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BellHawk Software Architecture

BellHawk Layers

BellHawk is an open architecture platform that enables users to customize and configure their system for their own specialized requirements.

 Each client has their own private website(s) and database, which can then be configured and customized to meet the needs of each client and securely shared amongst their own users using encrypted data links.

The BellHawk website runs on a Windows Server computer as an application pool of processes under control of an IIS (Internet Information Services) Server. This website consists of a large number of ASP.Net web pages. These web pages are coded in VB.Net and contain the code that handles and responds to user input from their web-browser.

These web pages are available for customization by clients who have purchased a source-code license for BellHawk and have the necessary ASP.Net and VB.Net skills.

Every time a user enters aor changes any data item on their device screen or scans a barcode label, a TCP/IP message is sent over the Internet to the appropriate web page in the application pool. The data entered or changed is then checked against the contents of the BellHawk SQL Server database, typically using stored views, to verify the correctness of the entered data.

If new data is to be stored in the database or existing data is to be updated then the Tau Adaptor code is called through the BellHawk SDK DLL (Dynamic Link Library) interface to validate the correctness of the data being stored and to alert the website to warn or prevent the user form making an operational or data entry mistake.

This two layer check for mistakes, one for data accuracy and one for operational mistakes, enables BellHawk to respond quickly to barcode scans and keyboard data entry but also to do a deep check for operarational validity before storing the data away in the database.

BellHawk contains a large number of built-in rules that control its actions, including the generation of warnings. Clients can configure these rules by importing parameters in the form of Excel spreadsheets through the web interface. These rules

The BellHawk SQL Server database is a well structured database that is designed for rapid response access by multiple mobile devices and PCs. It can be accessed directly by users over the local area network and used for generating custom reports, although, in general, this is not recommended, as there are better interfaces to use for this purpose.

As part of the BellHawk set of code, there is also a website App for generating reports. Whenever users request a report, a record is written into a report print queue in the database. Also the website App is launched to read the print queue and to generate the reports. Normally the reports are generated in HTML format using the DevX website reporting package from the BellHawk database and appear in a separate web browser tab.

Users with local access to the database can also integrate custom reports generated using SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Tool) into BellHawk's set of standard reports, so that they appear as one contiguous set, with availability set by BellHawk user privileges.

BellHawk also has a website App for importing and exporting Excel based spreadsheets, such as from CAD programs. By seprating out these custom imports and exports from standard Excel imports and Exports, makes it much easier to customize these imports and exports for specific applications.

The BellHawk database can be directly accessed by an external application for implementing interfaces that exchange data with ERP and accounting systems, but this is not recommended. Instead we recommend that clients use one of the  other interfaces available with BellHawk. In genera,l we recommend using a DEXBox IIOT appliance. This device essentially bi-directionally mirrors the BellHawk database into a local SQL database that is better structured for data exchange and for generating custom reports.

These IIOT appliances work by communicating with the BellHawk web-services (SOAL/XML) interface, which interfaces to the BellHawk database using the BellHawk SDK .net DLL. Other systems can use either of these interfaces to communicate with BellHawk but, in general, it is much easier to use a DEXBox IIOT apliance.

Barcode label printing is also performed using an IIOT appliance. When a user requests a barcode label, as part of their normal mobile data entry, BellHawk looks up the required data, using client defined rules, and places the data into the label print queue in the database. The barcode label printing appliance monitors this request queue using the web services interface. When it sees a new request, it rerieves the data and then calls a label printing program, such as BarTender Automation, to automatically print the label on the designated barcode label printer, all without user intervention.

These IIOT devices run the Windows 10 IIOT Enterprise operating system and can be readily integrated into Active Directory and/or other security  protocol used in each plant or other facility.

Please clcik here for more information about Exchanging Data with BellHawk.