Alternative Paths for Developing DTMs and Frame Applications

Jan. 20, 2015
Developing DTMs and FDT Frames From Scratch or with Toolkits and Common Components.

The road to a complete FDT/DTM solution can be a fairly time-consuming and costly one. Considering the extensive scope of the FDT specification, developing DTMs or FDT Frame Applications can be a daunting task for most automation-component vendors. Whether companies are developing DTMs or doing FDT Frame development, M&M Software provides a comprehensive set of tools and services for device manufacturers, system vendors, integrators and end-users alike. M&M offers several DTM and FDT Frame development tools, which abstract away any complexities of the FDT specification, helping device manufacturers and system vendors develop their FDT 1.2.x or FDT2 enabled products in no time.

One way is to develop a DTM is from scratch. M&M Software specializes in this particular area, offering a full range of FDT related development services. This includes consulting services, FDT trainings and workshops, software development and test & certification. All development activities aim towards the specific requirements of the project at hand. Any DTMs and Frames developed by M&M use stable and field-proven tools and development libraries such as the fdtCONTAINER component and dtmMANAGER. The final product is the perfect FDT/DTM solutions for a given device or system.

An alternative solution is to develop DTMs in-house using a toolkit. One such toolkit is the dtmMANAGER development suite, which comprises a complete development environment for the development of FDT 1.2.x and FDT2™ DTMs. The included DTM Common Components, documentation and Microsoft Visual Studio wizard to further reduce the amount of development effort needed.

Another alternative to creating a DTM by hand is to generate a device DTM from a HART, PROFIBUS or FF Electronic Device Description (EDD). The M&M basicDTM service uses EDD files to generate native, full-featured and certifiable DTMs quickly and at low cost. The resulting DTMs also double as the perfect basis for advanced DTMs with functionalities that stretch beyond the scope of EDDs such as diagnostics and rich user interfaces.

The final part of the DTM development journey is the certification process. In order to ensure high levels of conformity, stability and interoperability, the FDT Group recommends certifying DTMs using the dtmINSPECTOR. M&M Software also offers DTM certifications in its accredited laboratories in Germany and China.

In order to use the finished DTM, the end-user will need an FDT Frame Application. By bundling an FDT Frame Application with DTMs, vendors can provide their customers with a complete FDT/DTM solution. fdtCONTAINER component is the certified FDT Frame Common Component. It encapsulates a powerful set of .NET-Interfaces, which can be implemented in your application without having to worry about FDT 1.2.x or FDT2 specific details.

Just like DTMs, developing a new FDT Frame Application from scratch may be unnecessary in some cases. There is a full-featured stand-alone Frame Application - OEM fdtCONTAINER application. fdtCONTAINER application is a powerful and customizable FDT compliant host application. At its core, the application uses the FDT Common Component and supports both FDT 1.2.x and FDT2.

For more information about M&M Software’s products and service, please visit their website:

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