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How can .NET Framework technology create new opportunities and conditions for the operator systems of the future, And how can HMI developers and users win by choosing a standardized development environment for keeping up with rapid technological development, Software development in HMI is a costly affair. Historically, many HMI suppliers have made major investments both in man-years and money to build up their software programs. The result is locked technological frameworks based on decisions made long ago.

Future HMI development is moving towards a new approach. By choosing an open development environment such as .NET Framework from the start, you can quickly implement a well-established and modern platform with proven stability. At the same time you can utilize a wide range of tools and functions that enable you to customize HMI solutions and make them more efficient.

Established technologies in interaction
The resources behind .NET Framework are substantial because the framework is a part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is highly probable that an application based on Microsoft's framework can guarantee innovative and stable HMI solutions with a long future horizon. Another clear advantage is that you can benefit from technologies that accompany .NET Framework. The framework is extensive. Some examples of technologies that create prerequisites in the world of HMI in particular are WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), Ribbon (the toolbar field in standard Windows programs) and the opportunities for scripting in C#.

Generation shift within automation
Another new approach within HMI goes hand and hand with an automation market that is facing a generation shift. A new well-educated generation of developers is entering the industry and they are demanding more advanced and open tools. End-users and the operators on industrial shop floors have grown up with computers, smartphones and modern graphical user interfaces. Expectations for intuitive graphical operator interfaces without manuals are growing at the same rate. For a number of years, Apple and Google's Android for example, have set a new standard for user-friendliness and graphics, and this will eventually require a response from the industry.

Augmented graphics and media components
One way to successfully meet this development is to utilize WPF, Microsoft's graphics engine that is included in .NET Framework. Among the advantages are the user gaining access to vector-based graphics with zooming that does not degrade image quality, and that design can be separated from coding through XAML. This provides - besides capabilities for fantastic graphics - a tool for creating HMI objects that can be effectively harmonized with the end-user's brand name.

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