CASE STUDIES - ELGAR

Elgar Powers Up IVI Development

"Pacific MindWorks is very easy to work with and did what they said they would do-on time and within budget," Steve Healy, Elgar Vice President of Engineering.

Elgar reached its position as a top provider of power supply instruments by adhering to the old adage that says the customer is always right. This principal resulted in Elgar acting quickly when a major customer requested IVI support in the upcoming release of a next generation modular power supply.

Faced with an uncertain path to IVI success, Elgar knew to seek out the very best in IVI expertise. "While we have substantial experience developing instrument drivers," said Steve Healy, Elgar's Vice President of Engineering, "IVI development was new to the team. Fortunately we encountered Pacific MindWorks during an IVI Foundation event. It was obvious the company had the extensive IVI experience we were looking for."

On the Road to IVI

Elgar turned to Pacific MindWorks to jump start its IVI development efforts. "The complexity of IVI would have been time consuming to overcome without the timely assistance of Pacific MindWorks. After only a few discussions, Pacific MindWorks presented us with a comprehensive IVI strategy that succinctly addressed current and future needs. Pacific MindWorks would build the driver, provide training, deliver a robust IVI development environment, and be available for consultation as needed."

"Since the hardware wasn't ready yet, Pacific MindWorks worked with a power supply instrument that presented a reasonably similar interface. The project was scoped at a short six calendar weeks. After two weeks Pacific MindWorks came back with a detailed design for the driver. Their design hit the mark right from the beginning. We received the first code drop at four weeks. It was surprisingly robust for a first version. And, as promised, at six weeks, Pacific MindWorks delivered a fully documented and virtually bug free IVI driver."

It was abundantly clear that Pacific MindWorks' driver development solution, Nimbus, was a crucial part of the project's success. "Nimbus is incredibly powerful. It neatly abstracts away the complexities of IVI development without sacrificing ease of use. Seeing Nimbus in action was all it took to motivate a purchasing decision."

"Getting up to speed on Nimbus was simple. The tool is so intuitive that we only needed a few hours of training to be able to modify the driver without assistance to support other similar products. When the instrument hardware was ready, we used Nimbus to extend the driver as appropriate. We were also pleased with the extensive documentation Nimbus created. This benefit frees developers from the burden of keeping driver documentation in sync with the code." Conveniently, Nimbus-generated help files are viewable directly within Microsoft Visual Studio.

A Platform for the Future

Elgar found that the IVI driver Pacific MindWorks developed could serve as a solid platform for the future. "We plan to use this driver as the reference model for subsequent IVI development projects. With Nimbus, we can easily tailor the driver to the unique requirements of our other instruments. Now we can develop an IVI driver in far less time than ever imagined."

"The technical competence that Pacific MindWorks demonstrated at the beginning of this project held through to the end," concluded Healy. "Pacific MindWorks is very easy to work with and did what they said they would do-on time and within budget."