Software porting from MFC to Qt for PLC graphic interface design
Cannon Automata is known for its products in the industrial automation sector and is primarily engaged in creating machinery automation solutions for the food, textile, chemical, packaging, and plastic industries.
Their design software for PLC control graphic interfaces needed an update: The software was written in C++ and MFC, had an outdated look and feel, and had become difficult to maintain.
We were also asked to update the product interface to conform with modern usability standards and to add standard market features which didn’t integrate well with the original software.
Graphic interface that was used for many years needed a modern look and feel
Using Qt Quick, we were able to easily integrate functional yet beautiful graphic effects.
- Create an attractive and user-friendly graphic interface
- Design an easily-customizable UI
- Reuse the logic and code parts from the old graphic interface
- Made prototypes with extreme speed that gradually evolved over time
- Introduced Qt Quick for flexibility, performance, and innovative graphics
- Created system and unit tests
- Highly reduced testing times
- Great usability and flexibility
- Excellent maintainability
Advantages of our solution
- Using Qt makes it possible to have a native look and feel on all supported platforms (Win10, Win7, MacOSX) without modifying the source code
- Integrating Qt Quick technology into a desktop program makes it possible to easily create controls and fully-customized and animated pages
- Broad coverage unit tests allowed us to accelerate application development without introducing regression bugs
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Advantages of our approach
Our workflow was based on Agile methodology, which allowed us to focus on a tangible deliverable for the client each week and allowed us to change focus several times during the project while retaining the value from our work so far.
Adopting an open workflow allowed us to integrate with the existing development team from the start of the project and, thanks to constant feedback, the client saved time drawing up detailed specification documents.
Advantages of open source
Using open-source technologies allowed us to create a complex application in a short time:
- Using Qt allowed us to develop a native cross-platform GUI.
- Development costs were lowered thanks to being able to use the LGPL version of Qt which is free from royalties and licensing costs.
“Redesigning a graphic interface that had twenty years of history behind it in such a short time was a huge victory for us thanks to the Agile method, which helped us stay focused on important features. It was also thanks to Qt, which, as always, proved itself to be a great tool for developing cross-platform software.”