starCOMUltra

starCOMUltra

Description:starCOMUltra (sCU), which connects directly to the TimeCommander+, is our main automation software. I got involved with the first version, starCOM, as a beta tester around 2000. It was a major leap forward for the JDS line of controllers. It introduced free form scripting through what it called a 'hosted script', which really opened up the programming capabilities. The JDS software consisted of kludgy Windows 3-like application with a point-and-click interface and rigid syntax.

starCOM also brought Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) to the JDS world. This allowed JDS controllers to become network available - meaning whole hosts of applications talking to the controller could be run on the same machine or any Windows machine on the network. This also led to interactions with Windows' web server, IIS, via Active Server Pages (ASP). Now, there was a way to create a real GUI for automating with JDS controllers. This, in particular, really sent the usability and accesibility of our home automation system skyrocketing. (Not to mention the time I spend growing it!)

I'm a hardcore user of the scripting engine, and, as a result, my hosted script now consists of over 5000 lines of JScript code. I have used it to add massive amounts of flexibility and functionaity to the system. The hosted script handles all room occupancy logic (and power saving), x10 wireless (via interfacing to the W800), RFID tracking (via interfacing to the Ananiah RFID reader), lighting control, rechargeable device charging time, and storing all data in a MySQL database to name a few.

I also have a extremely large collection of ASP pages I've written as part of our HA system GUI (a few more thousands of lines of JScript). A few pages are lighting control, appliance control, control of every aspect of the TimeCommander+, remote controls for AV devices and general house status.

Finally, I have also written my own application to expand the functionality of sCU even further. You can read a little about xPL sCU here.




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