from your software
  • 5 simple to use high-level functions
  • No low/comms-level experience needed
  • Fast - no comms lags
  • Complete vacuum controller data record (all values) in a single function call

Why use the vtde API

    The vacuum controllers (VCs) supported by VacTools use the MODBUS protocol - largely because it provides a robust (error tolerant), fast (multi-parameter) and accurate (floating point transfer) implementation. However, MODBUS is NOT everyone's cup of tea; it is not an "easy" protocol! The vtde API makes it easy to access performance data and control operation of the vacuum system:
 ● No knowledge of communications, MODBUS, low-level binary or VC protocols is needed
 ● Saves time!
 ● All aspects of the VCs and of VacTools (e.g. Port configuration) can be controlled
 ● Response to data requests is fast allowing multiple/commands requests to be made - no waiting for communications response
 ● Fast real-time transfer of data to/from VCs using VacTools' optimized communications algorithms
 ● For VCs, a complete record of ALL measured data, digital IO status, bake-out status etc. etc. can be obtained in a single function call 

vtde makes it easy...

    The vtde API has just 5 simple functions to  interact with individual vacuum controllers, as well as control VacTools:

int vtde_VacToolsQOK
  (void)
Tests VacTools data exchange; for example, reports if VacTools is running. (Not strictly needed as the other functions return error conditions if cannot perform data exchange with VacTools, but fast ).

int vtde_EnumDevices
  (unsigned int Para, unsigned int* puiID, int ArraySize, int* pNumDevices)
Returns a list of the IDs of Ports or vacuum controllers (VCs) currently registered within VacTools.
These can be stored in an array in your programme, and the ID values then used to send and receive data to specific devices using the remaining functions

int vtde_GetVCRecord
  (unsigned int uiVCID, VTDERECORDSTRUCT* pvRS)
For a VC with a valid ID value uiVCID, fills the VTDERECORD structure with all the latest measured pressure, temperature, emission... values, digital IO states, bake-out status, data units, time of data call... The VTDERECORDSTRUCT is defined in VTDataEx7.h, and can be used directly in your software for VC data access.
It's FAST and replaces multiple calls to obtain data!

int vtde_DataValue
  (unsigned int uiID, unsigned int Parameter, double* pValue)
Reads and writes individual numerical parameters to and from VCs and Ports, and provides control VacTools. For example, turn ion gauge on or off or set its emission value, read or set a Port Baud rate, minimize the VacTools Window for background operation, etc. etc. etc...

int vtde_DataString
  (unsigned int uiID, unsigned int Parameter, TCHAR* pUniCode, char* pAnsi,
   int BufSize)
Reads and writes string-based parameters to VCs, such as the VC unit names used in VacTools for descriptive identification and the 4 character VC names. The function can be used with either 16-bit UniCode or 8-bit ASCII character buffe

The functions provide detailed success/fail return values ensuring that data obtained is valid.

For more information, and down-loading of VacTools and the vtde API free, please contact sales@epimax.com