Dots and Dashes
Posted by cadsmith on November 28, 2007
Graphs allow a viewer to connect the dots concerning input data. Automobile drivers are accustomed to viewing the status of their car’s subsystems on the dashboard. Analog and digital displays reveal information at a glance. A simple case indicates component status, e.g. active/inactive, online/offline, and functional/degraded. Displays are also used on test equipment such as a scope to show the instantaneous values of measurements and settings. A display like this can also be web-based, desktop, mobile, or on a dedicated station. For example a graph can be derived from excel spreadsheets. This is used to monitor metrics, highlight unexpected results or events, and possibly communicate to other systems or necessary responders. A more sophisticated test info management system can reveal raw input or metadata, execute anywhere, allow user-preferences to be saved and restored, handle distributed sources, allow extendable mashups, provide communication capabilities, and connect to a general info system for enterprise status. These can be prototyped using simulated inputs and virtual machines or test drives. Script collaboration allows multiple gadgets or services to be made available across various databases or sources and output to different styles of logs, reports, or web content. The test system itself allows verification of its own operations and ability to add functionality. More interactive controls convert this into an instrument console. Modularization, rules, checks and automation can be used as part of design for other components or systems. A dashboard can make the process easier to observe.