ETS6 Professional launches next software generation
As the world’s only engineering tool software for building automation, ETS guarantees installers and system integrators the highest level of efficiency in their work.
ETS is manufacturer-independent, offers an extensive range of products and enables applications for almost all technical trades across a wide variety of building types. KNX ensures that technical specialists can rely on their tools. It does this by continuously developing ETS in partnership with KNX members and by implementing suggestions from ETS users to keep pace with developments in the industry.
The current ETS Professional generation, ETS5 first hit the market six years ago as a 64-bit application offering considerable data processing power, integration of new KNX applications like KNX RF, KNX Secure and optimised workflows. ETS still promises to be a step ahead of its time. As the next generation, ETS6 Professional is KNX’s response to new requirements from the IoT environment, KNX RF and KNX Secure, as well as to new, individual practices in the use of browser-oriented user interfaces.
For KNX projects to be understood outside the KNX world, the information they contain must be prepared in a (machine-) readable format that is comprehensible to third parties. This allows it to be further processed by higher-level control systems, ensuring also that the meaning of all KNX functions is understandable. KNX projects also need to be documented in the building information modelling (BIM) environment.
To that end, ETS and all KNX products will be progressively equipped with internationally standardised descriptions and tags. This makes it possible to express functions implemented in ETS and special device properties in a machine-readable format. For example, the output of a KNX device with a temperature sensor, whose temperature output is given in degrees Celsius and in a value range of -272°C or higher. Or a switching/dimming function, which in turn allows conclusions to be drawn about individual data points in the function. ETS6 provides this information as an export file.
UI and UX
The forthcoming ETS6 is also an improvement on the previous generation thanks to its new user interface (UI). The corresponding user experience (UX) responds to current practices in the use of browsers and visual orientation. With it, project files can be displayed with appealing graphics and building photos, and clearly organised. Archiving and searches can be managed using icons and tags for specific project categories such as single-family homes, office buildings or hotels.
ETS6 Professional can also be opened in several main windows simultaneously. With this feature it’s easy to make a quick change to configuration work. You can also open a list of projects currently being edited with the same feature. The tabs can be fixed to the taskbar, as is usual in Windows. ETS6 Professional thus accommodates new user behaviour, supports fast configuration processes and improves project management. It is also important that ETS6 Professional will be updated regularly. To that end, its download management has been simplified. This function indicates the current version, describes any new features and prompts the user to update. This optimisation solves recurring problems found in older versions of ETS.
KNX RF Multi
ETS6 Professional has been expanded to include new KNX functions. In the future it will also support KNX RF Multi for even more reliable use of RF media. In the KNX RF Multi system, the corresponding telegram traffic changes frequency depending on the quality or interference resistance.
This prevents potential frequency interference in a frequency band / channel. Several RF bands are available for so-called ‘frequency hopping’.
KNX Segment Coupler
In the past it was only possible to expand a single KNX TP line with RF functions via a separate TP main line and RF (sub-)line. For existing TP (sub-)line installations this meant a topology reorganisation, with all TP devices being placed in the new TP main line and RF devices in the RF (sub-)line. But in future, the ETS will allow segment coupling in any KNX TP line.
KNX Secure Proxy
This new procedure will make it possible to mix secure and plain KNX applications on any line in the future. A KNX Secure Proxy will separate individual areas into a plain area (domain) and a secure area (domain). The Secure Proxy will then convert the telegrams for plain and secure communication
in both directions. This practice spares the need to replace all KNX devices if only one specific area (domain) needs to be secure. A practical example would be a retrofitted KNX RF application secured using KNX Secure – for example an outdoor RF weather station. This could be connected to KNX devices that do not have KNX Secure via the KNX Secure Proxy on an existing KNX TP line indoors.
When hopping between laptops, ETS5 provides dongle licensing for added flexibility. Now ETS6 Professional has another alternative requiring no additional hardware: cloud licensing. All you need is an internet connection. Moreover, the entire licensing process has been simplified thanks to the optimised licensing workflow.
With ever-changing IT environments, the goal is for ETS6 Professional to be supported on existing as well as upcoming operating systems in the Windows environment. ETS compatibility with those ensures smooth interaction during installation, updates and communication.
ETS6 Professional ensures that only secure operating and maintained operating systems such as Windows 10 are supported. The online help will be also integrated into ETS6 Professional. ETS optimises performance and memory usage. This gives system integrators even more control over their major projects. Large KNX projects can be commissioned even faster. Project storage is integrated into the Windows account, which means easier project password management and enhanced project protection.
For more information about KNX in Australia, visit www.knx.org.au