A workspace solution like Barco OpSpace has made it so much easier for control room operators to work and interact with their content. But of course, OpSpace does not live on an island. OpSpace is the interface to your control room processes and it can interact with other overarching control systems, such as PSIM, DCS and others. Let’s have a look at how OpSpace is typically integrated within your control room system.
In short: it’s the OpSpace API that does all the work. An API (short for Application Programming Interface) is a piece of software that establishes the connection between two systems. It makes the interaction between OpSpace and the control system possible. That connection enables extended functionality, such as automation of tasks controlled by a digital assistant.
An API can automate several underlying tasks, which are typically seen by the user as one task. Compare it to a macro in Excel, for example. It’s a set of actions which can be activated by another single action. Or think of a smart home, which allows you to switch on the lights, close the blinds, and turn on the heating with one simple click. In OpSpace, an example of an API command could be to present content sources in your control system on your workstation in a given configuration.
This positions the OpSpace API as an essential ingredient in your ‘monitoring by exception’ workflow, whereby the amount of information is reduced and the operator only gets notified when something needs attention. In this case, OpSpace could be partially controlled by a smart digital assistant, helping the operator to see only the information they need to see, instead of having to manually drill down to several subsystems.
The OpSpace API can be the glue between your workspace interface and your control system, making it possible for both to work together seamlessly. What gets displayed on the operator workspace, and how it is displayed, can make a crucial difference in how effectively decisions are made. That is why, before you decide to establish a connection between your control system and OpSpace, it is very important to understand the philosophy behind OpSpace.
Barco OpSpace is all about giving the operator flexibility and freedom to organize the workplace in a way that best suits the mission or task. Integrators need to be aware that careless integration can hinder the operator’s efficiency or productivity. For example, you may decide to have your control system display an alert in full screen mode on a particular display monitor. Since OpSpace offers the flexibility to display sources on any given display, you need to make sure that this full screen alert does not obstruct the content that is placed on that display by the operator.
OpSpace is a dynamic and evolving operator environment. Therefore, automated actions can, through API events, adapt to the real time status of the workplace and push or alter information seamlessly.
Successful integration of two solutions can only work when those solutions are well attuned to each other. To achieve this, both solution providers need to work together closely. Barco therefore likes to build strategic alliances with its OpSpace integration partners. A strategic alliance makes it easier for Barco and a control system provider to learn about each other’s needs and product offerings, and it allows for a smooth and sustainable integration over time. The ultimate goal of a strategic partnership is to offer a better solution and a smoother workflow for our customers.
Teaming up with Barco as a strategic alliance partner for OpSpace offers many benefits, including access to up-to-date product information, an exclusive peak into the OpSpace product roadmap, and access to Barco’s wide network of control room customers. At the same time, Barco can learn about your needs as a solution provider and think about how OpSpace can meet those needs in a better way.
Thinking about becoming a strategic Barco partner? Let’s get in touch.
Strategic Alliance Manager
Tom has a long track record in control room visualization, acquired the past 24 years at Barco through functions in sales, product management and strategic marketing.