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CQC Version 4.3 Released
April 25, 2013 - CQC Version 4.3 Released

Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd. is proud to announce the release of version 4.3 of their CQC automation platform. This release, though only a point release, contains a very considerable number of improvements and new capabilities.

The more notable changes in this version are:
GC-100 Serial Ports. CQC now directly supports the serial ports of GC-100s. In the Admin Interface you can configure which GC-100s it should know about. The ports of these units will show up anywhere you would select a serial port. Each GC-100 is given a name and the port name includes the GC-100 unit name, so you can easily identify them.

Note that CQC cannot configure the port settings, so you must set the appropriate configuration via the GC-100's web interface. These are available within the driver and macro IDEs and the remote port server as well. For remote access, they can either configure it within their system and expose it via the remote port server, or expose it directly and you can configure it within your own local system.

Radio RA2/Homeworks QS. CQC now supports the Radio RA2 and Homeworks QS lighting systems. Both products use the same protocol so this driver will support either. The driver currently supports switches, dimmers, motion sensors, buttons, and LEDs. Support for other module types can be added over time.

User Interface. The toolbar widget has been extended to make it considerably more useful as a main menu. You can now lock widgets in the designer, so that they won't be selected and therefore won't move either. This is very convenient if you have widgets overlaying a background image and the like. You can now edit the entries on the Xlat tab, and the Xlat functionality has been extended to more widget types. Command buttons can now display dynamic text from a field or variable, in addition to just a static caption.

Driver Architecture. The device driver architecture was substantially rewritten. This is a somewhat technical subject but it has many benefits. Outgoing commands to the driver are queued up and processed by the driver thread, unlike previously where the command is invoked in the context of the incoming client command thread. This allows some commands to be done asynchronously without the client having to wait for it to complete, which is sometimes very desirable for extra-slow devices, since if a new command comes in before the previous one is processed it can just replace the waiting command. It also allows things like driver shutdown to be aynchronous so CQCServer can shut them all down in parallel for fastersystem shutdown when lots of drivers are involved. There are various other benefits as well.

Logic Server. A new field type has been added to the Logic Server. This one is a 'running average' that will average the value of a numeric field over a given number of hours.

Event Server. A lot of improvements have been made wrt to the Event Server and standard event triggers. There are better ways to filter incoming triggers, and more commands for querying information from standard triggers.

Auto-Generation. The auto-generation system has been expanded to add support for dimmers, and it now also supports the Roku media streaming device. The room configuration that drives the auto-generation system is also now available via the XML Gateway Server for third party clients to use. The generated security system arming stuff now supports the native modes of the target security driver. The generated templates now allow you to select new rooms on the fly from a popup.

Miscellaneous. There are now commands to save to disk or e-mail images retrieved from a web server. This is primarily used to e-mail security camera snapshot images when the security system is tripped. The HTTP class has been updated to support automatic authentication and the settings involved exposed for client code to use.The JSON parser was much improved to add new features and make it fully compliant.

Device Drivers. There are new drivers for the Pentair pool controller, Marantz SR7005 A/V receiver, the Yamaha RX-A3000, Octava HDMI matrix switches, Lutron Radio RA2/QS, and a new generic trigger driver that supports incoming connections. Many drivers have been updated or improved in various ways. The Omni TCP driver has been substantially updated. It now allows for renaming of the lights, zones, etc... so that you don't have to use the default names anymore. You can also better control the types of the units, and control individually whether they send event triggers or not. Similar changes for the Elk driver are scheduled for the next release.


Try It

You can download the new version via the Try/Buy menu item on the web site, and try it out for 40 days. So you can know for sure whether it meets your needs before you commit.

Existing customers covered under the maintenance system can upgrade at their convenience. Other customers can purchase an upgrade to the 4.2 version if desired, just contact us for information.

Use the web site's Learn menu to learn more about the product. Extensive video and text information is available to help you learn how CQC works and how to get the most out of it. A considerable number of new tutorial videos have been added for this release.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
A 4.3.1 follow up release is now available. This mostly is just to fix small things that weren't caught in the 4.3.0 time frame, or weren't doable in that time frame, and to add some small improvements. But it also has one significant new feature as well.

NOTE: If you are already using the 4.3 betas, you do not want to upgrade to 4.3.1. You are already there or beyond it. 4.3.1 is effectively the same as 4.3.909. The installer wouldn't let you install what it considers an earlier version of the product anyway. This is just being provided for those folks who aren't using the betas, since this functionality is now considered solid and ready to release. This will now hopefully allow us to really dig into the heavier changes on the way towards 4.4, knowing that we have these issues taken care of.

It's very much recommended that anyone running 4.3.0 upgrade, since there are quite a few things tweaked, fixed or improved, and it will make a difference most likely. And some of the new features may be very useful to you as well.

In terms of some of the more noticeable changes in this release, they are:
[INDENT]Gesture Based Scrolling. You can now scroll those user interface elements that support scrolling via a finger based fling type gesture. So you don't need to use buttons anymore to scroll through lists and such. Widgets like the cover art browser, media oriented lists, the tool bar, and so forth are all now scrollable in this way. A flick near the center of the widget is treated like a next/previous page operation, while one near the edge (in the direction of travel) is treated as a home/end operation.

Leviton Z-Wave Driver. This driver now correctly comprehends asynchronous reporting of status changes from those modules that report via a scene change type of message instead of the usual current value message. Previously these types of modules had to be polled, but now they should work correctly with asynchronous reporting.

Logic Server. A new 'Elapsed Time' type of field has been added to the Logic Server. This is a time based field which will track how long a particular condition has been true. You provide one or more source fields, each of which has an associated expression. If the expressions come out true, then the field starts counting time. When it goes false, the field stops counting. It can automatically reset to zero when it stops or just pause and pick up again at the same place later. So it can either be a 'how long since the last time' or 'how long in total' type counter. Non-auto-reset versions can still be manually reset if desired.

Event Server. Field triggers, which are placed on fields to send out triggers that can be reacted to by the Event Server, can now be marked as 'latching'. This means that, once the expression goes true, it will send out a single trigger. Even if the field continues to change and causes a true expression, no more triggers will be sent until the expression transitions back to false and again back to true. These are very useful for things like 'greater than x' type of triggers, where the field could continue to change and be greater than x, but you only want to know when it transitions to greater than x, not every time it changes and is over x.

Tray Monitor. The Tray Monitor program will now correctly survive the machine going to sleep and waking back up again. Normally CQC 'server' type programs of that sort don't support this, but the Tray Monitor is something that can be run on purely client machines and so needs to be able to survive across sleep/awake cycles.

Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum

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