Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Software Helps Make the Pieces Fit

The role of SDKs in component integration looks to be defined.
LEADTOOLS
Photo: LEAD Technologies Inc.
LEADTOOLS ships with many sample demos with source code. Here the VB.NET demo running inside Visual Studio .NET.
Rich Little and Dean Sequera
(From left to right) Rich Little and Dean Sequera.
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By Barry Mazor

Effective integration of components on the imaging "map" or "chain" -- from input through processing and output -- is a central concern of the imaging industry. Many imaging firms focus almost entirely on that challenge alone.

The particular and crucial role that imaging application building software plays and, taking even another step backward and a further step back, tools used to build that software, is not necessarily the first topic brought up when component integration is the issue.

HOW FAR HAVE WE COME?
Advanced Imaging: What are the challenges for configuring end-use systems to integrate various imaging components for the factory floor, the scientific lab, the medical center and so on? Has the proliferation of software development kits (SDKs), off-the-shelf products and evolving computer operating systems make these challenges easier? Do thorny issues still crop up?

Dean Sequera, Media Cybernetics: One might argue that it has actually gotten a lot tougher because there are a lot more devices and there are many more possible levels of integration such as direct analog communication to a motor, addressing simple command sets via ports, addressing complex firmware and talking to an SDK layer. A third issue is that the devices themselves are increasingly made out of integrated subcomponents. Fourth, the pace of development is too fast to adequately perform QA and document for use for the software developer. It is obsolete before the bugs are worked out and a new model is introduced. This complexity makes it difficult to isolate the source of the bugs.

Rich Little, LEAD Technologies: The entire idea of an SDK is to make the lives of end-user application developers easier. I think that the proof of that is the fact that some companies like LEAD Technologies have been around for a long time and experience sales growth every year even when the rest of the economy is down. Also, the imaging applications, whether in medical centers or labs, have become more sophisticated. At the same time, SDKs have become more sophisticated. The end-user developer has a broader set of tools to use therefore making it easier for him to develop his applications.

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