AVSnap

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AVSnap
Avsnap-icon.png
Avsnap-screen.png
Developer(s) Altinex Inc.
Initial release 12 November 2004 (2004-11-12)
Stable release 4.3.3 / 10 July 2009; 4 years ago (2009-07-10)
Operating system Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7
Type Computer-aided design
License Freeware (Some of the features must be licensed through Altinex Inc.)
Website AVSnap homepage

AVSnap is a freeware (some features must be licensed from Altinex Inc.) audio/visual system integration and design software that was created by Altinex Inc. in 2004.[1] The software started as a way to create a visual routing diagram of and audio/visual system, that is similar to an A/V schematic or a Computer network diagram. As the software matured over the next 5 years, many features were added to increase AVSnap's capability.

The reason for designing this software was twofold: Provide a powerful EDA tool for AV industry and to reduce cost of entry into AV industry by entrepreneurs. The features that were added were focused on end to end solutions from Customer presentation, to AV System design and finally full GUI development for touch screen panels and monitors.

AVSnap has many different modes of operation, including a system design mode, a presentation mode, a remote access mode, and a web server mode. The software is designed to provide a professional quality design environment for Audio Visual market.

The software includes preset equipment icons to illustrate the A/V system network.[2] On their website,[3] Altinex Inc. compares AVSnap to Autodesk's AutoCAD and StarDraw saying that AVSnap is affordable, simple to use, and has excellent AV functionality.

Functionality[edit]

  • AV System design – create library symbols, assign snap points property, connect symbols with cable object and generate list of materials and list of cables.
  • AV System layout – create symbols for front or back panels, position them in a rack and connect them with cable. Provide wiring diagram to technician for rack wiring.
  • Flow chart the process – switch AVSnap into flow chart mode and develop simple on complex flow charts for your business.
  • Presentation mode – cerate design over multiple pages and then use F5 to switch to presentation mode. All keys work the same way as in Power Point.
  • Communication mode – test all protocols for communicating with equipment using communication mode. Press telephone icon to transform AVSnap into powerful Hyperterminal with a twist. You have two windows: Terminal window and Notepad. Jot down commands and then send them through COM port or over the network.
  • AVSnap Meeting is hosted by Altinex servers — Just select to start meeting, then call up your colleagues and provide them with session ID. If they have AVSnap, select Join meeting and enter Session ID. Now you can present your design over the web.
  • Language editor – If you want to use your native language with AVSnap, select language editor and type in all of the text displayed. (There are over 1000 messages). Once done, switch to your own language for simplicity.
  • GUI design — Set page format to pixels, to reveal GUI design environment. Design buttons, sliders, video objects. Import PNG files to create GUI background and then press F11 for full development language. Run created program on a PC or a standalone touch pane.
  • Web server (License required) – anything you design in AVSnap can be served on the web. Graphics, pages, GUI or anything else. GUI can be used to control equipment over the web.

Licensed Features[edit]

  • Web server - allows to serve WEB pages in a LAN environment. AVSnap can become Graphical server, text server or control server.
  • Bind AVSnap to computer - in control mode allows binding the GUI to specific computer. Once this is done, the program will only run on that computer.
  • Protect GUI Source Code - allows programmers to protect their source code but still allow users to modify graphical elements.

Libraries[edit]

Altinex Inc. has combined groups of preset icons into libraries that users can select from to create their diagrams. Users can create their own libraries or choose from ones included from other companies including Simtrol,[4] Calypso Systems,[5] and partner Analog Way.[6] Although AVSnap includes many different libraries, the AVSnap development team does not focus on library design and leave this task to individual users. Currently AVSnap estimates that it has about 2000 users (based on downloads and registrations) and many of them create their own libraries. Typical library component can be created in less than 1 minute. AVSnap will develop libraries on request. Make a post in the AVSnap forum and libraries will be available in 3–4 days.

History[edit]

The origins of AVSnap start in 1993 at the inception of Altinex Inc when there were very few vendors that provided software for the AV industry. Many AV professionals used AutoCAD and Visio. Altinex was looking for a way to provide a development tool that can be used in-house and also provided to its customers for easy exchange of information.

Several attempts were made to use Corel Draw but failed after Corel released version 10 that had many bugs. Altinex then tried AutoCAD, but since many customers did not have AutoCAD and the steep learning curve caused that method to fail. The first attempt to design the in-house program started in 2001. After a year of experimenting with features, the final draft for the software was developed. It took another 3 years to fine tune specification and to come up with the final name. The name, AVSnap, represents ability to quickly design AV system from end to end.

After initial design the software was used in-house for the first year and around 2005 it was decided to release AVSnap to general public. The decision was made to offer AVSnap free of charge. Although thousands of dollars were spent on developing it, it was a unanimous decision to offer it to the market in philanthropic gesture. The idea behind it was to give back to the AV market for many years of supporting Altinex. At the same time AVSnap forum was set up to provide user support.

The first version of the software was a simple graphic editor that allowed easy AV System design. Eventually it evolved into a robust development system it is now.

AVSnap was developed as a free program that would address simple needs of A/V system design. Altinex, which manufactures audiovisual equipment, had the software developed in-house. They finished the first draft in 2003 though it was only used internally.[7] Altinex then realized that the dealers of their products would benefit from the use of the software. In late 2004 Altinex completed a third version of the software and released it free on their website. In 2009, Altinex began working on an AVSnap web server that works with AVSnap so users can upload their files for others to see and access.[8] AVSnap server was released with version 4.3.3. This feature is available for free under license from Altinex Inc. Without the license registration, served pages provide randomly positioned banner requesting user to register the server.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AVSnap, The AV System Design that Snaps AV Projects to Success". XTV World (Xtreme TeleVision Network). 2004-11-12. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  2. ^ Holsinger, Erik (2005-05-01). "Designing your Dream Studio". Studio Monthly (Access Intelligence LLC). Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  3. ^ "Compare A/V Snap". Press Release. Altinex Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  4. ^ "Altinex and Simtrol launch MultiTasker Friendly control software". Millimeter (Penton Media). 2005-03-10. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  5. ^ "Calypso Control Systems Creates Product Libraries for Altinex's AVSnap". Millimeter (Penton Media). 2005-10-04. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  6. ^ "Altinex Partners With Analog Way". My Wire. 2005-02-01. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  7. ^ Shaffer, James. "AVSnap — A Powerful Design Tool". AV Document Solutions. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  8. ^ "New Version Offers Png Support And Web Services". AVSnap Forums. Altinex. 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-07-06. [dead link]

External links[edit]