System integrators and software developers face many problems. Designing tailor-made solutions without help from hardware manufacturers is a daunting task. The latest powerful and easy-to-use SDKs from equipment manufacturers can significantly reduce costs by overcoming several integration and new technology difficulties.
The SDK is becoming increasingly popular in a variety of fields as the state-of-the-art tool for developing reliable software applications quickly.
Typically, an SDK comprises development tools that enable an engineer to create new applications for a specific software or hardware platform. In essence, each SDK is a collection of software components and functions that can be used directly by system integrators. Bosch's video surveillance SDK suite is used in-house to develop video management software.
For system integrators, the quality of an SDK is critical to the success and reliability of the final application. Bosch Security Systems has been building a suite of SDKs to help a growing number of system integrators benefits from the same quality that's assured by rigorous internal quality programs. Other benefits include:
* Support at the component level to support modularity
* Access to the latest technologies with guaranteed upward and downward hardware compatibility
* All the functions needed to get the most out of the hardware
* A well-maintained stock of good-quality software components, directly usable without extra development time
* Future-proof development — new hardware is automatically available in SDKs
* Familiarity with universal components for all IP products, offering the same look and feel
* Freedom to integrate access, intrusion or LPR systems
With the use of SDKs, the system integrator is able to design, adapt and implement state-of-the-art solutions with much less development time than needed otherwise.
SDKs in Action
Alphatron Security Systems, a system integrator based in the Netherlands, combines video, data, communications, access and smart analysis software, using SDKs to free up resources and focus on integration. A key component in its tailor-made software is the Alphatron video surveillance management suite, partly designed with Bosch SDK. Recently, Alphatron enhanced the video surveillance security at KLM Cargo's facilities around Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
Their designed solution offers centralized control of several multisite video surveillance systems. The systems can now efficiently monitor and control 500 cameras at the facilities.
The Alphatron solution is a scalable, user-friendly software suite that offers easy video management. By using the SDKs at development time, the Alphatron applications are cost-effective, offering fast customization and expansion possibilities that are ideal for KLM's needs. As a result, their new security system was commissioned within two months, meeting KLM's local and central control requirements.
Customizable Video Matrix
At each of KLM's individual network control centers, the Alphatron solution controls the system. SDK components were used to create a fully controllable and customizable video matrix.
A typical example of what can be offered by the SDK is a feature that allows extra cameras to be easily added to the network and video matrix.
Another SDK example is its display component. The software automatically decodes the incoming compressed video stream of a camera into a fully-rendered, individual picture window. System integrators do not need to be bothered with the details of the stream.
As new Bosch hardware is developed, Alphatron can simply pick the specific components they need and drop them into its software development environment to obtain the required functionality.
The users do not need to know anything about the components' internal operations. The newer SDKs are based on the modern Microsoft Visual Studio .Net platform. This allows state-of-the art development via common programming languages like C# (C sharp), Visual Basic .NET, Java, VB6, VB scripting and C++.
With SDKs, versatile software created by companies who produce their own hardware can be re-used and provide an easy pick-and-drop approach to customization.
Today, some manufacturers also offer training programs that offer techniques for using the SDKs and allow product differentiation. SDKs ease the burden of customization while offering more functionality and easier maintenance.
A faster return on investment can be achieved. However, the SDKs need to be regularly updated to match market needs and hardware developments.