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Digia USA, Inc., Qt Commercial - Santa Clara, CA

Original Press Release

Qt chosen by Thinkbox Software for Cross-Platform Development

Press release date: March 11, 2014

High-performance technology provider rebuilds powerful Deadline data management solution using Qt framework

Qt, the leading cross-platform application and user interface (UI) development framework by Digia, has been deployed by Thinkbox Software to rebuild the company's production-proven high-volume data processing solution, Deadline, for identical performance across platforms. Melding creativity and technology, Thinkbox's powerful tools are used across entertainment, engineering and design. When rebuilding Deadline, Qt technology's simplified means of development within a single package helped Thinkbox develop graphically-rich UIs quickly and efficiently, and enabled the fast development of applications with intuitive user interfaces.

The leading render management software in the visual effects industry, Deadline is also used to manage compute resources in engineering and business markets. When Thinkbox began a complete overhaul of the software in 2012, they focused on enhancing performance and user experience across Windows, Linux and Mac OSX as well as establishing a solid foundation for the next generation of capabilities. With the support of Digia, Thinkbox's developers were able to unify the Deadline code base whilst reducing development time and costs.

To facilitate the identical performance of Deadline across platforms, Thinkbox originally explored writing native interfaces on one platform and porting to others with open-source software. Instead, Thinkbox began testing the Qt development framework and redesigning the Deadline Monitor for improved performance and additional flexibility. Given the vast amount of data that is regularly processed through Deadline, Thinkbox first had to make sure that a Qt interface could remain responsive even with 100,000 jobs in the queue. By expanding the QTreeView control and developing a custom item model to populate the rows and columns of lists, Thinkbox was able to verify that the Deadline could easily scale up with a Qt interface.

Qt technology's ease of use design meant that, without prior experience, Thinkbox developers produced a prototype of the main monitor application in under a month, thereby benefitting from increased testing time for the system as a whole. The shortened initial development phase with the Qt interface allowed the Thinkbox team to instead focus resources on developing new features, such as implementing a powerful data filtering system. Additionally, using Qt's cross-platform toolkit freed up time that would have been otherwise spent writing code and standardized the development of Deadline moving forward.

"Our existing Deadline code base contained a significant proportion of platform-specific code," explained Justin Sawatzky, Deadline developer, Thinkbox Software. He went on to explain: "The Qt framework has opened this door for us, and will make it easier to provide powerful customisation capabilities."

Following the immense success of Deadline 6.0 released in June 2013, Thinkbox recently launched version 6.1, a significant update featuring performance optimizations that enable facilities to scale like never before, and the company continues to grow its internal Deadline team. With the experience gained using Qt, Thinkbox is looking to extend cross-platform functionality to additional tools in various stages of development.

About Qt
Used by over 500,000 developers worldwide, Qt is a full framework that enables the development of powerful, interactive and platform-independent applications. Qt applications run native on desktop, embedded and mobile host systems, enabling them to deliver performance that is far superior to other cross-platform application development frameworks. Qt’s support for multiple platforms and operating systems allows developers to save significant time related to porting to other devices.

Qt is created by developers for developers where making developers' lives easier is top priority. It provides an incomparable developer experience with the tools necessary to create amazing user experiences. Qt is platform agnostic and believes in making sure that all developers are able to target multiple platforms with one framework by simply reusing code. Qt gives freedom to the developer. Code less. Create more. Deploy everywhere.

About Digia, Qt
Digia is responsible for all Qt activities including product development and commercial and open source licensing. Since March 2011, Digia Plc, the Helsinki-based services and consulting powerhouse listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki exchange (DIG1V) has been the commercial licensor of Qt. In September 2012 Digia acquired the full Qt business from Nokia. Digia operates in China, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden and USA.

Digia's goal is to provide desktop, embedded and mobile developers and companies with the most powerful cross-platform UI and application framework. Together with its licensing, support and services capabilities, Digia, Qt operates with the mission to work closely with developers to ensure that the projects are deployed on time, within budget and with a competitive advantage.

Ref: DQ082A


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