ATEasy 4.0 - What's new

Knowledge Base Article # Q200059

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Summary Summary of all new features when upgrading ATEasy 3.0 to version 4.0
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ATEasy version 4.0 contains numerous enhancements to the test development environment. Among the new features included are the ability to import Function Panel (FP) driver files and convert to ATEasy drivers, Integration with Microsoft Source Safe, the ability to show and edit ATEasy documents in text mode and to display file differences side by side. The Test Executive driver was enhanced greatly and uses a new Profile driver that allows you to create and run a profile that is a subset of the application programs, tasks and tests in a user specific/defined order and count. Version 4.0 also contains enhancements to the ATEasy run time engine. New functions were added, for examples, functions to read and write directly to physical memory, which can be useful when writing or creating drivers or prototype to PCI boards. We also improved the speed of the run time engine so that it runs ATEasy application 30% faster than version 3.0. The following lists new features available in ATEasy 4.0:

Open Architecture
  • Ability to import Function Panel driver files. Function Panel driver file (.fp) is a file of a specific format used by software packages (LabWindows and HP VEE) drivers. The function panel file format is based on the VXIPlug&Play Instrument Driver specifications published by VXIPlug&Play organization ( Using the File Open command a Function Panel file (.fp) can be opened and then, converted to ATEasy driver format (.drv). ATEasy will generate a command tree, procedures, DLL function calls, constants and data types as defined in the function panel file and its accompanied C/C++ header file.  ATEasy also loads an optional SUB file, which commonly used by IVI drivers.
  • Source Safe Integration. ATEasy directly interfaces with Microsoft Visual Source Safe. You can 'source control' ATEasy documents/files: Add, Check in, and Check out files directly from ATEasy. It also allows comparing files between versions of ATEasy and showing their versions. Differences are clearly marked and highlighted.
  • You can edit or view in text mode ATEasy documents, Program, Driver, System and Project, directly from ATEasy.
  • Command line options allow you to log on to ATEasy as a specific user, as well as allow you to build an application, print a file or load a file to ATEasy.
IDE User Interface
  • Startup dialog allows opening examples, driver examples and recent workspaces files or create new files or an application using the Application Wizard. This dialog can be programmed to show up at the start up of ATEasy, as well as it is available from File menu command.
  • Workspace Window has a new Files Tab. The current workspace window is displayed in the Objects Tab while a new tab, Files is showing each current workspace file. This provides a simpler file view of your project file and faster navigation between files.
  • Workspace window. When ATEasy starts up, the active project is expanded, and Files/Objects tab and selection is restored.
  • Description button was added to various views. The description view now has a button, displayed on the module view (new), the Forms, Procedures, Tests, and Commands View that can show or hide the view. The button has an indication to show whether the description is empty or not.
  • Description of objects (sub modules, etc) was enhanced and is more self-explanatory.
  • Module view. A new view is shown when you click on a module (e.g. Program). The new view displays the module's sub-modules and a larger area containing the module description.
  • Find and Replace dialogs. They have new options to skip the internal library and whether to re-start the search when the end of file is reached ('All').
  • New Program is now created with a Task and a Test.
  • Insert Object Below/After/At menu command now displays the type of object being inserted, e.g. Insert Variable Below.
  • New context menu to show/hide toolbars and dockable windows.
  • Display documents and type libraries progress during ATEasy loading a workspace in the status bar.
  • Selecting colors from the property pages (e.g. chart, status bar) was enhanced and allows using system colors for controls.
  • ATEasy notifies you if another application or user modified externally the document that you are currently working on.
  • Save As Text context menu command allows saving the current file in text mode (same file name with text file extension) without prompting.
  • Variables and their types (and initial values and descriptions) can be typed directly when renamed from the list view. Additional command was added to perform the in-place editing of the name and type of a variable (Ctrl+F2). For example, you can type "i:int=3!index starts at 3"
  • Application Wizard was enhanced to support the new Profile driver.
  • Programit!  New command lets you execute any program, which may not be the first one.
  • Go to Definition. New menu command (and context menu) opens a window containing the definition or type of the selected symbol.  This is a convenient tool that you can use during coding.
  • Project has an optional setting (in the project property page) that allows including or excluding unreferenced procedures during build.
  • Certain List view such as variables can now be sorted by Name, Type or Description (display only) by clicking on its column header.
  • In the procedures or form view, the procedure combo box provides the Drag and Drop capability.  After pulled down the combo list box, you can drag and drop a procedure within the combo list, so that you can re-arrange the procedure list.
  • The Build menu, Check All includes checking of making sure Dll procedures defined in a module (under Libraries) actually exist in the Dll.
  • Auto Data Tips - ATEasy will display variables values on the code view in a tooltip window during debugging when the application is paused.
  • When an application paused via break point, one can view each variable/parameter value in the variable/parameter view.
  • Watch and CallStack/Global windows will retain the values even after the current run terminates.
Run Time Engine
  • Speed Improvements. Run-time engine runs ATEasy application faster, at least by 30%.
  • Peek and Poke functions. New functions to read and write directly to the PC physical memory. This is mainly to support PCI/ISA boards driver development.
  • MemoryCopy function. New function to copy and fill data between two ATEasy variables.
  • ArgMissing function. New function to indicate whether an optional parameter was passed to a procedure.
  • DoEvents function. New function to allow form events to be nested. Useful when performing long operation in a form event.
  • Redim statement. New statement to change the dimension of an array size programmatically.
  • AClipboard class. Allow you to perform clipboard operations and to transfer data between applications (Cut, Copy, Paste, Clear).
  • AChart, ASlider, ASwitch controls uses the control area better and optimized more.
  • EndEvents keyword. New optional keyword to be used with the Run, Task and Test statements.
  • HTML Log uses CSS style sheet that allows changing the test log format attributes easier, e.g., font, color...
  • ADriver.InterfaceType can be set during run-time.
Test Executive and Profile
  • Added support to Text and HTML log format.
  • New Options dialog allows you to specify the default Log format, Clear and Save log before run.
  • The main window can be divided to two main panes. The left pane, the Tests Pane displays the program tests while the right pane, the Log pane shows the test Log as shown the previous test executive version.
  • The Tests pane displays in a tree the available tests of the current selected program or profile. A check box appears next to each Program, Task or Test. The user can select individual tests, tasks and programs from the Tests pane to run from the Tests pane. Program or Task is displayed in bold if they are partial selection (e.g. one test is checked and one is unchecked).
  • At run-time, these tests are color coded to reflect the test status at run time (black for none, green for Pass and Light Red for Fail and Red for Error).
  • The left pane bottom area displays the current selected test properties such as the test Name, Type, Required, Result and Status. At run-time it shows the current running test properties.
  • The Log, Tests and Tests Properties panes may be visible or hidden from the View menu. At list one Tests or Log Pane must be visible.
  • Window position and size and Log Options are remembered between sessions.
  • New Profile driver. The profile driver allows the user or the test engineer to create profile files for an application. A profile file contains tests, tasks and programs list that can be executed in that specific order and count.
  • Test Executive can dynamically supports the new Profile. Adding the profile to your system and the Profile command will show in the test executive menus.
New Examples/Drivers
  • Hp34401a, FP driver - example for a converted function panel driver.
  • MultiPad example - example for MDI application that provides text editor similar to NotePad.
  • HW example - example for Port I/O, Memory I/O and PCI device handling.
  • Additional drivers (Geotest, Adlink, UEI, PC Instruments and more).

Article Date 10/7/2003
Keywords ATEasy, 4.0

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