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AKRON, OH - February 1, 2002 — DATAQ Instruments, Inc. today announced the availability of its XControls Instrument Pack and Professional Pack that enable programmers and non-programmers alike to create high-impact graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for data acquisition applications. These packs contain an array of controls, indicators, and other active, graphic elements that can be assigned different signals, then organized on-screen to form virtual panels that deliver realistic, completely customized views of data acquisition processes.

The standard XControls Instrument Pack contains an assortment of 27 devices, including rotary and sliding knobs and switches, numeric readouts, LED bars and spirals, gauges, a waveform plotter, and many others. The Professional Pack includes the basic Instrument Pack, plus 26 additional tank and valve icons, sliding scale gauges, threaded and unthreaded timers, and much more. Users can thus select the type of control or display most suitable for a given task. For example, it is widely accepted that analog meters are more effective than digital displays in showing trends, while digital displays can be read more quickly and precisely. XControls provides the ability to choose the most effective method for representing data and controlling signals.

Adds Unique, No-Programming Controls to Excel

Such toolkits have been available for some time for those working directly in mainstream programming languages. DATAQ's XControls are compatible with such languages, as well as Microsoft Excel®, now making it possible for non-programmers to create the same types of visually rich GUIs for Excel-based data acquisition applications. In contrast, some data acquisition manufacturers offer software "add-ins" that stream measurement data directly to an Excel spreadsheet where it can be graphed using Excel's various charting options. DATAQ's XControls enable such users to add a versatile array of other visual indicators and controls to this popular, time-saving approach to data acquisition.

From within the Excel environment, absolutely no programming is required to produce a custom virtual instrument that operates in real-time. This capability is made possible by the "LinkedCell" property of each control, which provides exceptional power when coupled with WinDaq/XL software. WinDaq/XL is DATAQ's real-time porting software that allows WinDaq-acquired data to be ported directly to Excel cells, both in real-time and after acquisition from the WinDaq Waveform Browser. When such cells are linked to an XControl using the LinkedCell property, the control has real-time access to data: thermometer columns rise and fall, panel meter displays can be made to update, and LED bar graphs change color and size.

Even those who choose to work in a language environment will still save considerable time, as they have access to a high-quality assortment of pre-programmed tools that can be used to produce professional-looking, informative process control charts, graphs, and panels. This capability can be particularly useful to programmers who need to develop and prove GUI concepts quickly with minimal effort.

Created for Fast Integration into Data Acquisition Tasks

Each control is already programmed, feature-packed, and aesthetically designed to provide realistic, high-impact visuals. All components can be intuitively clicked and dragged for perfect resizing, without loss of graphic quality. The user need only enter short and concise enabling code to unlock the desired features of any given control.

Theme-based application designs are also supported, making it possible to create, save, and share custom themes for later use in other projects, or as a basis for standardizing the development efforts of programming workgroups. In addition, XControls are royalty-free, meaning that applications can be distributed and recycled without added charge.

Applicable Users

Users who can benefit from XControls include programmers and non-programmers who need a simple way to design virtual instrument panels:

Hardware and Software Compatibility

XControls is compatible with all DATAQ Instruments data acquisition hardware, WinDaq data acquisition software, DATAQ's family of ActiveX controls for data acquisition, and the WinDaq/XL add-in. Compatible software environments include Visual BASIC, Visual C++, C++Builder, and Delphi programming languages, or a non-programming environment such as Excel. As such, XControls can be used from any 32-bit ActiveX- or VCL-supported environment to develop realistic instrument panels and displays that are customized for a wide range of specific applications. Compact coding enables XControls to adapt well to higher speed applications, without impacting overall application performance.

About DATAQ Instruments

Akron-based DATAQ Instruments, Inc. is a leading producer of PC-based, real-time data acquisition hardware and software for medical, research, and industrial test and measurement applications. More information on DATAQ Instruments WinDaQ/XL software, or any other DATAQ product, can be obtained immediately by calling DATAQ Instruments at 330-668-1444 , or write to: DATAQ Instruments, Inc., 241 Springside Drive, Akron, OH 44333-2473. You can also visit on the World Wide Web, or request information by e-mailing

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