Scilab Anywhere C/S-- a Client/Server system to provide remote Scilab services


Scilab has hitherto been single-user access only, having to be installed on the user's own computer in order to run, which limits access to the software. We asked ourselves whether it would be posssible to enable multi-user access to Scilab through a client/server model, which would also make it possible to use a powerful remote server to calculate huge problems within Scilab. We also decided to explore the possiblity of accessing Scilab directly through an HTPP address or thin client software.

Scilab Anywhere meets all these goals!

Scilab Anywhere consists of server and client software. By running Scilab Anywhere on a computer with Internet access, it can connect to the appropriate Scilab server no matter where it is located. The user can benefit from the powerful functions and convenient operations of Scilab without having to spend a lot of time downloading and installing it locally. In view of the different requirements of Linux and Windows and different server/client requirements, Scilab AnyWhere is available in Browser/Server and Client/Server patterns, and for both Linux and Windows. The user of Scilab Anywhere will not experience of any difference from using the single-user access Scilab

1. Internet connectivity - a great way to extend Scilab's user-base.

As internet and networking technology develops, more and more applications are breaking the stand-alone mode. Scilab Anywhere brings this usability to Scilab, combining Scilab and internet/networking technology organically. Scilab Anywhere allow users to work with Scilab without having to install it on their local machine. They merely need to download and install thin client (C/S pattern) software, or use their preferred browser (B/S pattern), through which they can experience the great power of Scilab and do nearly all tasks that the "real Scilab" can do.

Furthermore, if someone merely wishes to try out Scilab, they no longer need to spend time in searching for the software, and then downloading and installing the full programme before they can do so. Scilab Anywhere gives the ability to try out the power of Scilab through downloading a very thin client application that is quick to install and can be up and running immediately, or even by simply opening a URL in their preferred browser. Furthermore, users can pass the ability to access Scilab along to colleagues or friends simply by sending them an HTTP address.
Scilab Anywhere thus gives major benefits in terms of extending the user base of Scilab.

2. Expand the calculating power of Scilab - running Scilab on a server with access through remote workstations

Scilab is an extremely powerful calculating application. However, owing to hardware limitations in their personal computer, many users cannot benefit from it to the full. Scilab Anywhere overcomes this problem. With Scilab Anywhere, the users desktop or laptop computer becomes a client workstation linked to a powerful remote server, sharing its abundant resources for calculating and storage. Furthermore, if PVS co-operation is available, the even greater power of a computer group can be accessed. To this end, we intend to develop a user login and management system. Authorised users will be able to use the server to store data, perform calculations and save the results, with full certification and control. In this way, with a security system and delaminated control installed, the users personal computer will become a powerful scientific calculating workstation. The great benefit of Scilab Anywhere is that all this will be realisable simply by using a thin client or even a browser.

3. Multi-platform usage - meeting users' requirements on different platforms

As Linux is developing, both the system itself and the UI, more and more people are opting for it as their preferred operating system. Scilab Anywhere has been developed with users' platform requirements very much in mind. The C/S pattern includes two client modes to satisfy the needs of both Linux and Windows users. The B/S pattern is not platform sensitive and the power of Scilab is therefore available on any machine with an installed browser. The B/S pattern of Scilab Anywhere thus overcomes the platform sensitivity of the original package, and thus realises our goal of "make Scilab accessible anywhere".

4. Multi-user access - simultaneous calculations by a number of users

In designing Scilab Anywhere, great emphasis on the practicality of the application. Scilab Anywhere is truly multi-user, allowing several users to connect to the server at the same time, and execute parallel calculations. Each user is given a protected Scilab environment to prevent cross-corruption, and ensure that the results of the calculations will always be correct.

5. "Image-returned" command solutions - rich Scilab images available at client end

The client software can send image-returned commands. With the C/S pattern, the user can access the image file, in GIF format, from the local directory; with the B/S pattern, the image is displayed directly in the browser. Three-dimensional image transmission is not directly available in the Version 1 of Scilab Anywhere, with 3D graphs only observable from a given angle. However, the other toolbox developed by the Xiamen University Scilab Group, VRScilab, overcomes this problem. The C/S pattern user can access the 3D VRML image file; the B/S pattern user will see the image produced by the 3D commands directly in the browser following the installation of the VRML plug-in. VRScilab gives the Scilab Anywhere user access to the powerful imaging commands in Scilab, and the resulting high-quality images.

ACD Systems Newsletters

Home | Demos | System Requirements | Users's Guide | Developers' Guide
File Relation and Flow Chart | FAQ | Known Bugs | About Us

Copyleft © 2003 XMU Scilab Group, China