Welcome to the first post of our blog, The ArchestrAnaut. So why did we decide to jump into the blogging pool? It’s simple, there’s nobody else swimming as far as we can see. As a group we’ve been working with ArchestrA, IAS, System Platform, and whatever the next name is going to be, since 2005. In that time we’ve seen Archestra.Biz come and go. We’ve seen the Wonderware site undergo a nice little transition with the new forums. However, through all of that we have yet to find anyone who is consistently blogging about System Platform.
Will our publications be the last word on any topic? Absolutely not. What we are trying to accomplish is to share some of our experience from the trenches and hopefully engage in some lively discussions to advance the knowledgebase of the community as a whole.
We have significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry and we will be writing a number of blogs from that perspective. For instance, pharma requires a lot of documentation and formal testing. As such, one of our intended articles is going to be about designing your code to make documentation and testing easier. Another such topic will deal with the how to implement a complete security system with ArchestrA. This is not as simple as implementing the off the shelf security features. There are several other facets to consider when creating a system that is fully compliant with CFR Part 11 and other GMP practices.
So why ArchestrAnaut? Back in June of 2009, while perusing the Galaxy’s database on the GR (Galaxy Repository), we stumbled across something rather amusing. Bear in mind, it was probably during one of our many long nights on this project so everything was 40% funnier than it really should be normally. A short email was drafted to the team:
Neil Armstrong is to Astronaut as Andy Robinson is to…
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We usurped the term ‘ArchestrAnaut’ internally and dubbed Andy as our first ArchestrAnaut. Hopefully Invensys won’t mind us borrowing the phrase but will see it as invaluable (and free) advertising for their product which we have come to know well. If any ArchestrA developers do end up reading our blog entries, we hope they get a little feedback from real world users to help improve future versions of ArchestrA.
Right now we have a long list of targeted examples and techniques we’ll be discussing. Who among us has worked with Windows services via System Platform? How much thinking have you done about how to program your system for maximum resilience by using WhileTrue instead of OnTrue? What about authentication via LDAP? These are just a few of the topics we intend to cover over the coming months and maybe years.
Last, but not least, look for our posts from Ops Manage in Orlando this year. Andy Robinson will not only be attending but will also have the privilege of presenting in the Life Sciences track (IS-LS05 – Real-Time Asset Excellence How to Wrap and Comply Life Sciences Equipment). Come by and say hello if you are there and get a chance.