Distributed, remote I/O users name compatibility top software need

Compatibility with other software and systems is the most desired software performance requirement among users of distributed and remote I/O buses and networks, a recent VDC Corp.


Compatibility with other software and systems is the most desired software performance requirement among users of distributed and remote I/O buses and networks, a recent VDC Corp . study shows. The feature was cited as most important in all three categories surveyed: DCS, PC-based, and PLC system applications.

The study, " Global Market Demand and User Requirements for Industrial Distributed/Remote I/O ," asked respondents to choose the five software performance requirements they believed to be most important. Compatibility was identified most, named by at least 60% of the users for each application. Reliability and ease of use were also at the top of the list for all three applications. Other requirements making the top five in one or more of the categories were ease of programming, ease of configuration, functionality, and diagnostic troubleshooting capabilities.

VDC also asked software vendors to identify what users regard as the most important selection criteria. Although compatibility was cited frequently here, functionality and ease of use came out on top for selection criteria. The software features users say they want most that are not now in their current packages are:

  • More user-friendly or easier to use

  • Better diagnostics and troubleshooting

  • Better documentation

  • Higher reliability

Says Jim Taylor, group manager, VDC’s Industrial Automation and Control practice, "Software vendors know that the quality of their products is not only important to the users, but important for the entire distributed/remote I/O value chain. Vendors selling or recommending software for use with their products should emphasize all of these requirements, as well as obviously designing or choosing software that provides these. With the choice of software becoming more important to users in the selection of hardware, hardware sales can benefit from the aggressive marketing of software."

Click here to read more from VDC .

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com

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